Ultrasound is used in new clinical specialties such as gastroenterology and is being employed in new ways, including to screen women with dense breast tissue for cancer. Also, the use of handheld ultrasound devices is expanding to emergency departments and doctor's offices.
Software that graphs wound dimensions over time in a patient's EHR enabled timely treatment that improved the healing rate by more than 46% over the pre-study average for patients with open sores caused by chronic venous insufficiency, researchers reported in the Journal for Vascular Surgery: Venous and Lymphatic Disorders. Health care teams used an infographic to track wound closure progress instead of relying only on clinician notes and found the system wasn't any more time-consuming than standard visit documentation but led to better longitudinal results, vascular surgeon Ulka Sachdev said.
Episode-based analytics are essential to the health care sector's transition to value-based care because it allows organizations to better evaluate patient risk, gain a more detailed understanding of care delivery, and uncover new ways of improving care while lowering costs. Episode-based analytics offer benefits to health organizations, particularly in the areas of network design evaluation, utilization management and care coordination.
The US Preventive Services Task Force released a draft recommendation urging health care providers to attempt to screen all of their patients ages 18 and older for illegal drug use, including nonmedical use of prescription drugs, but the panel said it has insufficient information to decide whether all adolescents should be screened. The panel reminded providers that screening tools are not designed to diagnose addiction and other drug use disorders; therefore, patients who test positive may "need to be offered or referred for diagnostic assessment."
The American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology released new a guideline urging providers to incorporate social determinants of health when making decisions on optimizing prevention of cardiovascular disease. "Patient-centered care is a foundational aspect of this guideline and an essential part of its effective implementation," said senior author Roger Blumenthal of Johns Hopkins University and his colleagues in the online synopsis published in JAMA Cardiology.
In response to a CMS request for information on ways to reduce administration burdens in health care, the American Medical Group Association and the Medical Group Management Association each submitted comments urging the agency to streamline and accelerate the transition to value-based care. Both groups advised the CMS to reduce the number of quality measures for health care providers participating in value-based care models and to create more consistent waivers and rules across value-based care programs.
Physician and hospital groups and accountable care organizations offered support and concerns about a CMS plan to require hospitals to tell primary care physicians when their patients are admitted to, transferred or discharged from the hospital. Physician concerns include data overload, while hospitals are concerned about the penalty for failing to provide the information.
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