AMA Wire

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Hospital Practice News

Alarm fatigue a major safety issue in hospital setting

The Joint Commission has sounded the alarm about medical devices equipped with alarm systems. The group says strategically revising a hospital's approach to managing such devices can save lives.

"The number of alarm signals per patient per day can reach several hundred depending on the unit within the hospital, translating to thousands of alarm signals on every unit and tens of thousands of alarm signals throughout the hospital every day," The Joint Commission reported in an April 8 Sentinel Event Alert.

But upwards of 85 percent of alarms do not require clinical intervention, which can lead to important signals going unheeded. More than 560 alarm-related deaths occurred over a recent four-year period, according to a U.S. Food and Drug Administration database.

The alert recommends possible strategies for improving safety around alarm-equipped devices.

"Alarm fatigue and management of alarms are important safety issues that we must confront," The Joint Commission Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Ana McKee, MD, said in a news release. "The recommendations in this Alert offer hospitals a framework on which to assess their individual circumstances and develop a systematic, coordinated approach to alarms. By making alarm safety a priority, lives can be saved."

NAMSS introduces new credentialing tool

The National Association Medical Staff Services (NAMSS) has created a secure online database of medical practitioners' affiliation histories.

Intended to aid medical services professionals in the credentialing process, the database will include practitioners' affiliations with hospitals, surgery centers, health plans, group medical practices and other entities over the course of their careers.

Learn more about the database in an NAMSS article.

Register today for 2013 AMA-OMSS annual meeting

Registration now is open for the 2013 AMA Organized Medical Staff Section (OMSS) annual meeting, which will be held June 13-15 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.

Visit the meeting Web page for details about the event, including hotel information, a draft agenda and information about educational programs that will be offered.

Next AMA-OMSS quarterly conference call May 7

Register today for the next quarterly conference call of the AMA Organized Medical Staff Section (OMSS), which will take place at 7 p.m. Central time May 7.

An agenda for the call will be available later this month.

New model agreement helps with service line contracts

With service line agreements becoming both more popular and more complex, the AMA offers a new resource to assist physicians and their legal counsel in navigating and negotiating these contracts.

AMA members may view the interactive Co-Management Service Line Agreement for free. If you're not an AMA member, join today.

View new education program webcasts on leadership

Learn about physician leadership, ethical leadership and newly integrated medical practices by viewing new webcasts from the AMA Organized Medical Staff Section. These webcasts have been approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Titles include:

  • "Physician leadership during challenging times"
  • "Leadership and the AMA Code of Medical Ethics"
  • "Lessons learned from newly integrated medical practices: Two case studies"

AMA members can view these webcasts for free; nonmembers can watch them for $30 per credit hour. If you're not an AMA member, join today.

Model conflict management process now available

Joint Commission accreditation standards require the development of a conflict management process to settle disputes between the organized medical staff and the hospital governing body. With that, the AMA offers a model conflict management process that provides guidance for the development of such a process, as well as a process for resolving disputes between the medical executive committee and other members of the medical staff.

Use model code of conduct in medical staff bylaws

The AMA has revised its model code of conduct to reflect recent changes to standards issued by the Joint Commission. This model code of conduct, developed for insertion in medical staff bylaws, aims to assist medical staffs with implementation of a code of conduct in accordance with AMA policy and consistent with the Joint Commission Leadership Standard.

Employed physicians: Look to the AMA for advice

AMA member physicians in contractual relationships with hospitals, health systems and other similar entities can receive personal assistance from the AMA. While the AMA cannot provide legal opinions or representation, it is dedicated to answering questions and providing advice on such topics as contracting, credentialing, peer review, due process and medical staff governance.

AMA members may take advantage of this valuable resource in either of two ways:

  • Complete a brief online form, and an AMA expert on physician-hospital/health system relations will contact you to discuss your questions or concerns.
  • Contact AMA Member Relations via email or at (800) 262-3211 to arrange a time to discuss your questions or concerns with an AMA expert on physician-hospital/health system relations.

This offer is a benefit of AMA membership. If you're not a member, join today.