A resource in the response to the Zika virus

You’ve likely seen the news reports about the mosquito-borne Zika virus the last few weeks, following the virus as it made its first appearance in the U.S. and eventually in Washington State, coming stateside after being contracted abroad. As of Feb. 1, the World Health Organization declared Zika a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, this week health officials confirmed a second case of Zika in Spokane County. The virus can be transmitted sexually from men and through blood transfusions.... Read More >>

Opiate use rising among expectant mothers in Washington State

The Office of Financial Management (OFM) recently released a brief examining maternal and newborn inpatient rates in which drugs or alcohol were a factor. Between 1990 and 2014, the rate of maternal hospital stays that included a diagnosis of substance abuse increased threefold, and the rate of newborn hospital stays that stemmed from maternal substance abuse increased fourfold, according to the report. Most of this increase is due to increased opiate use.... Read More >>

CDC issues health advisory for the flu

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued an official health advisory Feb. 1 due to reports of severe cases of influenza. WSHA members have reported surges in patients testing positively for influenza, and staff at some hospitals have begun wearing masks to prevent the spread of the illness.... Read More >>

Improvements to Breastfeeding Hospital recognition program

The Department of Health (DOH) recently updated the Breastfeeding Friendly Washington Hospitals program to reflect feedback received from Washington State hospitals. Supporting breastfeeding is an important part of ensuring newborns get a great start to a healthy life.... Read More >>

New York Times: The Fix

Last week, WSHA’s leader on patient safety, Carol Wagner, was interviewed by Daniel Bornstein for his column “The Fix.” He is doing a two-week look at the work that is being done to reduce preventable harm in hospitals — specifically, the work that is being done under Partnership for Patients.... Read More >>

Save the date for WSHA’s CEO and Trustee Patient Safety Summit

Save the date for WSHA’s 2016 CEO and Trustee Patient Safety Summit May 16 or 17. In a world of health care reform, providing high-value health care is critical. Learn how your board can lead your organization in advancing quality and safety. Summit attendees will take home practical tools to help their board function more effectively and meet the challenging demands of the health care environment.... Read More >>

Apple Health covering prenatal vitamins

Washington Apple Health (Medicaid) is now covering both over-the-counter and prescription prenatal vitamins for all women who are pregnant or may become pregnant, including retroactive coverage through Oct. 1, 2015. Prenatal vitamins are covered in order to provide a daily vitamin supplement containing 0.4 to 0.8 milligrams of folic acid.... Read More >>

Transparency and action

On Tuesday Dec. 9, the Washington Health Alliance, in partnership with Healthier Washington, released its 2015 Community Checkup Report, “Measuring Health Care in Washington State.” This is a broad and fascinating look at health care in Washington State. The report introduces metrics on the state’s newly adopted common measure set for health care quality and cost. ... Read More >>

Patient safety efforts have saved 87,000 lives from 2010-2014

Patient safety measures that reward hospitals for reducing preventable infections, pressure ulcers and adverse drug events have led to a 17 percent decline in patient harm in the last four years, according to a new study from the Department of Health and Human Services. This means 87,000 fewer patients died in hospitals and nearly $20 billion in health care costs have been saved, nationally.... Read More >>

Sign up to try workplace violence prevention program

Safety & Health Assessment & Research for Prevention (SHARP) is offering an opportunity to a select group of hospitals to implement a workplace violence prevention program and evaluate its effectiveness. The cost of reacting after a serious incident has occurred is 100 times more costly than taking preventive actions.... Read More >>

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