U.S. must rethink ways to prevent Ebola outbreak, CDC director says | Antibiotic stewardship programs reduce children's hospital stays, readmission rates | Research shows increased rates of nursing home infections
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October 14, 2014
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U.S. must rethink ways to prevent Ebola outbreak, CDC director says
U.S. hospitals should become more knowledgeable about diagnosing and preventing Ebola infection, CDC Director Thomas Frieden said Monday. Following the death of Thomas Eric Duncan from Ebola, 26-year-old Dallas nurse Nina Pham tested positive for the disease, becoming the first known Ebola transmission in the U.S. "We have to rethink the way we address Ebola infection control because even a single infection is unacceptable," Frieden said. Modern Healthcare (subscription required) (10/13), The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (10/13)
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Antibiotic stewardship programs reduce children's hospital stays, readmission rates
Adherence to stricter antibiotic use protocols was associated with shorter hospital stays and fewer readmissions among pediatric patients without complex chronic conditions, according to a study presented at the IDWeek conference. "What we found was that kids were being taken off unnecessary antibiotics sooner and in a safe manner," lead author Dr. Jason Newland said. HealthDay News (10/9)
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Research shows increased rates of nursing home infections
Nursing home infection rates are increasing and better hygiene is needed, according to researchers from the Columbia University School of Nursing, who are to present the study at the infectious disease conference IDWeek 2014. The most common infections were urinary tract infections and pneumonia, but there was a 48% increase in viral hepatitis over five years and an 18% increase in bacterial infections resistant to multiple medications. HealthDay News (10/8)
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InfoBrief: What's in a Mobility Strategy? Answers revealed.
The rise in mobile device usage in hospitals means faster communications, but it also raises questions about information access and security. Spok's InfoBrief provides a snapshot of the mobility strategies trend, with results from our June 2014 survey of more than 600 healthcare organizations. Learn more.
Practice & Hospital Management
Ala. finds it difficult to recruit new physicians
Rural Alabama communities find it difficult to attract new physicians and University of Alabama rural medicine professor John Wheat said it has led to "probably the worst shortage we've ever had." The problem is partly caused by changing reimbursements and a more complex medical field, but culture shock among urban physicians also is a factor. The Anniston Star (Ala.) (10/14)
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Secure messaging can be successful in Defense Department PCMH model
A review of the Defense Department's Military Health System found quality and safety were similar to the private health care system, and highlighted secure messaging as an important tool, specifically in supporting the military's patient-centered medical home model. Regina Julian, chief of PCMH primary care for the Defense Health Agency, said survey data showed 97% of beneficiaries who used secured messaging were happy with it and 86% said it enabled them to avoid having to make an appointment or go to an urgent care center. Stars and Stripes (10/9)
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E-Health Watch
ONC reports HIT adoption progress to Congress
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT has submitted a progress report on its health IT-related efforts to Congress which says that 92% of qualified hospitals and critical-access hospitals and 75% of eligible professionals were given incentives under the EHR Incentive Programs as of June. The agency also reported that over 60% of hospitals and 14% of doctors have exchanged patient information with outside providers electronically. The report highlighted obstacles to HIT use, including limited HIE use among providers who are not qualified to join the EHR meaningful use initiatives. Health Data Management (10/10)
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Spotlight on Innovation
Medical device coating resists blood clots and bacterial growth
Harvard University researchers have developed a coating for medical devices that blocks the formation of blood clots and biofilms on 20 tested materials. Implants with the tethered-liquid perfluorocarbon coating were tested in pig blood vessels without heparin, according to the study in the journal Nature Biotechnology. MedicalDaily.com (10/12)
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Costs & Reimbursement
Many Pioneer ACOs achieved savings in 2nd year, CMS says
The Pioneer accountable care program was designed to allow ACOs to migrate to other models, says CMS chief medical officer Dr. Patrick Conway, and 13 of the 32 organizations that joined the program in 2012 have done so. The 23 ACOs that participated in both 2012 and 2013 saved $128 million in 2012 and $90 million in 2013, according to CMS data. Ob.Gyn. News online (10/11), California Healthline (10/9)
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CMS: Medicare plans limit Rx drug coverage, reject medical claims
Medicare health plans have been repeatedly cited for serious shortcomings, including restrictions on prescription drug coverage and denials of medical claims, CMS officials said in a report released before Medicare's annual open enrollment period, which runs from Wednesday through Dec. 7. "Violations resulted in enrollees experiencing delays or denials in receiving prescription drugs," CMS oversight and enforcement official Gerard J. Mulcahy said. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (10/12)
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The free soul is rare, but you know it when you see it -- basically because you feel good, very good, when you are near or with them."
-- Charles Bukowski,
German-born American writer
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This news roundup is provided as a timely update to ACC members and partners interested in quality health care topics in the news media. Links to articles are provided for the convenience of the health care professionals who may find them of use in discussions with patients or colleagues. Opinions expressed in ACC Quality First SmartBrief are those of the identified authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of the American College of Cardiology. On occasion, media articles may include or imply incorrect information about the ACC and its policies, positions, or relationships. For clarification on ACC positions and policies, we refer you to http://www.CardioSource.org.
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