May 10, 2013 A company that got its start assessing the risks of ocean-going vessels now checks U.S. hospitals for quality. Known as DNV, the firm is bringing competition to an area of health care that obsesses insiders yet is little known by patients.
April 26, 2013 OPBHow hard can it be to measure the health of a population? Oregon is finding out it's difficult to decide even what to track. But the state received almost $2 billion in federal funds to improve the health of its residents and to cut costs. The state faces substantial fines if it can't prove it has done the job.
December 5, 2012 The traditions of medical education die hard. Many doctors in training still work extreme hours, despite rules that limit the lengths of shifts for medical residents. One residency director calls for doctors educated under the old system to stop bashing the younger generation for being soft.
November 20, 2012 More than 40 percent of surgical complications occur after patients are at home. The solution for the problem isn't keeping patients in the hospital longer, researchers say. Better instructions to patients and improved monitoring could help.
October 29, 2012 Are you prepared for some unorthodox audio from an ink-stained wretch still working on the transition to online journalism from print? If so, click through to listen to Shots, the podcast. This episode covers multivitamins and cancer, health report cards and how Americans feel about retail health clinics.
October 3, 2012 KHNJust before new penalties kicked in for hospitals that readmit too many Medicare patients, the government discovered that the data it used to were out of date. The changes from the error are tiny, amounting on average to a fraction of a percent for most of the affected hospitals.
September 7, 2012 Nearly a third of spending on health care in the U.S. is wasted. There's lots of inefficiency, excess overhead and some outright fraud, too. But the biggest slice of the waste pie is unnecessary care.
May 10, 2012 KHNThe government has identified hundreds of hospitals where Medicare patients are incurring especially high or low bills. Hospitals around McAllen, it turns out, aren't as terrible as they were made out to be, according to Medicare's calculations of how much it spent for the average patient from three days before admission to a month after discharge.
January 31, 2012 Hospitals see a huge drop in drug mistakes when doctors use a computer to write prescriptions, instead of pen and paper. Software can correct miscalculations, warn of allergic reactions and eliminate doctors' notoriously poor handwriting. But few hospitals have adopted the technology so far.