Saturday, November 7, 2015

November is now National Family Caregivers Month

Did you know that President Obama proclaimed November 2015 as National Family Caregivers Month? Pay tribute to those who provide for the health and well-being of their family members, friends, and neighbors.

Here are tips from the CDC on how to be a caregiver:
  1. Learn about the person's medical condition or diagnosis. By learning more you will understand your loved one's disease or condition and can be better able to care for them now and plan for the future. Also, set aside some time to acquaint yourself with their doctors, therapists, prescription drugs, and insurance coverage.
  2. Talk about finances and healthcare wishes. Having these conversations can be difficult but can help you carry out your loved one's wishes and take care of their financial affairs should they no longer be able to do these things themselves.
  3. Invite family and close friends to come together and discuss the needed care. If possible, it's helpful to include the person needing care in this meeting. This meeting gives you a chance to explain what they need, plan for care, and ask others for help.
  4. Use community resources. Services such as Meals on Wheels, adult day programs, and respite care may help relieve your workload and increase your free time. Look for caregiver educational programs that will increase your knowledge and confidence.
  5. Take care of yourself. Don't forget your own mental and physical health by putting your loved one's needs first. Nearly half of caregivers have reported that their health has gotten worse due to caregiving. Of those caregivers who say their health has declined, over half report that declining health has made it harder to support their loved one.
Although caregiving can be a challenge, many people who are caregivers report a tremendous feeling of satisfaction and purpose.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Revamped Health IT Strategic Plan 2015-2020

The ONC just released the revamped version of the Health IT Strategic Plan 2015-2020. This is the blueprint to improve the health IT infrastructure that will help transform health care delivery, improve individual and community health, and support a responsive, evolving health IT ecosystem that puts individuals at the center of care.

Looks like we'll be hearing more about shared decision making (SDM), individualizing care plans, greater emphasis around value, and the importance of continuous quality improvement.

If you don't want to read the entire 50-page plan (PDF), then take a look at this one-page summary (PDF).

Monday, April 20, 2015

Facebook Chat tonight: Partnership for Drug-Free Kids discussing the Changing Marijuana Landscape

Don't miss this important event tonight for a live Facebook Chat by the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids to Help Parents Navigate the Changing Marijuana Landscape.

April 20, from 8 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. EDT

Live Facebook Chat with Heather Senior, LCSW, Partnership Parent Support Network Manager. She will answer your questions to help you better navigate the changing marijuana landscape and have productive conversations with your teens.

To participate, please visit and "Like" the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids’ Facebook page at 8 p.m. EDT this evening. The chat will take place right under the announcement image in the comment thread. Please make sure to refresh your browser throughout the chat to view all comments in real time.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

This is Patient Safety Awareness Week #PSAWunited

Patient Safety Awareness Week is an annual education and awareness campaign for health care safety led by NPSF. Each year, health care organizations around the globe take part in the event by prominently displaying the NPSF campaign logo and promotional materials within their organizations, creating awareness in the community, and utilizing NPSF educational resources among hospital staff and patients.

The theme for 2015 is “United in Safety.” Everyone in the health care process plays a role in delivering safe care and by uniting together and sharing that common goal, we can make a difference in patient safety. From patients to care providers, from the front lines to the executive suite, from the patient and family advocate to the corporate solutions provider — we are all united in the goal of keeping patients and those who care for them free from harm. The underlining focus of this campaign is patient engagement and emphasizes the importance of the relationship between providers and patients and their families. Enhanced communication begins with an informed and engaged patient and helps to lead to safer care.

Join a Twitter Chat on patient and family engagement this Wednesday, March 11 at 8:30 pm ET
Use #PSAWunited to participate

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Neck pain infographic

Here's a visual way of thinking about neck pain related to motor vehicle accidents. Drive safely this winter!

Via: Riverside Personal Injury Lawyers

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Medicare will cover low-dose CT scan lung cancer screening

It's the decision that many people have been waiting for: it appears that Medicare is proposing to cover low-dose CT scan for lung cancer screening for specific patients.

The Medicare "Proposed Decision Memo for Screening for Lung Cancer with Low Dose Computed Tomography (LDCT) (CAG-00439N)" came out on Nov 10, 2014.

CMS is seeking comments on this proposed decision (and you can view the posted comments as well). Learn more here.

Monday, November 3, 2014

CMS: Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative

Last month, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services launched a new innovative model to support clinicians in achieving large-scale health care transformation. It's called the "Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative."

The Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative will provide up to $840 million over the next four years to support 150,000 clinicians in sharing, adapting and further developing comprehensive quality improvement strategies, which are expected to lead to greater improvements in patient health and reduction in health care costs. This is one of the largest federal investments uniquely designed to support clinician practices through nationwide, collaborative, and peer-based learning networks that facilitate practice transformation.

CMS will award cooperative agreement funding for two network systems under this initiative: Practice Transformation Networks, as well as Support and Alignment Networks.

Practice Transformation Networks:
The Practice Transformation Networks are peer-based learning networks designed to coach, mentor and assist clinicians in developing core competencies specific to practice transformation. This approach allows clinician practices to become actively engaged in the transformation and ensures collaboration among a broad community of practices that creates, promotes, and sustains learning and improvement across the health care system.

Support and Alignment Networks:
The Support and Alignment Networks will provide a system for workforce development utilizing national and regional professional associations and public-private partnerships that are currently working in practice transformation efforts. Utilizing existing and emerging tools (e.g., continuing medical education, maintenance of certification, core competency development) these networks will help ensure sustainability of these efforts. These will especially support the recruitment of clinician practices serving small, rural and medically underserved communities and play an active role in the alignment of new learning.
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