Medical Staff Pulse Newsletter

Dabigatran (Pradaxa) safety update

Pharmacy Focus

A safety update, reversal guidelines and a fact sheet regarding the anticoagulant dabigatran (Pradaxa®) were released recently.

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Meetings and events

Grand rounds

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Upcoming CME conferences

Click below to view a complete list of all scheduled Continuing Medical Education conferences.

CME Newsletter - February 2012 (PDF)

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Won any awards or had an article accepted for publication? Share your news about professional achievements and other items of interest.

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A novel way to curb readmissions: taking healthcare home

A novel experiment by a Cedars-Sinai healthcare team to reduce hospital readmissions has produced promising results - decreasing by half the percentage of patients who return to the medical center within 30 days of discharge.

Doctors, nurses, social workers and home health leaders closely coordinated follow-up care for 59 patients who were discharged last November under a plan designed by a new Readmissions Home Health Team.

Prior to discharge, nurses from the private agency Accredited Home Health met with patients and their families to plan a schedule of home visits and to answer questions about subsequent care.

Team members say that step alone helped solve a major problem: patients' frequent reluctance to open their front doors to unfamiliar caregivers.

Nurses visited most of the patients at home within 48 hours of discharge; they also made "tuck in" phone calls or visits on Fridays, and checked on patients during the weekends.

During the first two weeks of the experiment, more than half of the patients received seven or more visits or phone calls.

The stepped-up attention produced a dramatic result: Just 6.8 percent of the 59 patients were readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of being discharged, compared to a 14 percent readmission rate the previous year.

The experiment was led by Bruce Samuels, MD, a staff cardiologist with the Division of Cardiology, and Sharon Mass, PhD, director of case management. Team leaders said their strategy represents a significant step forward in ongoing efforts to address one of healthcare's biggest challenges: Keeping patients from returning unnecessarily to the hospital.

With the initial results in hand, the team is planning to expand its outreach this month to patients served by three other home health agencies. The results of those efforts will be reported in April.