Call for Research and Scholarly Project Abstracts
In preparation for our upcoming educational conference, Generating Evidence for Education and Clinical Practice, on the 31st of October at the Signature Grand in Davie, FL, the Nursing Consortium of South Florida is accepting abstracts through July 11, 2014. Research and scholarly projects that are contributing to education and practice improvements, enhancing bedside leadership and community nursing, and those that have established, expanded, or sustained nursing research are of particular interest, but all research and scholarly project topics are welcomed. "We look forward to showcasing some of the best in South Florida nursing research and scholarly projects that are contributing to great nursing care and education throughout our region and beyond," remarked Steven Seeley, Jupiter Medical Center VP COO/CNO and Consortium President. To submit an abstract for oral and poster presentations, prior to the June 30 deadline, please click here.
PCORI announces $90 million to study treatment alternatives in four areas
The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute is accepting applications for up to $90 million in funding for research comparing the effectiveness of alternative ways to treat end-stage renal disease and Crohn’s disease, prevent or reduce tobacco use, and manage mental illness. Any research organization, including university/college hospital and health care systems, may apply. Proposed studies must address clinical choices faced by patients, their caregivers, clinicians or delivery systems and include patient, professional, payer or purchaser organizations as partners. Letters of intent are due June 27. The funding is part of an initiative announced last year to invest in larger and longer “pragmatic studies.”
CMS announces health care innovation grants, state funding
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has awarded 12 organizations $110 million in Health Care Innovation Awards to test new payment and service delivery models to improve care outcomes and lower costs. Additional awards will be announced in the coming months for total round-two funding of up to $1 billion. The round-two awards focus on models to rapidly reduce Medicare, Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program costs in the outpatient and post-acute settings; improve care for populations with specialized needs; test financial and clinical transformation approaches for specific types of providers; and improve the health of populations. In addition, CMS announced up to $730 million in funding to help states and territories design and test new payment and service delivery models for Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP. Up to 12 states will receive round-two awards for model testing and up to 15 for model design work as part of the State Innovation Models initiative. Letters of intent to apply are due June 6 and applications July 21.
CDC updates MERS infection control guidance for hospitals
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently updated its recommendations for hospitals managing patient with known or suspected cases of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus. The updates add information related to the duration of infection control precautions, management of ill health care workers, visitor considerations, aerosol-generating procedures, and hand hygiene. For additional resources, see the agency’s MERS preparedness checklists for health care providers and facilities.
SAMHSA reports increase in ED visits for non-medical use of sedative
Emergency department visits involving non-medical use of the sedative alprazolam doubled between 2005 and 2010 to about 125,000 a year, according to a new report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The largest increase was among patients aged 25-34. In about 80% of the visits, non-medical use of the sedative was combined with alcohol or other drugs. Also known as Xanax and Niravam, alprazolam was the most prescribed psychiatric medication in 2011. Non-medical use of the drug can lead to physical dependence, causing withdrawal symptoms such as tremors and seizures. “When used as directed, alprazolam is safe and effective, but misuse can result in serious health consequences,” said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela Hyde. “This report highlights the need to educate people about the dangers of misusing or sharing prescription medications and the importance of properly disposing of unused medication.”
Hospital EDs treat nearly 5,000 pool chemical injuries in 2012
Injuries from pool chemicals led to nearly 5,000 hospital emergency department visits in 2012, according to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly half of the injuries were in children and more than a third occurred at a home, based on data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System. “Chemicals are added to the water in pools to stop germs from spreading,” said Michele Hlavsa, chief of CDC’s Healthy Swimming Program. “But they need to be handled and stored safely to avoid serious injuries.” When handling pool chemicals, the agency recommends keeping young children away and following directions on product labels, wearing safety equipment as directed, and never mixing different chemicals.
Leading NIH-funded Researcher to Keynote next Consortium Conference
Dr. Marilyn Hravnak has agree to be the morning keynote speaker at the Consortium's next educational conference which will take place at the Signature Grand on October 31. "Dr. Hravnak is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and an NIH funded researcher whose research work is clinical setting focused. She is also a very dynamic speaker who has addressed a number of national conferences. I'm delighted that she has agreed to share her views with us," remarked Donna Lee Armaignac, Director of Best Practices, Baptist Health South Florida and the Consortium's Conference Committee Chair. Registration for Generating Evidence for Education and Clinical Practice is now open and all are encouraged to take advantage of the Super early-bird registration rates available now. For information on sponsor and exhibitor opportunities, please click here.
