Weekly News Scan: Study of Medicare Patients and Opioid Overdose, Health Systems Move to Connect Workplace and Patient Safety, Value of Empathy and Compassion of Clinicians

This week in the news, we highlight articles on opioid overdose deaths with Medicare disability patients, connecting workforce and patient safety, and why and how providers can learn empathy and compassion.

We hope you enjoy!

Study: Among Individuals Who Qualify for Medicare Due to Disability, Opioid Overdose Deaths Nearly 5 Times Higher Than Total US Rate, PT in Motion, December 6, 2019:

Patients qualifying for Medicare disability have the highest rates of opioid use compared with older Medicare beneficiaries and commercial insurance beneficiaries, according to recent research. Learn about the specific findings and how they can be used to help develop specific, data-driven interventions to address the opioid problem.

Health Systems Must Tackle Workplace, Patient Safety in Tandem, IHI Says, Fierce Health, December 10, 2019:

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) is developing a national patient safety plan to encourage better coordination of safety efforts. In the organization’s view, too many systems separate workforce safety and patient safety. IHI believes it is vital that these two are connected. Read this article to learn why these should be connected and about the plan in development to target healthcare leaders and policymakers.

How Can Clinicians Teach, Learn Provider Empathy, Compassion?, Patient Engagement HIT, December 10, 2019:

Did you know that empathy and compassion are leading factors patients consider when evaluating their doctors? According to research, 85 percent of patients value compassion in healthcare when ranking doctors. Just as many value quality care and provider expertise. Both of these elements outweigh provider cost. Providers who deliver compassionate, patient-centered care have better relationships with their patients, better adherence to treatments, and better outcomes. However, teaching empathy and compassion can be a challenge. According to this article, it is possible if you ground training in feedback. Read this article to learn strategies, tips and tools for building more meaningful and empathetic relationships with patients.

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