Mortality rates at hospitals that pay for accreditation by organizations such as the Joint Commission are not lower than mortality rates at hospitals that have state inspections, Harvard University researchers reported in The BMJ. Researchers found choosing a hospital accredited by the Joint Commission was not associated with more health care benefits, compared with choosing a hospital reviewed by other accrediting organizations.
The Leapfrog Group said it will begin evaluating and grading safety and quality at up to 5,600 surgery centers, focusing on staffing, surgical outcomes and patient experience. CEO Leah Binder said the evaluations will address gaps in information about same-day surgery.
There is no correlation between mortality rates and quality measures for acute myocardial infarction reported to the CMS Hospital Compare program, according to research presented at the American College of Emergency Physicians' annual meeting. "We found no evidence that hospitals performing better on most publicly reported ED process measures had better outcomes for patients with AMI," said Dr. Laura Burke of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
A study in JAMA Internal Medicine showed an 18.4% increase in annual emergency department visits from 2006 through 2014, while admission rates from the ED decreased 9.8%. Researchers said the lower hospitalization rate may reflect efforts to reduce admissions, but Dr. Mitchell Katz wrote in an accompanying editorial that it may show more people with nonemergent conditions go to the ED due to a lack of access to timely primary care.
Dietitians say there are ways to help promote absorption of vitamin and mineral supplements, such as taking fat-soluble vitamins with a meal containing at least 10 grams of fat and combining vitamin D with calcium. Registered dietitian Whitney Linsenmeyer said taking vitamins with food allows gastric juices and enzymes to help absorb nutrients.
Missouri Southern State University is opening the Lion Co-Op food pantry to help students with food insecurity. Registered dietitian Andrea Cullers, who helped launch the project, said being hungry can impact academic success and the campus is a food desert, making it difficult to get to a grocery store for students who do not have a car.
Researchers found that infants whose mothers took beta-blockers during the first trimester of pregnancy didn't have a significantly higher likelihood of developing congenital malformations, cardiac or central nervous system defects, and cleft lip or palate, compared with those whose mothers weren't exposed to beta-blockers during gestation. The findings were published online in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Australian investigators who conducted a rapid scale-up of pre-exposure prophylaxis treatment among 3,645 gay and bisexual men who engaged in high-risk sexual behaviors from the state of New South Wales found that new HIV infections dropped 32% one year after the program was started, based on data published in The Lancet HIV. One challenge to replicating this effect in the US would be access to PrEP due to its cost and insurance copayments, according to Jeffrey D. Klausner, of the University of California at Los Angeles, who wasn't involved in the study.
Researchers at Purdue University have developed paper-based electronic devices that can eventually be used to develop health monitoring and therapeutic medical devices. The flexible, breathable devices, called "smart stickers" by the scientists, are intended to be wirelessly powered and repel oils and water, as the cellulose they are made of is infused with hydrophobic and hydrophilic molecules.
Relieve stress at any time of day through mindfulness, a meditative practice that requires taking a short break to re-focus and center on what's important. A 10-minute yoga session at the start of the day can be helpful, but for those pressed for time in the morning, a short de-stress activity during lunch break or listening to a guided mindfulness podcast can be beneficial as well.