Study: Nurses' work schedules affect patient mortality | Task force expands guidelines for osteoporosis screening | Hospitals with better heart care are more costly, study shows

January 18, 2011
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Study: Nurses' work schedules affect patient mortality
Hospitals with a nursing staff that worked long hours and had no time off had higher rates of pneumonia deaths, and mortality in patients with congestive heart failure was linked to nurses who worked while they were sick, according to a study in the journal Nursing Research. The researchers also found mortality for acute myocardial infarction was tied to nurses' weekly hours and consecutive days worked. (1/17)
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Six Things Hospitals Need to Know About Replacing Pagers With Smartphones
Doctors, nurses, and administrators wish to shed their tool belt of pagers and cell phones and simplify their lives and communications with a single device: a smartphone. This report will help you determine the right path for your organization. Learn more>>>
Nursing, Health & Medical Science
Task force expands guidelines for osteoporosis screening
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has expanded its 2002 guidelines for routine osteoporosis screening to include all women ages 65 and older as well as any younger postmenopausal women at high risk of the condition. The task force said weight-bearing exercise, adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D, and approved drug therapies can help prevent osteoporosis-related bone fractures. Bloomberg Businessweek/HealthDay News (1/17)
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Hospitals with better heart care are more costly, study shows
A study in the Annals of Internal Medicine showed that heart failure patients have a 2% lower risk of dying at high volume hospitals, which have an average cost of $8,400, compared with $7,200 at low-volume facilities with a slightly higher death risk. The lead researcher said the reasons for the cost discrepancies are unclear. Reuters (1/17)
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Study: Atrial fibrillation risk increases with alcohol consumption
Japanese researchers found in a meta-analysis of 14 studies that moderate alcohol drinkers are more likely than nondrinkers to develop atrial fibrillation and heavy drinkers have a higher risk of the condition compared with those who drank the least. But the researchers said their study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, had several limitations, such as the uneven tracking of other variables among the studies. Bloomberg Businessweek/HealthDay News (1/17)
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Worsening depression is linked to poor outcomes for heart patients
A U.S. study with a five-year follow-up indicates worsening symptoms of depression in heart failure patients is linked to negative outcomes and an increased risk of hospitalization or death from all causes. The finding, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, calls for "clinicians to reassess symptoms of depression routinely in heart failure patients to determine better appropriate medical management of these patients," the Duke University Medical Center researchers said. HealthDay News (1/17)
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Follow-up programs may aid in earlier melanoma detection
Patients with melanoma who participated in a follow-up intervention had higher rates of melanomas diagnosed at the earliest stages compared with melanoma patients given referrals, a study in the Archives of Dermatology showed. A separate study in the journal found doctors often do not perform a full-body screening on patients because of time constraints, patient reluctance and the presence of other health complications. Bloomberg Businessweek/HealthDay News (1/17)
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Study: Essential fatty acids may benefit women with PMS symptoms
A Brazilian study in Reproductive Health found that women who took about 1 gram of a combination of three essential fatty acids for six months experienced fewer symptoms of premenstrual syndrome compared with those who took the supplements for only three months. CNN (1/17)
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Trends & Technologies
Report: U.S. may lose competitive edge in med-tech industry
A PwC report says China, Brazil and India are expected to benefit largely from developing medical technologies in the next 10 years as the U.S. loses its competitive edge and as the quality of education and the availability of incentives improve in these countries. When it comes to regulatory systems, the U.S. lags the U.K., France and Germany, which "provide more supportive regulatory processes that encourage innovation yet ensure safety and effectiveness on a timely basis," according to the report. Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.) (1/17)
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Work-Life Balance
Nurse leaders discuss challenges, rewards of their work
Nurse managers say patient and staff satisfaction, effective teamwork and nursing shortages are among the challenges they face in their roles. They say the rewarding part comes when they get to instigate change, improve patient care, make their units a great place to work and hone their staff's skills. (1/14)
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Arkansas hospital issues "Eat Wise, Lose a Size" challenge
The dietary department at White River Medical Center in Batesville, Ark., has challenged the rest of the hospital staff to a weight-loss competition called Eat Wise, Lose a Size. The dietary department will do its part by offering counseling, replacing some foods in the cafeteria with healthier alternatives and posting nutritional values so that employees can keep track of their calories. Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (Little Rock) (free registration) (1/16)
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Legislative Policy & Regulatory News
Report calls for changes to advanced end-of-life planning laws
U.S. laws on advanced end-of-life planning pose barriers for socially isolated patients and those with low literacy because they are written at a reading level above 12th grade, require witnesses and do not honor oral advance directives or signatures of health care providers as proxies, according to a report in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Researchers urged states to amend their laws to include oral directives, broaden the criteria for health proxies and remove the witness requirement. Reuters (1/17)
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ANA News
Earn your BSN or MSN at great rates
ANA has partnered with several universities and programs that are exclusively offering ANA members discounts on online nursing programs. Visit the ANA Online Nursing Degree Center and learn more about the available degree programs.
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A man will be imprisoned in a room with a door that's unlocked and opens inwards; as long as it does not occur to him to pull rather than push."
-- Ludwig Wittgenstein,
Austrian philosopher
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