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There is a tremendous gap between known best practice and the ability to actually deliver that care to patients. In fact, for every dollar that Congress has allocated to develop breakthrough science and treatments, it allocated one penny to ensure that Americans actually receive those treatments safely and consistently. The inability to reliably deliver evidence-based treatments results in patients suffering preventable morbidity and mortality, while the costs associated with their care increases.
At Johns Hopkins, leadership provides internal resources, such as those available through the Center for Innovation, that help caregivers to deliver evidence-based care more reliably. For example, the Center’s staff helps units to adopt such tools as checklists, which summarize best practices, to prevent hospital-acquired infections and complications. Leaders also must be willing to invest wisely in information technology that can help them to follow the recommended treatments for patients. At Hopkins Hospital, for example, order sets for deep vein thrombosis prophylaxis have been built into our computerized provider-order entry system, so that prescribers can easily find the recommended treatments for their particular patients.