Category Archives: Implementation

26 April 2017

Doctors Recommend a Pause Before Cutting the Umbilical Cord

In the first moments of a newborn’s life, obstetricians make multiple crucial decisions to provide optimal medical care. One of those decisions is the right time to cut the umbilical cord. While it has traditionally been cut immediately after birth to quickly clean and deliver the newborn to its expecting parents, the health care community has started to rethink this age-old practice. The latest official change in thinking has come from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), which recently recommended that obstetricians wait at least 30 to 60 seconds before cutting the umbilical cord, as reported by The New York Times.

Even before the ACOG released the new recommendations, many...

19 April 2017

Google’s AI Could Help Pathologists Identify Breast Cancer Better, Faster

According to the CDC, there are more than 230,000 people diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S. each year.  For these patients, determination of whether cancer cells have metastasized to other parts of the body significantly influences decisions about treatment.

While a pathologist’s report is generally considered the gold standard in the diagnosis of cancer, reviewing diagnostic slides is an extremely complicated task, even for specialists with years of training and experience. Different pathologists can arrive at variable diagnoses for the same patient, which can result in misdiagnoses. Diagnostic agreement for some forms of breast cancer can be as low as 48%. That number is unsurprising, considering the...

7 March 2017

CDC Opioid Guideline App: A Valuable Prescribing Tool

Last March, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published the “CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain.” The document provides recommendations for appropriate prescribing of opioid pain relievers and other treatment options in order to improve pain management and patient safety. Recently, the agency launched the CDC Opioid Prescribing Guideline Mobile App to educate providers and inform clinical decision-making when prescribing opioids outside of active cancer treatment, palliative care and end-of-life care. This free mobile app puts the opioid prescribing guideline and other helpful content, tools and resources into prescribers’ palms at the point of...

19 January 2017

Integrating Telemedicine Responsibly

Providers and patients alike view telemedicine as an increasingly important healthcare delivery modality. Per a recent article in Medical Economics, “How to balance telemedicine advances with ethics,” the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) reports that more than half of all U.S. hospitals use some form of telemedicine; and IHS Technology predicts the number of patients using telehealth services will jump from fewer than 350,000 in 2013 to 7 million in 2018.

But this modality can also be challenging to implement responsibly.

Telehealth Benefits

The dramatic growth of telemedicine is driven by its ability to further the goals of the “quadruple aim” framework for...

22 December 2016

Practice Management Changes in 2017

A new Physicians Practice article, “7 Predictions for Practice Management in 2017,” features several respected healthcare experts including Sheridan’s Chief Quality Officer, Gerald A. Maccioli, MD, MBA, FCCM. Their predictions addressed seven areas of anticipated change:

The Affordable Care Act and congressional action New data and deadlines Shifting payments Added regulation Changing insurance scene Technology demands Patient communication

Dr. Maccioli spoke about the modifications to the phase-in year of MACRA made by CMS to address the physician community’s “angst” about the program’s implementation, including technology and operational issues such...

13 December 2016

Five Key Strategies for Driving Change in the OR

Now more than ever, hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers are seeking anesthesia partners capable of driving positive change in their operating rooms. However, for many anesthesia providers, there are hurdles that must be overcome before such change can be realized.

Anesthesia groups of any size, regardless of their financial strength, can employ proven strategies to ensure the success of facility-wide patient care improvement initiatives. Here are five such strategies that Dr. Adam Blomberg, Sheridan’s national education director, has found to be effective.

Collaborate with nursing and surgeons on incremental steps toward larger improvements

Securing the buy-in of nursing and surgical staff is...

8 December 2016

McLaren Hospital’s CEO Discusses the Value of Sheridan’s Distributed Radiology Services

When William “Bill” Lawrence became CEO of McLaren Central Michigan Hospital eight years ago, he saw no significant clinical issues with the three-physician radiology group at the 118-bed acute-care hospital, per a new article in Radiology Today. He did, however, find problems typical of a hospital that size: slow turnaround times, lack of consistency and significant gaps in the radiology services and modalities offered. Lawrence turned to an old friend, radiology leader Frank Seidelmann, D.O., to ask for his thoughts on solutions that could improve McLaren’s radiology services at a reasonable cost. 

Both men had worked at the renowned Cleveland Clinic and had known each other for many...

13 October 2016

The AMA’s New Tools to Ease MACRA Transition for Physicians

The American Medical Association (AMA) recently unveiled new tools and resources to support physicians through the daunting process of transitioning to CMS’s new Quality Payment Plan (QPP) under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). These resources include the AMA Payment Model Evaluator, the addition of six new MACRA-specific modules to the AMA STEPS Forward™ collection of practice improvement strategies, and a new ReachMD podcast series titled Inside Medicare’s New Payment System. The AMA developed these new tools to help physicians navigate and prepare for the impending changes to Medicare payment and delivery and to improve their opportunities to succeed when MACRA and the QPP go...

19 September 2016

How Physicians, Hospitals and Health Systems Are Dealing With the U.S. Drug Shortage Crisis

The ongoing drug shortage crisis in the U.S. is sending prices for some medications skyrocketing, forcing hospitals and physicians to scramble for alternatives and threatening the safety of patients. These shortages have been causing major problems nationwide for several years, but the causes are complex and not easily fixed, and doctors, hospitals, health systems and acute-care facilities continue to struggle to find effective workarounds.

The number of drugs in short supply in this country has more than tripled in the past decade. Since 2012 when the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA) took effect, that number has decreased overall. Yet shortages of drugs commonly used for unscheduled acute...

27 July 2016

The Challenges of Staffing a Rural Hospital Successfully

Population health management is a challenging proposition in any location, but especially so in rural areas, which comprise nearly 20 percent of the U.S. population and more than 95 percent of the country’s land. Health care resources are more limited and the population is more spread out than in urban settings. The patient base at rural and nonurban hospitals also tends to be smaller, older, poorer, and less healthy than that of urban hospitals, which means there is little opportunity to mitigate financial risk. The inability to take advantage of the economies of scale enjoyed by urban healthcare systems affords little opportunity for cost reduction. Add in shrinking Medicare reimbursements, and it becomes...