The cancer community has long recognized the critical role played by cancer patients' family members and caregivers, yet it has been a struggle to find the resources to support this group. Since her husband's death from pancreatic cancer, Jai Pausch, the widow of late Carnegie Mellon professor and author Randy Pausch, has become an advocate for cancer patients and families and has sought to ensure that they have the information and support they need. She was recently tapped by the NCCN to write a monthly column for the caregivers of cancer patients. Caregivers and family members are encouraged to submit questions to Ms. Pausch, and each month she will select one to respond to. The first column, which was published this month on NCCN.com, is accessible here. It provides practical advice on how to manage difficult emotions following the news of a cancer diagnosis.
Over the past few years, numerous members have reached out to us with questions about the "turf" battle over breast biopsies and now the NY Times
has picked up the story
, highlighting a study that indicates 30% of biopsies in Florida are surgical, while just 10% should be - the remaining should be needle biopsies. One of the key drivers here is the fact that many surgeons do not perform needle biopsies, and if imaging is required it has to be performed by a radiologist. Thus, the surgeon must refer the patient, losing control as well as access to the fee for the procedure. The article provides excellent detail around the financial incentives driving overutilization and provides some nice anecdotes about how hospital's are responding, such as one hospital that has banned the use of open biopsies unless absolutely necessary.
This article was featured in a past issue of the Horizon Scan and since we get a lot of questions on adoption of smart pump technology, I thought I'd share it.
With patient safety a perpetual clinical goal--and increasingly highlighted by the mainstream media--smart pumps' demonstrated success in reducing hospitals' adverse drug event (ADE) rates renders the technology the future of infusion medication delivery. ADEs represent the leading cause of preventable medical errors, resulting in up to $3.5B in additional annual hospital costs nationwide. Furthermore, recent studies indicate that greater than two-thirds of all infusion medication deliveries experience at least one error. With infusion medication delivery constituting a significant component of inpatient care, associated errors represent a major source of preventable downstream costs; smart pump adoption could benefit the hospital's fiscal bottom line while meeting the larger goal of increasing the quality of patient care. Smart pumps' short ramp-up time compared to other patient safety technologies, including pharmacy robots, Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) systems, drug cabinets, pharmacy information systems, and barcode medication administration systems (BCMAS), lends further credibility to the technology's appeal for clinicians, administrators, and patients.
Significant reduction in adverse drug events trumps cost, labor of smart pump adoption