Recent healthcare reform efforts are focused on transforming care delivery while also controlling skyrocketing costs. URAC, an independent accreditation organization advancing quality and value throughout healthcare, announced today the launch of two new accreditation programs for Clinical Integration and Accountable Care to address the changing healthcare landscape.
Relatively small numbers of women in stenting trials have precluded definitive evidence of benefit, but a large pooled analysis strongly suggests stents are safe and effective in women. Slightly more than one-fourth of 44,000 patients in 26 trials were women and their rates of death or myocardial infarction at 3 years were similar to that of men, and improved as stenting technology advanced.
As they did in 2012, survey respondents ranked their overall happiness as an eight on a scale from 1 to 10 (10 being happiest), and the vast majority of physicians are still satisfied with their career choice. Sixty percent said given the chance to go back in time and choose again, they would still become a physician.
Patients undergoing spinal fusion surgery with bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) appear to be at increased risk of benign tumors—but not cancers, reports a study. Other papers report on a stent-assisted approach for difficult-to-treat brain aneurysms and a new software program to help in identifying and protecting critical areas during brain tumor surgery.
A new laser-based technology may make brain tumor surgery much more accurate, allowing surgeons to tell cancer tissue from normal brain at the microscopic level while they are operating, and avoid leaving behind cells that could spawn a new tumor.
While no clinical practice guidelines exist for the use of MRI around the time of surgery, some surgeons use the screening tool to obtain a clearer picture of the cancer before surgery is performed or immediately after surgery to check for any residual disease. Previous studies have shown that using MRI in this capacity for women with invasive breast cancer does not have a clinically significant impact on local recurrence.
Atlantic General Hospital recently strengthened patient safety measures by expanding its use of capnography to monitor patients using patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) to regulate their pain after surgery. PCA can provide an effective way to control pain by allowing patients to self-administer small doses of pain medication intravenously, but the technology poses unique risks.
During surgery at Torrance Memorial Medical Center, an anesthesiologist decorated a patient's face with stickers while the patient was unconscious — giving her a black mustache and teardrops under her left eye — and then a nurse's aide snapped her photo. The 2011 incident has prompted a state investigation and a civil lawsuit by the patient against the hospital and the doctor over the alleged breach of medical privacy.
"We are extremely pleased that Pat is joining our board of directors," said George Barrett, chairman and CEO of Cardinal Health. "Pat has had a distinguished career, and we know that she'll make tremendous contributions to our board. Pat's experience in leading large and complex businesses, combined with her health care and payor knowledge, will be particularly relevant as health care continues to evolve."
Researchers at Duke University conducted a randomized clinical trial in patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). In this study, the researchers compared two approaches to intracranial pressure management—continuous and intermittent drainage of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)—and outcomes associated with those methods, focusing specifically on the incidence of cerebral vasospasm.
For older adults undergoing surgery for spinal stenosis, some simple indicators of poor preoperative health predict a high risk of major medical complications, reports a study. In combination, these risk factors may help in identifying patients at increased risk of heart attack and other serious events after spinal stenosis surgery.
Despite widespread adoption by hospitals of surgical robot technology over the past decade, a "slapdash" system of reporting complications paints an unclear picture of its safety, according to Johns Hopkins researchers. In a report, the Johns Hopkins team says that of the 1 million or so robotic surgeries performed since 2000, only 245 complications -- including 71 deaths -- were reported to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
A new, highly sensitive method to detect genetic variations that initiate colon cancer could be readily used for noninvasive colon cancer screening, according to a study published in Cancer Prevention Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.
Overall, black Americans offer living kidney donations more frequently than do white Americans, researchers found. Compared with white patients, black patients had a 20 percent higher incidence rate ratio for living kidney donation (95 percent CI 1.17-1.24), which varied by income quintile.
Medicare recipients given orthotic and prosthetic devices were more likely to remain active in the community and avoid facility-based care than similar Medicare patients who didn't receive such devices, a retrospective study found. For example, patients receiving lower-extremity orthoses had fewer hospitalizations and emergency department (ED) admissions, and had about 10 percent lower Medicare costs after 18 months (P<0.05).