New studies and commentary directed toward improving the quality of health care and ensuring patient safety are assembled in the special June issue of the Southern Medical Journal, official journal of the Southern Medical Association. The journal is published for the society by Wolters Kluwer.
The special issue assembles 13 new research studies and commentaries relevant to the intertwined goals of healthcare quality and patient safety. “The diverse topics in this special issue provide a glimpse into the many different ways healthcare professionals are thinking about—and working to improve—the quality and safety of the healthcare system,” comments Dr. G. Richard Holt, Editor-in-Chief of the Southern Medical Journal.
Original research and perspectives on care quality and patient safety
Presented by experts in their respective fields from medical centers in the Southern states and elsewhere, the articles illustrate the complex but essential work needed to improve the quality of healthcare while preserving patient safety.
Original research topics include:
- How back pain in children affects patient satisfaction scores for healthcare visits—the impact is similar to that of conditions such as scoliosis and clubfoot.
- An educational approach to improve internists’ knowledge of important anatomic landmarks followed in performing common medical procedures.
- A program to teach critical communication skills to internal medicine residents in training.
- How different coping styles affect quality of life for patients with inflammatory bowel disease.
- A program to see if proving doctors with “real-time feedback” can help in addressing the costly problem of repeat hospital admissions.
- Key factors affecting quality of life in patients receiving treatment for advanced head and neck cancer.
- The impact of insurance status on hospitalization costs—showing that hospital costs are highest for patients on Medicaid.
- A study showing good patient satisfaction scores as part of evaluation of the quality of care provided at a multidisciplinary breast cancer program.
Other articles provide perspectives and opinion on key issues involved in providing safe, high-quality patient care, including:
- A proposed new approach to improving quality of care, highlighting the importance of engaging patients—not just providers and insurers—in pursuing high-value health care.
- A look at key factors involved in achieving clinical excellence in the care of patients with HIV disease.
- A discussion of practical strategies to help increase patients’ level of adherence to recommended treatments.
- Issues involved in common but often complex process of seeking “inpatient consultation"—when residents seek advice on patient care from specialists and other experts within the hospital.