the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), health and medicine homework help

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In 2008, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) stopped reimbursing providers for expenses associated with specific avoidable medical events, also known as “Never Events.” Private insurers have also adopted this reimbursement philosophy. The term Never Events refers to serious, preventable medical errors that should NEVER happen including: unintended retention of a foreign object in a patient after surgery or other procedure; patient death or serious injury associated with a medication error; surgery or other invasive procedure performed on the wrong body part or on the wrong patient; patient or staff death or serious injury associated with a burn incurred during the course of patient-care delivery during hospitalization; catheter-associated urinary tract infection; vascular catheter-associated infection; and certain surgical-site infections. Research has documented that nearly 10% of all deaths occurring in the United States are directly related to medical error. The purpose is to improve quality and reduce healthcare costs by forcing hospitals to increase accountability by improving practices through education, technology, and changes to policies and procedures. Hospitals will incur additional costs secondary to Never Events, which may financially drain the overall operating budget and resources to maintain quality patient care. From 2004 to 2015, The Joint Commission reported that 71 percent of Never Events were fatal.

Hospitals have implemented many safety protocols and procedures to prevent medical errors. One of the most simple but important tools to prevent a Never Event is to properly identify patients by placing identification bands upon admission that include barcodes, for medication management; photos, which assist in making sure the correct band is affixed to the correct patient; color-coded alerts for allergies and risk of falling. Another tool that hospitals have implemented is use of “smart technology” Alaris infusion pumps to ensure safe administration of intravenous infusions and medications with use of built in safety guardrails. Another safety measure is the “Time Out” protocol where a checklist is completed as the final step before the start of the procedure where the patient, the procedure and side/site are verified by the medical staff.