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Research Priorities to Inform Public Health and Medical Practice for Ebola Virus Disease— Workshop in Brief

November 23, 2014 Comments off

Research Priorities to Inform Public Health and Medical Practice for Ebola Virus Disease— Workshop in Brief
Source: Institute of Medicine

The current epidemic of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), cause by a filovirus, has spread internationally, now affecting multiple continents, and has become the worst EVD outbreak in history since its discovery in 1976. While the Ebola viruses have typically been studied in laboratory settings, additional biomedical and public health research in real world settings can best prepare the United States to safeguard the public and at-risk workers.

At the request of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Institute of Medicine (IOM), in collaboration with the National Research Council, convened a workshop on November 3, 2014 with key stakeholders and experts to discuss the research priorities that could guide medical and public health practice. Discussions included the degree of transmission and biopersistence of the virus under a range of conditions and on a variety of materials, as well as issues of handling potentially infected materials, decontamination, and the training and personal protective equipment and usage of traditional and nontraditional workers involved in the full spectrum of this response.

Capturing Social and Behavioral Domains and Measures in Electronic Health Records: Phase 2

November 21, 2014 Comments off

Capturing Social and Behavioral Domains and Measures in Electronic Health Records: Phase 2
Source: Institute of Medicine

Determinants of health—like physical activity levels and living conditions—have traditionally been the concern of public health and have not been linked closely to clinical practice. However, if standardized social and behavioral data can be incorporated into patient electronic health records (EHRs), those data can provide crucial information about factors that influence health and the effectiveness of treatment.Such information is useful for diagnosis, treatment choices, policy, health care system design, and innovations to improve health outcomes and reduce health care costs.

With this goal in mind, a committee was convened to conduct a two-phase study, first to identify social and behavioral domains that most strongly determine health, and then to evaluate the measures of those domains that can be used in EHRs.

In Capturing Social and Behavioral Domains in Electronic Health Records: Phase 1, the committee identified 17 domains that they considered to be good candidates for inclusion in EHRs. The second report, Capturing Social and Behavioral Domains and Measures in Electronic Health Records: Phase 2, pinpoints 12 measures related to 11 of the initial domains and considers the implications of incorporating them into all EHRs.

Antimicrobial Resistance: A Problem Without Borders (2014)

November 13, 2014 Comments off

Antimicrobial Resistance: A Problem Without Borders (2014)
Source: Institute of Medicine

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified antimicrobial resistance as one of five urgent health threats facing the United States this year. Antimicrobial resistance is a global health security threat that will demand collaboration from many stakeholders around the world. This report highlights the crosscutting character of antimicrobial resistance and the needs for many disciplines to be brought together to be able to deal with it more effectively.

Implications of Health Literacy for Public Health: Workshop Summary (2014)

October 1, 2014 Comments off

Implications of Health Literacy for Public Health: Workshop Summary (2014)
Source: Institute of Medicine

Health literacy is the degree to which individuals can obtain, process, and understand the basic health information and services they need to make appropriate health decisions. Nearly half of all American adults – 90 million people – have inadequate health literacy to navigate the health care system. Implications of Health Literacy for Public Health is the summary of a workshop convened by the Institute of Medicine Roundtable on Health Literacy in November 2013 that focused on the implications of health literacy for the mission and essential services of public health. The workshop featured the presentation of a commissioned paper on health literacy activities under way in public health organizations. Other presentations examined the implications of health literacy for the mission and essential services of public health, for example, community health and safety, disease prevention, disaster management, or health communication. This report includes the commissioned paper and summaries of the workshop presentations.

Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States: A Guide for the Health Care Sector

September 29, 2014 Comments off

Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States: A Guide for the Health Care Sector
Source: Institute of Medicine, National Research Council

Every day in the United States, children and adolescents are victims of commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking. These are not only illegal activities, but also forms of violence and abuse that result in immediate and long-term physical, mental, and emotional harm to victims and survivors. In 2013, the Institute of Medicine/National Research Council released the report Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States. The report found that the United States is in the very early stages of recognizing, understanding, and developing solutions for these crimes.

Health care professionals need to be able to recognize past, ongoing, or potential victimization by commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking among the youth in their care. Failure to do so increases the possibility that those at risk may become victims, and victims may miss opportunities for assistance and remain vulnerable to further exploitation and abuse.

This Guide for the Health Care Sector provides a summary of information from the original report that is most relevant to individuals who and settings that see children and adolescents for prevention and treatment of injury, illness, and disease. This includes physicians, nurses, advanced practice nurses, physician assistants, mental health professionals, and dentists who practice in settings such as emergency departments, urgent care, primary care clinics, adolescent medicine clinics, school clinics, shelters, community health centers, and dental clinics among others.

This guide includes definitions of key terms and an overview of risk factors and consequences; barriers to identifying victims and survivors as well as opportunities for overcoming these barriers; examples of current practices in the health care sector; and recommendations aimed at identifying, preventing, and responding to these crimes.

The Impacts of the Affordable Care Act on Preparedness Resources and Programs: Workshop Summary (2014)

September 26, 2014 Comments off

The Impacts of the Affordable Care Act on Preparedness Resources and Programs: Workshop Summary (2014)
Source: Institute of Medicine

Many of the elements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) went into effect in 2014, and with the establishment of many new rules and regulations, there will continue to be significant changes to the United States health care system. It is not clear what impact these changes will have on medical and public health preparedness programs around the country. Although there has been tremendous progress since 2005 and Hurricane Katrina, there is still a long way to go to ensure the health security of the Country. There is a commonly held notion that preparedness is separate and distinct from everyday operations, and that it only affects emergency departments. But time and time again, catastrophic events challenge the entire health care system, from acute care and emergency medical services down to the public health and community clinic level, and the lack of preparedness of one part of the system places preventable stress on other components. The implementation of the ACA provides the opportunity to consider how to incorporate preparedness into all aspects of the health care system.

The Impacts of the Affordable Care Act on Preparedness Resources and Programs is the summary of a workshop convened by the Institute of Medicine’s Forum on Medical and Public Health Preparedness for Catastrophic Events in November 2013 to discuss how changes to the health system as a result of the ACA might impact medical and public health preparedness programs across the nation. This report discusses challenges and benefits of the Affordable Care Act to disaster preparedness and response efforts around the country and considers how changes to payment and reimbursement models will present opportunities and challenges to strengthen disaster preparedness and response capacities.

Dying in America: Improving Quality and Honoring Individual Preferences Near the End of Life

September 22, 2014 Comments off

Dying in America: Improving Quality and Honoring Individual Preferences Near the End of Life
Source: Institute of Medicine

For patients and their loved ones, no care decisions are more profound than those made near the end of life. For the millions of Americans who work in or with the health care sector—including clinicians, clergy, caregivers, and support staff—providing high-quality care for people who are nearing the end of life is a matter of professional commitment and responsibility. Health sys­tem managers, payers, and policy makers, likewise, have a responsibility to ensure that end-of-life care is compassionate, affordable, sustainable, and of the best quality possible.

A substantial body of evidence shows that broad improvements to end-of-life care are within reach. In Dying in America, a consensus report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM), a committee of experts finds that improving the quality and availability of medical and social services for patients and their families could not only enhance quality of life through the end of life, but may also contribute to a more sustainable care system.

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