Today’s Top Story
The Joint Commission issues Sentinel Event Alert on fall prevention in healthcare facilities.
The Joint Commission has issued a Sentinel Event Alert regarding falls and fall-related injuries in healthcare facilities. The alert notes that falls with serious injury are consistently among the top 10 sentinel events reported to The Joint Commission’s Sentinel Event database, with 465 falls with injuries reported since 2009, approximately 63 percent of which resulted in death. Among other things, the organization recommends the following approaches to help prevent falls and fall-related injuries:

  • Efforts to raise awareness of the need to prevent falls resulting in injury
  • Establishment of an interdisciplinary falls injury prevention team
  • Use of a standardized, validated tool to identify risk factors for falls
  • Patient-specific interventions
  • Application of practices and interventions demonstrated to be effective
  • Adoption of a post-fall management initiative

Read the alert (PDF)…
Access additional resources…

Other News

Survey: Most medical liability premiums remain flat compared to last year.
According to Medscape, survey data collected by Medical Liability Monitor finds that 71 percent of medical liability rates quoted by insurers in the United States remained unchanged during 2015 compared to 2014. Overall, 12 percent of rates fell, while 17 percent of rates increased in 2015. Premium rates for internists, obstetrician-gynecologists, and general surgeons—considered by some experts to be “bellwether” specialties—rose an average of 0.3 percent over 2014. Read more…(registration may be required)

Study: Supervised exercise program may offer little benefit to patients with isolated and uncomplicated ankle fracture.
Findings from an Australian study published in the Oct. 6 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) suggest that, among patients with isolated and uncomplicated ankle fracture, implementation of a supervised exercise program and advice may offer no improvement in outcomes compared to advice alone. The authors conducted a pragmatic, randomized clinical trial of 214 patients allocated to rehabilitation and advice (n?=?106) or advice alone (n?=?108). Across 173 patients available at 3-month follow-up, no significant difference was found between cohorts in activity limitation or quality of life. Read more…
Read the abstract…

Study: About two-thirds of revisits within 30 days of ambulatory surgery may be linked to index procedure.
A research letter published in the Oct. 6 issue of JAMA examines factors associated with return to acute care within 30 days of ambulatory surgery. The researchers conducted a retrospective analysis of six low- to moderate-risk ambulatory procedures, including spine surgery and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) repair. Overall, there were 482,034 ambulatory surgeries and 45,760 all-cause 30-day revisits. The overall revisit rate per 1,000 procedures was 9.2, with 8.6/1,000 for spine surgery and 4.2/1,000 for ACL repair. Across all operations and settings, 29.7/1,000 revisits were for unrelated conditions, while 65.2/1,000 were for complications related to the index operation. “Our results support using cause- or operation-specific (rather than all-cause) outcomes in quality improvement efforts and pay-for-performance initiatives,” the research team writes. “Considering the burden of revisits to patients and hospitals following ambulatory operations, our study highlights the importance of expanding health policy and clinical interventions to include ambulatory surgery and complications assessed in the [emergency department].” Read the abstract…

Study: Women may experience increased pain associated with knee OA compared to men.
Data published online in the journal Arthritis Care & Research suggest that women with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis (OA) may have enhanced overall sensitivity to pain compared to men. The authors assessed 288 participants via quantitative sensory pain procedures that examined sensitivity to contact heat, cold pressor, mechanical pressure, and punctuate stimuli. They found that, compared to men, women exhibited greater sensitivity to multiple pain modalities. However, the authors found no significant differences between cohorts in clinical pain, with the exception of greater widespread pain observed in women. Read the abstract…

Study: Socioeconomic factors may affect wait times.
According to research published online in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, socioeconomic variables such as race, education, and employment status may be linked to the time patients spend waiting for healthcare. The research team reviewed survey data on 3,787 patients who reported time spent waiting to receive medical care on the day they visited a clinic. They found that patients overall spent an average of 86 minutes in the clinic. However, white patients spent an average of 80 minutes in the clinic, while Hispanic patients averaged 105 minutes. Overall, patients with less education, unemployed patients, and those of a minority race tended to experience longer wait times. Read more…
Read the abstract…

AAOS video series highlights dangers of distracted driving.
AAOS has announced the availability of its “No Small Distractions” video series, which uses absurdity to illustrate the dangers of distracted driving. Since 2011, the AAOS Decide to Drive campaign has sought to minimize distracted driving-related crash injuries. Join the social media conversation by sharing the video links using the hashtags #NoSmallDistractions and #DecidetoDrive on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. View all Decide to Drive videos…

Call for volunteers: Evaluation Committees.
Oct. 15 is the last day to submit your application for a position on an Evaluation Committee. The following openings are available:

  • Adult Spine (chair)
  • Hip, Knee & Adult Reconstruction (one member)
  • Orthopaedic Basic Science (four members)
  • Trauma (two members)

Applicants for the member openings must be active fellows, candidate member applicants for fellowship, emeritus fellows, or candidate members with a practice emphasis in the relevant area. Applicants for the chair position must be active members with a practice emphasis in adult spine, and have served at least one term on the Central Evaluation Committee or an Evaluation Committee. Learn more and submit your application…(member login required)