Reviewing the list of the past week's headlines featured in our Real Time Updates, there seems to me a theme: the value of knowing the right thing to do. This is true in the story about the role of environmental services in delivering quality outcomes; the 77% increase in hospitals achieving Joint Commission's Top Performer category for improving in accountability measures; the hospital safety report card in New Jersey resulting in demonstrable improvements in this safety scorecard; the reported decline in MRSA at VA Hospitals after a 5 year program to reduce the factors that often lead to the spread of MRSA. There are two stories that also suggest that knowing the "right thing to do" is not always the most obvious or determined by "what we have always done." One story reports the results of a clinical study that suggests there is no improvement in outcomes if one washes ones' hands prior to donning gloves or not. This is one study, but it certainly does call into a question an often recommended practice. As a frequent flyer, the other story is my favorite of the week: the FAA has determined that there is no safety reason to force passengers to turn off their smartphone and other electronic devices during takeoff and landing. Just to be clear, you have to turn off the cell phone radio, but you no longer need to turn off the device. So what was an accepted practice for years is no more. I am happy about that one!


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