New Directors & Officers Elected
Congratulations to Mary Hooshmand, Assistant Professor of Clinical, University of Miami, and Debbie Tedder, Chief Nursing Officer, Jackson Memorial Hospital on their recent election to the Nursing Consortium of South Florida Board of Directors. Donna Lee Armaignac, Amy Pettigrew, Lynn Waters, and Diane Whitehead were also re-elected to new two year terms. The Consortium expresses much gratitude to Ann Lynn Denker who completed a two-year term and to Evelyn Gonzalez-Morlote for her eight years of Board service including a two-year term as President. Officers for 2014-2015 are President Steve Seeley, President-elect Maggie Hansen, Past President Debbie Mulvihill, Secretary Diane Whitehead, and Treasurer Ora Strickland.
Federal database combines information on pain research
The National Institutes of Health has released a database offering information on pain research and training activities supported by the federal government. Users can search more than 1,200 research projects by topic, funding agency, key word and other information. “For the first time, this information has been collected into a single database that can be mined to ensure that federal research efforts are not redundant and to identify opportunities to collaborate and share resources across agencies,” said Linda Porter, policy advisor for pain at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. “In addition, it will help the federal entities that support pain research to identify gaps in research areas and trends in topic areas over time.”
FDA alerts hospitals, others to shortage of sterilization indicator
The Food and Drug Administration Friday alerted hospitals and others to a shortage of indicators used with certain Sterrad sterilizers to monitor and confirm the effectiveness of the device sterilization process. Advanced Sterilization Products expects to increase production and be able to meet demand for the Sterrad Cyclesure 24 Biological Indicators by August, FDA said. Meanwhile, FDA recommends, among other actions, using an alternative low-temperature sterilizer if available, or prioritizing indicators for sterilization loads that contain the most critical instruments for the most urgent patient cases. The agency also is allowing a different company, Steris Corp., to distribute its VERIFY 24 biological indicator for use in most Sterrad chemical sterilization cycles. Facilities that run out of indicators and do not have an alternative low-temperature sterilizer should consider using single-use disposable devices; coordinating or contracting out sterilization with another facility; delaying elective surgeries and procedures; or transferring patients to an alternate facility, FDA said.
CMS proposes prior-authorization process for certain equipment/supplies
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has proposed creating a Medicare prior-authorization process for durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies that are “frequently subject to unnecessary utilization.” According to CMS, the process would not create new clinical documentation requirements, but ensure that existing documentation, coverage and coding requirements are met before items are furnished to beneficiaries and claims submitted for payment. CMS contractors would respond to prior-authorization requests within 10 business days, with a process for expedited review when the standard timeframe would seriously jeopardize the patient’s life or health, CMS said. The agency seeks input from stakeholders on which DMEPOS items to add to the proposed “required prior authorization list.” The proposed rule also would expand Medicare’s prior-authorization demonstration for power mobility devices from seven states to 19, and establish similar demonstrations for certain non-urgent ambulance transport and hyperbaric oxygen therapy. The demonstration for repetitive, scheduled non-emergent ambulance transport would apply to New Jersey, Pennsylvania and South Carolina, and the oxygen therapy demonstration to Illinois, Michigan and New Jersey. The rule was published in the May 28 Federal Register with comments accepted through July 28.
AHRQ: Hospital care improving faster than other settings
Hospital quality improvements are outpacing other care settings, according to a report released by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The 2013 National Healthcare Quality Report indicates that every measure publicly reported on the Hospital Compare website in AHRQ’s study showed improvement over time, and that 14 of the 16 quality measures whose performance has reached 95% are publicly reported on the website. Three-quarters of hospital quality measures showed significant improvement, compared with 60% for home health and nursing home care and about 50% for ambulatory settings. “Hospitals are clearly engaged in efforts to improve health care quality in the United States,” said AHRQ Director Richard Kronick. A second report, the National Healthcare Disparities Report, found that most disparities in quality related to race, ethnicity or income showed no significant change; however, the number of disparities showing improvement was larger than the number of disparities that were widening. The reports track health care quality and disparities trends over time and are published annually.