July 22, 2021
Ultrasound SmartBrief
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Clinical Advancements in Sonography
Ultrasound links breast cancer, glandular tissue
A study in Radiology found an association between glandular tissue found in breast ultrasound screening and future breast cancer risk among women with dense breasts but without a history of breast cancer. Researchers evaluated data on 8,483 women between 2012 and 2015 and found that those with a marked or moderate glandular tissue component had an increased risk for breast cancer after adjusting for breast density and age, while those without or with mild or moderate lobular involution were more likely to have a marked or modular glandular tissue component, compared with women who had complete involution.
Full Story: AuntMinnie (free registration) (7/21) 
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Ninety-four percent of older patients were diagnosed with one or more abnormal findings, including cardiovascular abnormalities, and new chronic conditions after they underwent ultrasound screening during their annual Medical wellness visits, "the great majority of which would have been undetected by a traditional physical exam," researchers wrote in the Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine. The findings, based on 108 patients 65 to 85 years of age, showed that the screening resulted in patients gaining more knowledge about their condition and is at least "mildly beneficial," study authors wrote.
Full Story: Health Imaging (7/21) 
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Point-of-care ultrasound coupled with a decision support algorithm accurately diagnosed 539 of 621 pediatric patients with transient synovitis without blood testing, according to a study published in JAMA Network Open. "Avoiding unnecessary blood tests by using the POCUS-DSA can reduce the number of children who undergo venipuncture and minimize pain and distress," researchers said.
Full Story: Healio (free registration)/Rheumatology (7/22) 
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Technology Update
The median length of clinical progress notes in EHRs increased from 401 words in 2009 to 642 words in 2018, and the median note redundancy rate increased from 47.9% to 58.8%, researchers reported in JAMA Network Open. Increased use of templates was linked to greater redundancy, and researchers cautioned that reliance on templates can "add potentially irrelevant information or introduce errors, as when used to insert default examination findings which were not actually observed."
Full Story: EHR Intelligence (7/20) 
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The so-called open notes rule aims to empower patients by ensuring they have immediate access to clinical notes, lab test results and imaging results, but health care professionals and patient advocates warn there are likely to be unintended consequences, too. "We have to learn how to use these tools [in a way] that is supportive to patients, that is kind to patients, and doesn't cause disruption," said Joseph Sellers, president of the Medical Society of the State of New York.
Full Story: MedPage Today (free registration) (7/21) 
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Practice News
Researchers analyzed 7,740 secondary imaging interpretations conducted at Emory University and found that patients were billed for 47.5% of services and paid out of pocket for a little more than 17% of them. The findings, published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology, also showed that patients who were younger and uninsured were more likely to receive higher bills and pay more for second opinions, while Black patients and those with government-sponsored insurance received smaller bills, compared with white patients and those with commercial insurance.
Full Story: Health Imaging (7/20) 
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Some health care employers favor vaccine mandates
(Sirachai Arunrugstichai/Getty Images)
More hospitals and health care employers are pushing for employees to get coronavirus vaccinations, with the trend partially spurred by a federal judge's decision last month. However, legal experts note that additional litigation could be forthcoming, and some hospital systems might be reluctant to mandate vaccinations out of concerns about losing key staff.
Full Story: Business Insurance (tiered subscription model) (7/21) 
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Patient Care in Medicine
AI could improve end-of-life care for cancer
(National Cancer Institute/Unsplash)
Artificial intelligence analysis of socioeconomic, demographic and clinical data can identify patients with cancer who have a high risk of dying within 30 days, potentially enabling end-of-life planning and referrals to palliative and hospice care, according to a study in Future Medicine. "[A]ggressive, life-sustaining [end-of-life] care can conflict with patient preference and result in lower quality of life, family perceptions of poorer quality of care, and greater regret about treatment decisions," researchers wrote.
Full Story: Health IT Analytics (7/21) 
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Career Development
How to get a top raise next year
(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Professional raises are expected to average 3% in 2022, up from 2.7% in 2021; while raises for manual labor is expected to average 2.8% next year, up from 2.5% this year, according to Willis Towers Watson. There are steps to take to ensure the top raise, including speaking to your supervisor beforehand about what it will take to get you to that level and then documenting your accomplishments.
Full Story: CNBC (7/20) 
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Legislative & Regulatory Update
Bipartisan legislation aimed at expanding Medicare beneficiaries' access to advanced nuclear diagnostic imaging technology was introduced in the House of Representatives. "[M]any low-income and minority patients are being denied access to the most efficient tests, therapies and care due to the current payment structure for diagnostic radiopharmaceuticals that makes it nearly impossible for many hospitals serving our most vulnerable populations to offer these lifesaving diagnostics," said Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill, who is co-sponsoring the bill.
Full Story: Radiology Business (7/21) 
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If you missed the CME Audit deadline of May 31, 2021, you can reinstate your certification(s) by following the CME Audit Reinstatement procedure by the deadline of August 1, 2021.
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Maybe happiness is this: not feeling like you should be elsewhere, doing something else, being someone else.
Isaac Asimov,
writer, professor of biochemistry
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