News in Brief: Week of Sept. 16-20

September 18, 2013 06:00 pm News Staff

This roundup includes the following news briefs:

Free GBS Guideline App Available

The CDC's new, free Prevent Group B Strep(itunes.apple.com) (GBS) application now is available online and in the iPhone App Store.

Endorsed by and developed with the AAFP along with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American College of Nurse-Midwives, the Prevent GBS application is designed to simplify implementation of the latest guidelines for prevention of GBS disease.

Family physicians and other health professionals using the application will be prompted to input specific clinical information (a maximum of 12 questions) and will receive appropriate patient-specific GBS management recommendations based on the scenario entered.

The free application currently is available to iPhone, iPad and computer users and will be available for Android devices in the future.

Escape Fire, CME on Sale

Management personnel behind the medical documentary "Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare,"(www.escapefiremovie.com) together with iTunes(itunes.apple.com), are offering family physicians a discounted rate and an opportunity to earn CME credit.

As part of a back-to-school special, viewers can download the film for $0.99 until Sept. 30. After watching the film, which examines the patchwork of health facilities, health care professionals and insurers that passes for health care in America, viewers can complete an online assessment. The documentary has been reviewed by the AAFP and is eligible for as many as 2 Prescribed CME credits.

After the Sept. 30 deadline, the documentary may be downloaded at iTunes for $9.99. An extended version of the documentary may be purchased as a DVD from the film's website for $24.99.

CDC Issues First-ever Report Detailing Antimicrobial Resistance Threats

Each year, more than 2 million U.S. residents contract an infection that is resistant to antibiotics, and 23,000 die from those infections. To better quantify this public health crisis and raise awareness regarding the need to ensure antibiotics are used only when needed, CDC officials this week released a landmark report(www.cdc.gov) that outlines the problem and ranks the 18 microbes listed according to their respective threat levels: urgent, serious and concerning.

Topping the list of antimicrobial-resistant pathogens named in the report are Clostridium difficile, carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae and drug-resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae. The next tier includes vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and drug-resistant tuberculosis. Vancomycin-resistant S. aureus, erythromycin-resistant Group A Streptococcus and clindamycin-resistant Group B Streptococcus make up the third tier.

The report highlights information about what various entities -- states, communities, physicians, nurses, patients and the CDC -- can do to combat antibiotic resistance. "Preventing the spread of antibiotic resistance can only be achieved with widespread engagement, especially among leaders in clinical medicine, health care leadership, agriculture and public health," the report notes.

AHRQ Research Examines Link Between Health IT, Patient Safety

New research supported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and published in the September issue of the Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety examines the relationship between health information technology and the quality and safety of patient care.

For the study "Health Information Technology and Hospital Patient Safety: A Conceptual Model to Guide Research," researchers developed a conceptual model to examine health IT functions, contextual factors and patient safety errors. They used data from the 2009 Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project State Inpatient Databases and results from the American Hospital Association's Annual Survey Information Technology Supplement.

Authors concluded that although the conceptual model was difficult to use, it remained a good starting point for future research. They called for the creation of better tools to measure the link between health IT and the delivery of safe, high quality health care to hospitalized patients. An abstract of the research(www.ingentaconnect.com) is available at no charge.

PCORI Awards $114 Million to Fund 71 Research Projects Nationwide

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) recently awarded grants totaling $114 million to 71 research projects to conduct comparative clinical effectiveness research. The awards will be distributed to institutions in 20 states and Washington, D.C.

According to a Sept. 10 press release(pcori.org), grantees were selected for their studies' scientific rigor, their potential to fill information gaps and their intent to help patients and caregivers make better informed health care decisions.

Projects include research on improving the health of and care for patient with conditions such as heart disease, chronic pain, cancer, obesity, diabetes, respiratory disorders and mental health conditions. Grants also were awarded to researchers looking to improve various research methods.

A summary of funded projects(pcori.org) is available on the PCORI website.

HHS Releases New Funds for Community Health Centers

HHS is awarding about $67 million in new funds for the nation's community health centers for the establishment of 32 new health service sites that will deliver preventive and primary health care services to more than 130,000 people. Another $48 million will be awarded to nearly 1,200 of the nation's health centers to support ongoing operations and quality improvement activities, according to an HHS press release(www.hhs.gov).

There are about 1,200 community health centers operating today with nearly 9,000 service delivery sites that provide care to more than 21 million patients in U.S. states and territories. According to HHS, the health centers serve as a lifeline for millions of patients and will play a pivotal role in linking individuals to coverage in the newly launched health insurance marketplaces.


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