When the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a request for public comments for an updated National Action Plan to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections: Roadmap to Elimination, it brought with it some happy news. Healthcare-associated infections (HAI) in the United States are down.

It’s 10:00 a.m. on a weekday morning in the obstetrics department of your hospital, and there are 20 discharges that need to be completed. Some patients are awaiting discharge orders, others are waiting for baby photos or birth certificates, and some are waiting for their loved ones to give them a ride home.

Authors Jamie and Maren Showkeir talk about changing healthcare’s culture— one conversation at a time. Healthcare is rooted in a noble purpose: healing the sick, promoting healthy lifestyles, and relieving human suffering. Even so, it operates in an increasingly difficult and demanding marketplace and must deal with the same organizing, managing, and structuring issues as any other business. 

Already picked the low-hanging fruit in your supply chain? Our experts tell you how to shake the tree. By now, most hospitals have already taken a first pass at cutting supply costs—joining group purchasing organizations, forming value assessment teams, and standardizing commodities. But there is still work to be done, say supply chain experts. 

In April, the world was enthralled by news of influenza H1N1, the new “swine flu” strain that quickly spread through Mexico and the world. With this latest threat of a pandemic, hospital leaders no doubt asked the question that has haunted them since September 11, 2001: are we prepared?

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