News in Brief: Week of May 28-June 1

May 30, 2012 05:55 pm News Staff

This roundup includes the following news briefs:

Toolset Available to Help Physicians Implement E-Prescribing

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) recently released a toolset(healthit.ahrq.gov) for physicians in small practices to support implementation of electronic prescribing.

The AHRQ toolset offers a step-by-step guide for preparing and launching an e-prescribing system. The software includes advice on topics ranging from planning the implementation process, launching the system, troubleshooting common problems, and navigating into more advanced practice services.

CDC: Updated Typhoid Information Statement Available

The CDC recently published an updated typhoid vaccine information(www.cdc.gov) statement.

According to the CDC, minor changes were made throughout the document, but the most significant is a Section 4 change that lengthens the interval between use of certain antibiotics and administration of the oral typhoid vaccine from 24 hours to three days. Because this change concerns a precaution, the CDC recommends switching to the updated statement immediately when the live oral typhoid vaccine is used.

New Website Gauges Patient Risk for Viral Hepatitis

The CDC has launched a new online hepatitis risk assessment tool(www.cdc.gov) to help individuals assess their risk for viral hepatitis.

Millions of Americans have chronic viral hepatitis, but as many as 75 percent of those who are infected are unaware of their infection status, according to the federal government. The new online assessment tool is made up of a series of questions to gauge an individual's risk of contracting viral hepatitis, and it generates a summary of recommendations for testing and vaccination that people can print and take their doctors to discuss, said Howard Koh, HHS assistant secretary for health, in a prepared statement(www.hhs.gov).

Affordable Care Act Funds Flow to Community Health Centers

The fate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act may lie in the hands of the Supreme Court, but that has not stopped HHS from distributing millions of dollars in Affordable Care Act funds to the nation's community health centers.

In the latest round of funding, HHS has released(www.hhs.gov) more than $728 million in Affordable Care Act funds to support 398 renovation and construction projects throughout the country, thereby increasing the ability of the health centers to care for more patients.

HHS plans to allocate the $728 million for two grant projects. The first will provide about $629 million to 171 existing health centers for longer-term projects to expand facilities, improve existing services and serve additional patients. The second grant project will provide about $99.3 million to 227 existing health center sites to address facility and equipment needs, HHS says.


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