Late Breaking News
WASHINGTON—Recent months have seen a reinvigorated commitment to research targeted at curbing the obesity epidemic in the United States, including a number of completed studies from VA and DoD and the release of a new strategic plan from NIH.
WASHINGTON—A study published in the April issue of Health Affairs found that medical errors cost the United States more than $17 billion a year. And, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, medical errors and near miss events, i.e. any process or error that could have resulted in harm if it had not been caught, are responsible for injury to as many as one out of every 25 hospital patients.
WASHINGTON—In 2005, VA initiated a Colon Cancer Care Collaborative (C4) to help improve the timeliness of follow-up after positive fecal blood occult tests (FOBT). The initiative was in reaction to studies released at the time showing considerable delays between screening and follow-up, some as long as six months to a year.
WASHINGTON—Despite significant efforts by DoD and VA to revamp the disability evaluation process, the new system remains “complex and adversarial,” the top Army doctor told a congressional subcommittee.
New House Bill Seeks to Relax Benefit Requirements for Victims of Military Sexual-Assault-Related PTSD
WASHINGTON—In June 2010, legislation was passed making it considerably easier for veterans diagnosed with PTSD to receive service-connected benefits and care from VA.
WASHINGTON—A nationwide initiative by VA to reduce the spread of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) within its facilities has resulted in a dramatic drop of more than 60% in hospital-acquired infections in less than three years, according to a recent study.
WASHINGTON—Not that long ago, a woman who had been sexually assaulted might have gone to an Army Military Treatment Facility (MTF), had a forensic examination and then would go home without anyone at the MTF knowing what became of her.
New Forms Document Radiation Exposure for U.S. Military Personnel, Families in Japan During Disaster
WASHINGTON—Military personnel and dependents who were in radiation-exposed areas in Japan during the massive earthquake, tsunami and partial nuclear reactor meltdown are being asked to fill out forms available at MTFs to document their presence in those areas.
Despite Success in Managing Warfarin Usage, VA's Anticoagulation Units' Role Likely to Change With New Drugs
The VA's pharmacist-led anticoagulation units use diligent monitoring and constant overview of patient compliance to keep Warfarin patients’ International Normalized Ratio at a safe level. Despite that success, their future role may be in question because of a new class of medications that doesn’t require routine laboratory monitoring as well as a move toward home-monitoring for Warfarin.
With 90% of U.S. Influenza Deaths in Elderly, New High Dose Vaccine Seeks Lower Mortality, Morbidity Rates
The elderly suffer disproportionately from seasonal influenza, with nearly 90% of all deaths occurring in those older than 65. One explanation is that the standard flu vaccine does not increase antibody levels for older recipients at the same rate as younger recipients. To address that issue, a high-dose flu vaccine was introduced for use in the 2010-2011 influenza season in an effort to decrease the rate of serious illness and/or mortality.
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