public health

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A Lack Of Planning And Protocol Failures In Healthcare Are Not Limited To Ebola

Mark Graban | LinkedIn | October 17, 2014

With the two nurses now contracting Ebola at Texas Health Resources Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, there are many lined up to criticize the CDC and their lack of planning, communication, and preparation for Ebola cases. Many are criticizing THR Presbyterian Hospital for their lack of protocols and for not having the right protective gear available for nurses and other caregivers...

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A Law Professor’s Big Idea for Combating Greedy Drug Company Titans Like Martin Shkreli

Noah Berlatsky | Quartz | September 21, 2017

In 2015, CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals Martin Shkreli infamously raised the price of the life-saving drug Daraprim by 5,000%. Daraprim, developed more than 60 years ago, is used to treat the deadly parasitic infection toxoplasmosis. It was selling for $13.50 a pill; then Turing raised the price to $750. The move sparked massive backlash and Congressional hearings, and Shkreli himself was eventually arrested for, and convicted of, unrelated securities fraud charges. But the original, horrible problem didn’t get fixed. Turing kept the price sky-high; as of August 2016, many patients were paying $375 per pill...

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A Marriage Of Data And Caregivers Gives Dr. Atul Gawande Hope For Health Care

Alex Howard | O'Reilly Radar | August 31, 2012

Dr. Atul Gawande (@Atul_Gawande) has been a bard in the health care world, straddling medicine, academia and the humanities as a practicing surgeon, medical school professor, best-selling author and staff writer at the New Yorker magazine. His long-form narratives and books have helped illuminate complex systems and wicked problems to a broad audience. Read More »

A Nevada Woman Dies of a Superbug Resistant to Every Available Antibiotic in the US

Helen Branswell | STAT | January 12, 2017

If it sometimes seems like the idea of antibiotic resistance, though unsettling, is more theoretical than real, please read on. Public health officials from Nevada are reporting on a case of a woman who died in Reno in September from an incurable infection. Testing showed the superbug that had spread throughout her system could fend off 26 different antibiotics. “It was tested against everything that’s available in the United States … and was not effective,” said Dr. Alexander Kallen, a medical officer in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s division of health care quality promotion...

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A New Drug In The Age Of Antibiotic Resistance

Cari Romm | The Atlantic | January 7, 2015

Two alarming figures from a report released last month by the U.K. government: By 2050, antibiotic resistance will cost the world a projected 10 million lives and $8 trillion each year...

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A New Kind of Doctor's Office Charges a Monthly Fee and Doesn't Take Insurance — and It Could Be the Future of Medicine

Lydia Ramsey | Business Insider | March 19, 2017

Dr. Bryan Hill spent his career working as a pediatrician, teaching at a university, and working at a hospital. But in March 2016, he decided he no longer wanted a boss. He took some time off, then one day he got a call asking if he'd be up for doing a house call for a woman whose son was sick. He agreed, and by the end of that visit, he realized he wanted to treat patients without dealing with any of the insurance requirements. Then he learned about a totally different way to run a doctor's office...

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A Patient In Minnesota Has Lassa Hemorrhagic Fever. (Don’t Panic.)

Maryn McKenna | Wired | April 4, 2014

News from the Minnesota Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: A Minnesota traveler returning from Africa has been hospitalized with what the CDC confirms to be Lassa fever, a viral hemorrhagic fever that is often lumped together with Ebola hemorrhagic fever, though they are caused by different organisms. Read More »

A Public Health Perspective on the CMS Quality Payment Program

I have seen several pretty good summaries of the recently 0release Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) 2019 Inpatient Prospective Payment System Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to Quality Payment Program (one from AMIA, one from CDC). Here are just a few additional tidbits I picked out of the NPRM. Of course, this document is written like stereo instructions so I welcome any corrections or comments to my interpretation of what’s in the rule. I put page numbers (from final FBO version referenced above which has just been released) where relevant in parenthesis. And I apologize in advance as much of what’s here is cryptic to anyone who has not been exposed to this before and I don’t make much of an attempt to explain the context (or even the acronyms)...

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A Searing New Report Claims Opioid Drugmakers Spent 8 Times as Much as the NRA on Lobbying

Erin Brodwin | Business Insider | September 19, 2016

A searing new report from the Associated Press claims that the makers of opioid painkillers, the dangerous drugs at the center of the tragic overdose crisis, outspent the US gun lobby on lobbying and campaign contributions by 8:1. The report looked at the period from 2006 to 2015, when deaths from the drugs began to skyrocket. Here are some of its most striking findings...

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A Tale of Two Epidemics — HCV Treatment among Native Americans and Veterans

Brigg Reilley and Jessica Leston | The New England Journal of Medicine | August 31, 2017

In light of ongoing debates about health care budgets and rising drug prices, a current public health crisis can provide useful insights. For patients who get their health care through two separate federal agencies, the hepatitis C virus (HCV) epidemic is unfolding in vastly different ways. In recent years, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system has mounted a response to HCV that should be the envy of any health system, public or private. On the other hand, the Indian Health Service (IHS), an agency that serves American Indians and Alaska Natives, is struggling to meet the needs of its patients with HCV...

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A Web Services Approach to Public Health Clinical Decision Support

David Raths | Healthcare Informatics | October 22, 2016

Although it is still early days, I am increasingly convinced that the movement to bring a web services approach to healthcare is real. Every week brings announcements of new efforts to create modules that do one thing well and that providers could subscribe to from within their EHR. This approach makes so much more sense than each provider working with its software vendor to recreate the wheel.This is especially appealing in the realm of clinical decision support (CDS), in which knowledge management is so time-consuming and difficult for provider organizations...

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Africa: Breaking Down The Academic Paywalls, In Africa Too

Julie Blussé | allAfrica | April 5, 2013

Across Africa, academics and researchers face financial barriers that keep them from accessing the same knowledge their peers elsewhere in the world can afford. Read More »

Aged Care Facilities Nurturing Superbugs [Australia]

John Elder | The Age Victoria | October 5, 2014

Nursing home residents appear to be significant carriers of superbug infections into hospitals, potentially putting other patients at risk.  This is the latest finding in a series of Monash University studies that have investigated management of infection in Melbourne's aged care facilities, and the over-prescription of antibiotics to residents...

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Air Force Is Building Mini-Hospital In Liberia To Fight Ebola

Bob Brewin | Nextgov.com | October 7, 2014

The Air Force’s Air Combat Command has started installation of what its command surgeon, Brig. Gen. Sean Lee Murphy, described as “a mini-community hospital” in Liberia as part of the Defense Department’s response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa...

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American Public Health Association Seeks To Improve And Rebrand Public Health

Anthony Brino | Government Health IT | November 11, 2013

The American Public Health Association adopted 17 new policy statements at its annual meeting Nov. 2-6 in Boston, issuing ambitious recommendations to public health officials and also trying to rebrand the field of public health. Read More »