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  • APTA 'Joins Forces' to Support Service Members and Families

    Today, APTA attended the launch of a new Joining Forces initiative aimed at increasing the involvement of health care associations and the providers they represent in the identification of traumatic brain injury, posttraumatic stress disorder, and post-combat depression in military members. The initiative partners the health care community with federal agencies to develop resources and educational materials to fully engage providers in meeting the needs of the nation's service members with these conditions, and their families. APTA is 1 of only 2 therapy associations invited to participate in the initiative.

    At the launch, attendees heard briefs at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence from several directorates of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, a presentation on the journey of a wounded warrior from the battlefield to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, and took a tour of the National Intrepid Center of Excellence. A session held at the White House continued with briefs from the Veterans Administration and a strategy session to forge a plan for the way ahead.  

    APTA also attended a preconference strategy session last night at the residence of the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral James Winnefeld.

    Hospitals Underreport Patient Harm Events, Says OIG

    Hospital incident reporting systems only capture about 14% of patient harm events experienced by Medicare beneficiaries, says a new report by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Health and Human Services. Events are underreported in part, says OIG, because of staff misperceptions about what constitutes patient harm. In the absence of clear event reporting requirements, administrators classified 86% of unreported events as either events that staff did not perceive as reportable (62% of all events) or that staff commonly reported but did not report in this case (25%). 

    In OIG's investigation of 189 hospitals, all hospitals reported using incident reporting systems designed to capture instances of patient harm, although administrators acknowledged that information about how often events occur is incomplete. The investigation also revealed that nurses most often reported events, typically identified through the regular course of care.  

    To help educate hospital staff about the full range of patient harm that occurs in hospitals and assist hospital administrators in assessing incident reporting systems, OIG recommends that the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) collaborate to create a list of potentially reportable events and provide technical assistance to hospitals in using the list. The agencies could promote the list through guidance and training documents aimed at hospitals, other health care settings, clinical education settings, and guidance documents for state and accrediting surveyors.

    Because hospital accreditors tend to focus on how event information is used rather than how it is collected, OIG also recommends that CMS provide guidance to accreditors regarding surveyor assessment of hospital efforts to track and analyze events and scrutinize survey processes when approving accreditation programs.