Penn Medicine News Blog Archive: Health Care Quality and Safety

More Photos from Around Penn Medicine

In late February, Penn Medicine’s Heart and Vascular Center joined forces with the City of Philadelphia to wrap up American Heart Month by offering free cardiovascular screenings for city employees. The screenings, which included blood pressure screenings, cardiac risk assessments, peripheral vascular screening and abdominal aortic aneurysm screens, are preventive...

The “Other”Circulatory System

Kahn JCI image graphic Jan 14
Blood is the life force of animals. But behind the more well-known system of veins, arteries, and capillaries functions the mop-up crew, the vascular network called the lymph system.

Do Patients Really Understand? The Push to Eliminate Health Illiteracy

Health_literacy
Inadequate health literacy is a significant concern in today’s health-care environment. Indeed, more than one-third of Americans don’t understand the basic medical information that’s needed to make informed health-care decisions. This knowledge gap can have serious repercussions: poor medication adherence, increased mortality, and increased hospital readmissions and trips to the...

Closing the Loop on Medication Safety

In a hospital, errors can occur in any part of the medication process – from prescribing to dispensing. That’s why, for the past several years, the University of Pennsylvania Health System has implemented several measures to help reduce these errors and ensure patient safety. For example, Electronic order entry on...

Breaking Down the Barriers to Medication Adherence

MPP 003
“Drugs don’t work in patients who don’t take them.” — C. Everett Koop, MD Medication non-adherence -– ie, not taking essential medications or not taking them as prescribed -– can lead to serious outcomes and, as a result, readmissions to hospitals. Indeed, in this country, nearly one in five hospital...

An Important Early Lesson for Tomorrow’s Health-Care Providers

Team work. It’s a part of all successful organizations. But nowhere is this combined effort more essential than in the medical field, where health-care professionals working as a team -- instead of in side-by-side silos -– open lines of communication and, as a result, improve patient care. Throughout the University...

Emotional First Aid for 'Second Victims'

Second victim photo
A trauma nurse faces the tragic loss of a young patient close to his own son’s age. A transporter must bring an infant who died in the Neo-ICU down to the morgue. A pharmacist hears that his patient had an anaphylactic reaction to a medication. He discovers the medication allergy...

Penn to Celebrate Big Ideas in Science at the 3rd Annual Philadelphia Science Festival

PSF logo 2013
Penn’s signature event at the 3rd annual Philadelphia Science Festival next week is a sure sign of the times. “Big Ideas: Funding and Innovation” draws on current themes and reminders of where the bright ideas really come from.

High-Quality Nursing Equals High-Quality Patient Care

Rhoads 5 gold beacon cropped
Members of Rhoads 5 SICU, winners of the Gold Beacon Award Nurses make up the single largest segment of the health-care work force, providing 95 percent of direct care to hospitalized patients. So it’s not surprising that the higher the quality of a hospital’s nursing staff, the better the patient...

Pharmacists on the Front Line of Care

Medication sign
Penn Medicine has set a goal to eliminate preventable readmissions within seven days after patients are discharged from the hospital at its three hospitals by July 1, 2014. Since the kick-off of this effort in 2011, a number of initiatives have successfully reduced these readmissions but a key component in...

Getting Personal

Nathan Francis Mossell, MD, the first black student in Penn’s School of Medicine, received his medical degree in 1882. On his first day, he later wrote, he was “accompanied by a storm of protest” as his fellow incoming students sounded their displeasure. “I was not perturbed in the least,” wrote...

Penn Medicine Reaches Out

UCHC
UCHCFrom providing screenings for high blood pressure in West Philadelphia barber shops to arming women who are recovering from addiction with the skills to build new lives with their children, Penn Medicine’s employees reach far beyond our campus community to help, care for, and inspire people to improve their health. Each year since 2007, Penn Medicine has highlighted the work of its faculty, staff and students in Philadelphia and its neighboring communities in Simply Because. Last year’s book is full of the faces and stories of everyone who comes together to be part of these programs.

