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Lung cancer patients are the centerpiece for Northwestern medicine quality of care study
Date:11/18/2010

CHICAGO Northwestern Memorial Hospital is one of six national participants in a pilot study that will test whether operable lung cancer patients and their families have a smoother care experience and better outcomes by hardwiring data systems to reduce medical error and to reliably adhere to best practice standards. The 18-month trial co-sponsored by the Commission on Cancer and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) will study clinician consistency in delivering 38 evidence-based best practice elements of care from the time of referral through their surgical admission and concluding with a plan for follow-up and continued cancer surveillance. Monitored care elements include appropriate pre-surgical imaging, medication choice, dose and timing, patient counseling regarding smoking cessation and defining expectations of a patient's involvement in their own care. Malcolm DeCamp, MD, Northwestern's chief of the division of thoracic surgery, says the study's novelty centers on assessing whether better outcomes and fewer complications can be achieved by applying systems engineering principles to our plan of care and then leveraging our electronic health record to provide rapid feedback regarding how well we did.

"Errors in healthcare are more common than errors in many industries such as manufacturing or commercial air travel," said DeCamp, who is also a professor of surgery at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. "With shift changes, holidays and overwhelmed staff, a medication dosage might not be given at the correct time one day, or a critical respiratory treatment may be omitted by a cross-covering therapist."

ProvenCare calls attention to such possible errors by tracking the documentation already performed by medical staff in the electronic health record. For example post-operative pain is assessed on a 0 to 10 scale by the nursing staff at least every 4 hours. These pain scores are recorded in the vital signs area of th
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Contact: Kris Lathan
klathan@nmh.org
312-926-2963
Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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