Habitual Excellence — 67: Denise Cardo, MD of the CDC Talks About Aiming for Perfect Healthcare With Zero Harm

Episode page: https://valuecapturellc.com/he67

Welcome to Episode #67 of Habitual Excellence, presented by Value Capture.

Joining us today as our guest is Denise Cardo, MD.

Dr. Denise Cardo is the director of the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion (DHQP), National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Dr. Cardo joined CDC in 1993 as a medical epidemiologist in the Hospital Infections Program (later named as Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion). After holding several leadership positions in DHQP, she was selected as division director in 2003.

Her interests include patient safety, occupational health, prevention of healthcare-associated infections, and antimicrobial resistance.

She’s recently the co-author of a NEJM Perspectives piece:

Health Care Safety during the Pandemic and Beyond — Building a System That Ensures Resilience

In today’s episode, Dr. Cardo talks with host Mark Graban, about topics and questions including:

  • Why should we aim beyond merely “getting better” and why should we be aiming for Zero Harm?
  • Aim for “perfect healthcare with no harm?
  • What are some practices that are not evenly distributed across the US?
  • Working previously with PRHIKen Segel and Paul O’Neill?
  • 70% decrease in harm showed what’s possible
  • Preventing preventable infections or ALL infections??
  • What is the role of CDC in promoting and partnering with healthcare organizations on patient safety? How has that evolved?
  • Policies to incentivize – transparency and accountability
  • Aligning payment to results… most countries aren’t there yet
  • Please tell us how the CDC partners with CMS, AHRQ, and other federal agencies? With private advocacy groups?
  • Focusing on Americans, CDC is a global leader — Collaboration or learning from similar organizations in other countries that are focused on patient safety?
  • Lessons from the Covid pandemic? As you wrote about in the NEJM, why have we seen more patient safety problems recently, including more falls, more infections, more pressure ulcers in hospitals and SNFs?
  • You and your co-authors wrote the recent trends “severely suggests that our health care system lacks a sufficiently resilient safety culture and infrastructure.”
  • Disparities and equity – not just access to care, but “quality care”
  • Moving forward, what evidence would you expect to see if we DID have a “sufficiently resilient safety culture and infrastructure”?

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