Potential advantages of health system consolidation and integration | Tai Chi practice improves hypertension risk factors | Emergency preparedness for dialysis care
October 1, 2015
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Top News
Potential advantages of health system consolidation and integration
The authors contend that, if executed well, integration of care (not simply consolidation) can have positive quality and cost effects and can contribute to achieving the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's Triple Aim of better care, better heath and lower costs. The American Journal of Medicine (10/2015) Share: Email
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Clinical Updates
Tai Chi practice improves hypertension risk factors
The study concluded that Tai Chi is effective in managing a number of risk factors associated with hypertension in Chinese older adults. The American Journal of Cardiology (10/1/2015) Share: Email
Emergency preparedness for dialysis care
Ensuring that hemodialysis patients can maintain access to appropriate renal care through the duration of an emergency is important for both individual and community resilience. Comparing treatment patterns in the run-up to Hurricane Sandy, Lurie et al. found that patients whose dialysis sessions were rescheduled to beat the arrival of the storm had lower odds of hospitalization and death. This study provides additional evidence that the routine provision of early dialysis in advance of major storms or other emergencies is likely to prevent bad outcomes and save lives. American Journal of Kidney Diseases (10/2015) Share: Email
Increase in overdoses and ED visits related to opioid analgesic and benzodiazepine abuse
Opioid analgesics and benzodiazepines are the prescription drugs most commonly associated with drug overdose deaths. This study analyzed U.S. national data from 2004 to 2011, revealing that the rate of emergency department visits related to nonmedical use of both drugs increased from 11.0 to 34.2 per 100,000 population, and overdose deaths of both drugs increased from 0.6 to 1.7 per 100,000. Statistically significant increases were seen in males and females, all race/ethnicity groups, and all age groups except 12- to 17-year-olds. Interventions to improve the appropriate prescribing and use of these medications are needed. (Available for CME credit.) American Journal of Preventive Medicine (10/2015) Share: Email
Paradoxical pain perception in PTSD
High rates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are found among chronic pain patients. Although chronic pain and PTSD each can have a profound impact on individuals' health and quality of life, the coexistence of both conditions is even more devastating and destructive. Understanding the unresolved underlying mechanisms of this co-morbidity is imperative to providing appropriate care. This article provides new information regarding these mechanisms. This knowledge could potentially help to provide better management of these conditions. The Journal of Pain (10/2015) Share: Email
Neonatal MRI pattern of brain injury and hypothermia for neonatal encephalopathy
Brain injury in neonates following hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy prior to the introduction of neuroprotection with hypothermia occurs in areas of the brain associated with cognitive delays and motor impairment. In this clinical trial, the relationship between injury pattern and outcome was assessed in 124 children to predict death or IQ <70 at 6 to 7 years of age following hypothermia for neonatal encephalopathy. The authors demonstrated that specific patterns of neonatal brain injury have high predictive indices for the primary outcome of death or IQ <70 at 6 to 7 years of age. A normal MRI was also predictive of a normal outcome. The Journal of Pediatrics (9/2015) Share: Email
Relationship of severe asthma exacerbations to irreversible airflow limitation
This study explored whether severe exacerbations are correlated with the decline in post-bronchodilator forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) and loss of bronchodilator reversibility (BDR) over three years in 128 nonsmoking patients with well-controlled asthma at baseline. A total of 28 (21.9%) patients experienced at least one severe exacerbation with a mean rate of 0.16·yr-1. The exacerbation rate was significantly correlated with an annual rate of decline in FEV1 (ρ=0.49, p<0.0001). The changes in BDR from baseline to the end of the study in patients who did or did not experience an exacerbation were -1.2% and 0.1%, respectively (p<0.0005). The occurrence of severe exacerbations of asthma is correlated with the progression of irreversible airflow limitation over time. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice (10/2015) Share: Email
Medical News
Study links high blood pressure to increased risk of type 2 diabetes
People with high blood pressure had a 60% increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, but the association was weaker with increased age and body mass index, according to a study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Researchers evaluated health records of 4 million people who had no diabetes and cardiovascular disease at baseline and also analyzed 30 previous studies on the risk factors of diabetes. Diabetes.co.uk (U.K.) (9/29) Share: Email
Studies show extra calcium may not help bones, prevent fractures in older adults
Increasing calcium beyond regular dietary levels may not lead to stronger bones or prevent fractures in older adults, according to New Zealand researchers who analyzed data from more than 100 studies. The report in The BMJ said getting too much calcium from supplements can lead to gastrointestinal side effects and may raise the risk of kidney stones and heart attack. HealthDay News (9/29) Share: Email
Review: Hypertonic saline is safe, effective to treat bronchiolitis
Infants with bronchiolitis treated with hypertonic saline had improved clinical severity scores, a lower risk of hospital admission and a shorter mean length of stay, compared with those in the standard of care or normal saline group, according to a review in Pediatrics. Researchers examined 24 trials involving 3,209 patients. 2 Minute Medicine (9/28) Share: Email
Business Practice News
Survey shows increase in technology costs of physician-owned practices
A Medical Group Management Association survey showed the total technology-related operating costs of physician-owned, multispecialty practices increased by nearly 12% last year compared with 2013. According to MGMA, the practices' technology spending for every full-time equivalent physician rose by almost 34% since 2010. Respondents said they make technology investments to streamline workflow, boost records management and comply with HIPAA standards. Health Data Management (9/25) Share: Email
CMS Partnership for Patients program gets $110 million
The CMS is allocating $110 million in second-phase funding for 17 groups participating in its Partnership for Patients program to reduce readmissions and preventable hospital-acquired conditions. HHS estimated from 2010 to 2013 the program led to 50,000 fewer deaths of hospitalized patients and savings of about $12 billion through fewer HACs. Healthcare IT News (9/28) Share: Email
Patient's Perspective
Survey examines patients' views on electronic sharing of health data
A Software Advice survey found that 46% of patients prefer their medical records to be shared directly between providers, compared with 21% who preferred in-person delivery. Almost 3 out of 4 survey respondents said they were moderately or very comfortable with providers' use of health information exchanges. Among those who were not comfortable or minimally comfortable with HIEs, privacy and security breaches were the most common concerns. BeckersHospitalReview.com (9/28) Share: Email
Knowledge is power. Power to do evil ... or power to do good. Power itself is not evil. So knowledge itself is not evil."
-- Veronica Roth,
novelist Share: Email
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