Monday, April 2, 2018

This is #NPHW National Public Health Week

April 2-8 marks ​National Public Health Week (NPHW). Each day is marked with a specific public health theme:

Monday, April 2: Behavioral Health
Advocate for and promote well-being
Focus on and advocate for improved access to mental and behavioral health services. Use education and training to de-stigmatize mental health diagnoses and encourage people experiencing mental illness to seek treatment. Coverage for mental health services must be on par with physical health services in all health insurance coverage.

Tuesday, April 3: Communicable Diseases
Learn about ways to prevent disease transmission
Wash your hands. Know your HIV status. Call on employers to support and provide sick leave so sick workers can care for themselves and avoid spreading disease to others. Support comprehensive sexual health education in schools, which can reduce rates of sexually transmitted disease (as well as teen pregnancy). Keep yourself and your families immunized against vaccine-preventable diseases — and get your flu shot!

Wednesday, April 4: Environmental Health
Help to protect and maintain a healthy planet
Reduce our collective carbon emissions footprint. Transition to renewable energies. Protect our natural resources and use evidence-based policy to protect our air, water and food. Support environmental health efforts that monitor our communities for risks and develop health-promoting interventions. Call for transportation planning that promotes walking, biking and public transit — it not only reduces climate-related emissions, but helps us all stay physically active.

Thursday, April 5: Injury and Violence Prevention
Learn about the effects of injury and violence on health
Increase funding to programs that reduce and prevent community violence. Advocate for occupational health and safety standards that keep workers safe on the job. Support policies that save those struggling with addiction from a fatal drug overdose. Many injuries are preventable with the appropriate education, policy and safety measures.

Friday, April 6: Ensuring the Right to Health
Advocate for everyone's right to a healthy life
Everyone deserves an opportunity to live a life free from preventable disease and disability. The places where we live, learn, work, worship and play should promote our health, not threaten it. That’s why creating the healthiest nation requires a dogged focus on achieving health equity for all.


Monday, March 12, 2018

Thoracic Surgery Social Media Network #TSSMN

The next Thoracic Surgery Social Media Network #TSSMN Twitter chat is scheduled for Tues March 20 at 5 pm Eastern. Follow @TSSMN and the hashtag #TSSMN

The topic: resident assessment and autonomy in cardiothoracic surgery


Be sure to read the article titled, "Resident Autonomy in the Operating Room: Expectations Versus Reality" and "Teaching operative cardiac surgery in the era of increasing patient complexity: Can it still be done?"

It's great to see trainees leveraging social media to discuss important issues that need to be discussed openly.

You can read more about the spirit of #TSSMN in this article, titled "Thoracic Surgery Social Media Network: Bringing thoracic surgery scholarship to Twitter."

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

CMS announces MyHealthEData Initiative and Medicare Blue Button 2.0

Here is one of the biggest announcements that came out of HIMSS 2018: the MyHealthEData Initiative launched by CMS.

MyHealthEData aims to empower patients by ensuring that they control their healthcare data and can decide how their data is going to be used, all while keeping that information safe and secure. The overall government-wide initiative is led by the White House Office of American Innovation with participation from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) – including its Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), and National Institutes of Health (NIH) – as well as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). MyHealthEData will help to break down the barriers that prevent patients from having electronic access and true control of their own health records from the device or application of their choice. This effort will approach the issue of healthcare data from the patient’s perspective.

Medicare’s Blue Button 2.0 is a new and secure way for Medicare beneficiaries to access and share their personal health data in a universal digital format. Medicare’s Blue Button 2.0 will allow a patient to access and share their healthcare information, previous prescriptions, treatments, and procedures with a new doctor which can lead to less duplication in testing and provide continuity of care. 

CMS launches “Blue Button 2.0” tool, calls on all health insurers to make data available to patients

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

FDA authorizes marketing of first blood test to aid in the evaluation of concussion in adults

Advances in technology are leading to a host of innovations around reducing and detecting concussions.

Today, the FDA authorized the marketing of the first blood test to evaluate mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), commonly referred to as concussion, in adults.

The FDA reviewed and authorized for marketing the Banyan Brain Trauma Indicator in fewer than 6 months as part of its Breakthrough Devices Program.

The Brain Trauma Indicator works by measuring levels of proteins, known as UCH-L1 and GFAP, that are released from the brain into blood and measured within 12 hours of head injury. Levels of these blood proteins after mTBI/concussion can help predict which patients may have intracranial lesions visible by CT scan and which won’t. Being able to predict if patients have a low probability of intracranial lesions can help health care professionals in their management of patients and the decision to perform a CT scan. Test results can be available within 3 to 4 hours.

More information here.

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