Connecting the Dots to an AIDS-Free Generation

Baligh_whitecoat_small
This week, HIV advocates, scientists, and patients gathered at the XIX International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C. – the first time in 22 years the meeting was held in the United States. The group’s charge: mapping out a strategy to usher in an AIDS-free generation.

Sepsis: Deceptive and Deadly

ER_HUP_2012
Sepsis researcher David Gaieski, MD, an assistant professor of Emergency Medicine in the Perelman School of Medicine and clinical director in Penn’s Center for Resuscitation Science, spoke this week with several news outlets about the issues raised by the case of the 12-year-old New York City boy who died of sepsis after his infection apparently went undetected at his doctor and an emergency room. ABCNews.com explored the reasons why these infections can be so difficult to identify when they’re easiest to treat:

867-5309 – Penn Medicine Cardiologists Explore the Benefit of “Telehealth” Devices for Heart Failure Patients

Heart-phone
Cardiologists at Penn Medicine are testing devices that can allow heart failure patients to be monitored from the comfort of their own homes instead of having to make trips to and from the hospital.

The Rickels Standard

“We need new and better ways to treat our patients, not just ‘me, too’ medications. We need new and daring approaches. Our patients deserve it!”

Behind the Scenes of the Drug Approval Process

This week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new prescription weight loss drug – the first in more than a decade. Advocates of the drug, which trials showed helped users lose an average of about five percent of their body weight, say it provides an important new weight loss option for the 35 percent of Americans classified as obese. But the medication, which will be sold under the name Belviq, is not without risks. Some studies showed that it causes heart valve problems, an issue that echoes the reasons why the weight-loss drug combination known as Fen-Phen was pulled from the market in 1997. A Penn medical toxicologist and emergency physician, Jeanmarie Perrone, played a role behind the headlines about the drug’s approval, as a member of an FDA advisory committee tasked with reviewing the data about the drug and making recommendations to the agency about whether or not it should be approved.

Pharmacists Play Key Role in Reducing Medication Errors Among Hospitalized Patients

Drugs used in hospitals are meant to save lives – to battle infections, kill cancer cells, control pain, steady uneven heart beats, and prevent blood clots from forming when patients are unable to get out of bed and move around. But despite these healing powers, medication errors are common, and the consequences can be severe. According to the Food and Drug Administration, medication errors cause at least one death every day and injure approximately 1.3 million people each year in the United States. And countless so-called "near-misses" with incorrect dosing or drug mix-ups go unreported. In response, the federal government and hospitals across the nation have made cutting medication errors a cornerstone of patient safety initiatives. Baligh Yehia, MD, MSHP, MPP, an Infectious Diseases fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, recently published a study in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases examining the prevalence of antiretroviral medication errors among hospital patients infected with HIV. Medication errors are a risk during hospitalizations of all kinds, but HIV patients are especially vulnerable.

Getting Drug Prescriptions Filled Post-Op Doesn’t Have to be a Drag

Prescription bottles
The last thing a patient wants to do after being discharged from outpatient surgery is to try to find an open pharmacy and then wait – in pain -- while a pharmacy fills a prescription. An innovative program in the SurgiCentre at Penn Medicine’s Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine ensures...

Giving Back: New CPR Guidelines for Dogs and Cats Informed by Research in Humans

Pet cpr 1
Pet cpr 1In a unique partnership between veterinary experts and physician-scientists who study and treat cardiac arrest in humans in Penn Medicine’s Center for Resuscitation Science, the same research that is saving patients who suffer cardiac arrests will now be put to use saving the lives of beloved pets. The Reassessment Campaign on Veterinary Resuscitation (RECOVER), announced this month, provides the first evidence-based guidelines on how to best treat cardiopulmonary arrest in dogs and cats.

Subscribe to Penn Medicine News Blog by Email

Search

Categories

About This Blog