Hospitals in Arizona are joining health care facilities around the U.S. in ramping up efforts to prevent hospital-acquired infections among patients through stricter implementation of hand hygiene and disinfecting of rooms and equipment. One study initiated by Peter Pronovost of Johns Hopkins Hospital suggests that empowering nurses to alert doctors about violations of proper procedures is one of the best weapons against health care-related infections.
Using whiteboards can improve communication, teamwork and patient care, according to a survey at the University of California, San Francisco. Researchers used survey data to develop a program for a revitalized whiteboard system in patient rooms that clearly shows the focus is on the patient, not the provider.
The federal government Monday issued rules for allowing young adults to remain on their parents' health insurance until age 26. The regulations call for children to be covered regardless of where they live and whether or not they are a dependent, in college or married. Family insurance premiums are expected to rise by about 1%.
President Barack Obama said the health reform law already is benefiting millions of Americans in the form of tax cuts for small businesses, assistance for families with young adults and soon, a $250 rebate for seniors who fall into a gap in Medicare's drug coverage. "Already we are seeing a health care system that holds insurance companies more accountable and gives consumers more control," Obama said in his weekly radio and online address.
HHS has awarded Mathematica Policy Research $6 million in a stimulus grant to set up a Center of Excellence in Research on Disability Services, Care Coordination and Integration. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the data will help the CMS and the HHS Office on Disability evaluate and improve the effectiveness of services for people with disabilities.