House, Senate approve bills requiring contraceptives access for military personnel | Coast Guard health data security protocols lacking, DHS IG says | Navy nurse who refused to force-feed inmates won't be discharged
May 20, 2015
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House, Senate approve bills requiring contraceptives access for military personnel
Defense policy bills recently approved by the House and Senate include provisions requiring military clinics and hospitals to be able to dispense any FDA-approved method of contraception. Supply levels should be adequate to cover deployed personnel for the duration of their tours, the bills stipulate. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (5/19)
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Military Health System
Coast Guard health data security protocols lacking, DHS IG says
The Coast Guard does not have standard instructions for managing and securing personnel and family health records, clinics do not consistently review physical security of private data and there is no formal communications process to improve oversight and incident reporting, according to a Department of Homeland Security inspector general report. The IG suggests that the Coast Guard vice commandant establish a formal privacy and security communication mechanism, set milestones to ensure emergency contingency plans are developed and periodically review clinics' efforts to secure medical records. (5/19)
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Veterans Health Administration
Video: Bringing psychiatry to veterans via video
Televised psychiatric counseling is offered to California veterans in their homes and rural clinics through an initiative of the Veterans Affairs Long Beach Healthcare System. In a video, Peter Hauser of the VA discusses the program, which seeks to mitigate the lack of resources in remote areas. Healio (free registration)/Psychiatric Annals (5/19)
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National Health Care
Native American treatment centers combine traditional, Western approaches
Addiction rehabilitation programs serving Native American communities combine traditional ceremonies, such as sweat lodges, with 12-step programs to help addicts achieve sobriety. Heroin addiction is a growing problem in the Native American community, and a recent FBI investigation found that drug cartels are targeting reservations. National Public Radio (5/20)
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Health and Medical Research
Study evaluates automated system for assessing bleeding after trauma
Researchers with Massachusetts General Hospital, the U.S. Army, Boston MedFlight and two Boston trauma centers found that an automated vital signs assessment system was able to identify up to 80% of cases of life-threatening bleeding among trauma patients. The study, which had a 209-patient prospective arm and a 646-patient retrospective arm, was reported in the journal Shock. Health Data Management (5/18)
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Injuries reduced by patient-handling equipment and training
Patient-handling equipment and proper employee training at hospitals prevent injuries and can reduce workers' compensation claims by up to 40%, experts say. At the Veterans Health Administration, investments in lifting equipment resulted in fewer musculoskeletal injuries for workers and better outcomes for patients, says Gail Powell-Cope of the Department of Veterans Affairs' Center of Innovation on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. SHRM Online (5/14)
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