Category: Clinical Services

United for Patient Safety

Patient Safety Awareness Week is March 12-18, 2017 and HCA Vice President and Chief Patient Safety Officer Dr. Kenneth Sands, says that for clinicians and the healthcare professionals at HCA, “Every day is patient safety day” and that our health system needs to be intently focused on keeping patients safe and free from harm. “At one point or another, we are all patients, and patient safety awareness is integral to the HCA commitment to care and improvement of human life. Inside every HCA doorway, people are working to ensure that our systems approach to safety is performing optimally. In fact,… Read more.

Faces of HCA: Dr. Kenneth Sands

Meet our new chief epidemiologist and chief patient safety officer, Dr. Kenneth E. F. Sands. The Boston, Mass., native, who moved to Nashville weeks ago, will lead our enterprise-wide initiatives, including health services research, infection prevention, patient safety, and provide leadership for HCA’s Patient Safety Organization. He comes to us with a distinguished record in patient safety and infection prevention, which has led to numerous publications. Here, we learn a little more about Dr. Sands’ career journey, the advice he’d give to his 23-year-old self and what excites him most about joining HCA. Name:  Kenneth Sands Job title: Chief Epidemiologist… Read more.

HCA Expert Provides Vital Direction for Future of Healthcare

With less than two months until the United States selects its new President, HCA’s chief medical officer Dr. Jonathan Perlin and other healthcare leaders are already working to help prepare the next administration as it faces unprecedented opportunities to shape the healthcare industry. The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) commissioned expert papers on 19 priority areas for U.S. health policy. These papers were discussed during the Vital Directions Symposium in Washington, D.C., on September 26 and are now published on NAM’s website. Dr. Perlin, one of the nation’s most recognized experts in electronic medical records and interoperability, was the lead… Read more.

What pregnant women should know about CMV

We’ve all heard of the Zika virus: the mosquito-borne illness that has dominated the headlines in recent months. Pregnant women and hopeful mothers-to-be have been educated on the potentially dangerous effects a Zika infection can have on their unborn babies’ health, specifically microcephaly, a condition that causes unusually small heads and brains, and other brain-related birth defects. Americans are becoming more informed – and with good reason – Zika is a growing public health threat. But today I want to talk about another virus affecting pregnant women in the United States. It hasn’t garnered national attention like Zika but ~40,000… Read more.

HCA Chief Medical Officer Discusses National Playbook for Antibiotic Stewardship

HCA made leading national efforts to improve antibiotic stewardship, an important component of our quality and patient safety efforts several years ago. I was privileged to represent our organization, hospitals and healthcare providers at The White House Forum on Antibiotic Stewardship last year. And now Dr. Ed Septimus, medical director of infection prevention and epidemiology at HCA, co-authored the newly-released “Antibiotic Stewardship in Acute Care: A Practical Playbook,” in cooperation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Quality Forum (NQF). The Playbook began as a national call to action to address the antibiotic crisis. The… Read more.

HCA Prepares for Zika Virus

As one of the leading providers of healthcare services in the United States, HCA is actively preparing its hospitals for the spread of the Zika virus to the mainland United States. Drawing on the available materials from the CDC, as well as maternal fetal medicine and infectious disease experts throughout the organization, HCA has disseminated to its hospitals general educational materials about the Zika virus and updated guidelines regarding testing and clinical management for pregnant and symptomatic patients who have traveled to areas with known Zika outbreaks. Travel history and symptoms continue to be emphasized in the triage and assessment of all patients presenting at HCA-affiliated emergency rooms and outpatient healthcare settings. In… Read more.

National Pharmacist Day: How Pharmacists Help Keep Patients Safe

Every year, millions of doses of medications are dispensed across America. Pharmacists play a crucial role in ensuring patients receive appropriate, safe and effective medication therapy. On this National Pharmacist Day, here’s a behind the scenes look at how HCA pharmacists help patients and their families understand why, how and when to take medications. Pharmacists work with patients, families, doctors and nurses for patient safety. In hospitals, medications not needed urgently are reviewed by a pharmacist to make sure there are no drug-allergy interactions, drug-drug interactions, drug-disease state interactions or drug-food interactions. The pharmacist also will verify medications are suitable… Read more.

HCA Chief Medical Officer Discusses the Rise of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

Antibiotics are the most commonly prescribed drugs in America.  It has been estimated that at least half of all antibiotic prescriptions are unnecessary.  The misuse and overuse of antibiotics have caused bacteria to adapt, antibiotics to become less effective; and strains of bacteria now resist treatment with antibiotics – resulting in “superbugs.” HCA has partnered with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Foundation to promote good stewardship of antibiotics and to help prevent infections.  For more information and to find out what you can do, view the video below. You may also visit Forbes.com to learn more.  

Predicting Sepsis Earlier is Saving Lives

As one of the nation’s leading providers of health and care, HCA is committed to increasing public awareness of sepsis and, as a learning health system, and finding new ways to predict sepsis earlier and save lives. Sepsis—which can occur in the community at large and in hospitals— is more deadly than prostate cancer, breast cancer and AIDS, combined, with approximately 1.5 million cases annually. It’s the number one cause of non-cardiac deaths in intensive care units, and the eleventh leading cause of death overall, with more than 258,00 fatalities in the United States each year. At HCA, we are… Read more.

A Conversation at INFORMS: Big Data, Big Questions, Quicker Solutions

Data – it’s a by-product of the care we are privileged to provide.  “Big data” can help us improve the quality of care, reduce costs for millions, and ultimately, save lives. As healthcare professionals, we depend on and benefit from patient care data in order to inform and improve future treatment. At HCA, we are fortunate to have access to data across 168 hospitals and 20 million patient encounters a year.

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