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Obesity, Weight-Loss Both Worsen RA U.S. Medicine

Obese patients with rheumatoid arthritis report greater disability in cross-sectional studies, but what that means over the long term has not been studied often.


Opioid Prescription Delays DMARD Initiation

What factors can cause delays in initiation of initial disease-modifying antirheumatic drug, or DMARD, in patients newly diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA)?


Outcomes of Genitourinary Injuries in Recent Veterans

The diagnosis and coordination of care for veterans with genitourinary injury can be improved, a new study found.


Featured Articles


Departments

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

VHA Makes Progress in Improving Safety of Opioid Prescribing

VHA medical facilities should ensure that its providers are following three key opioid risk mitigation strategies, including conducting urine drug screening, a recent report recommended.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

VA faces healthcare staffing shortages, barriers to hiring facility leaders

A facility-specific survey found that 138 of 140 VA facilities reported shortages of medical officers, with psychiatry and primary care positions being the most frequently listed.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Veteran nephrologist labors to improve ESRD treatment at VA

When Terrence O’Neil, MD, retired as chief of nephrology at the James H. Quillen VAMC in Johnson City in December 2016, he left in his wake decades of work treating kidney disease—nearly 35 years in the Air Force and DoD, plus 11 more at VA.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Committee approves bill to provide agent orange benefits to ‘blue water’ vets

A long sought-after bill that would make it easier for Blue Water Navy veterans to receive Agent Orange benefits has been passed by a key House of Representatives committee.

Department of Defense (DoD)

DoD acknowledges its medical adverse event reporting is ‘unreliable’

The process for tracking the DoD’s most serious adverse medical events is “fragmented, impeding the Defense Health Agency’s (DHA) ability to ensure that it has received complete information,” according to a new review.

Department of Defense (DoD)

Automation Speeds Results and Increases Accuracy for Point-of-Care Testing at Walter Reed NMMC

With a long history of point of care testing at both of its predecessor organizations, the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) laboratory services staff were keenly aware of the advantages of using portable testing devices to obtain rapid patient assessments.




Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Bill to Streamline, Expand VA’s Choice Program Signed Into Law

Legislation that would streamline VA’s community care programs into one program and expand VA’s caregiver program to veterans of all eras was signed into law earlier this month..




Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Despite Criticism, VA Healthcare as Good or Better Than Other Systems

The good news from a recent consultant study is that, overall, the VA healthcare system is generally equal or better than others when inpatient and outpatient quality is measured.





Clinical Topics

Oncology

VA/National Cancer Institute Partnership Increases Veteran Access to Trials

Thanks to a new partnership between the National Cancer Institute and the VA, veterans with cancer will now have greater access to potentially lifesaving clinical trials.

Oncology

VA Continues Hepatocellular Screening, but Study Questions the Value

Although a recent study determined that screening veterans with cirrhosis for hepatocellular carcinoma did not reduce the risk of death associated with liver cancer, the VA has no plans to change its screening practices.

Infectious Disease

Could Bilirubin Measurements Predict, Prevent CV Events in HIV Patients?

For most people, mention of bilirubin, which is formed after the breakdown of red blood cells and is eliminated by the liver, elicits thoughts of jaundice—which occurs when the compound is too high.

Infectious Disease

VA Pilots Automated Nationwide MDRO Alert System

The VA has successfully piloted a nationwide system to alert VA facilities when patients are admitted with a history of infection with two challenging multidrug resistant organisms (MDROs).

Oncology

Testosterone Therapy Not Linked to Aggressive Prostate Cancer in Veterans

Clinicians prescribing supplemental testosterone in men with low levels always have a nagging concern about the possible link between increasing hormone levels and prostate cancer.

Neurology

Rural Veterans With MS Benefit from Clinical Video Telehealth Rehabilitation

Of the more than 28,000 veterans with multiple sclerosis (MS) who receive care at the VHA, almost 45% of them live in rural or highly rural areas, a recent conference presentation pointed out.




Infectious Disease

Flu Vaccination Rates Up for VA Health Care Staff, But Still Lag National Average

While the VA significantly lags behind other healthcare systems in mandating influenza vaccinations for healthcare workers, according to recent research, it is moving closer to the national average because of a directive issued last fall.





Non-Clinical Topics

Pharmacy

Is It Time to Abandon One-Size-Fits-All Dosing for Antibiotics?

Increased obesity among veterans and the general population might be leading to more hospitalizations for infections and greater instance of failed treatment in patients who have been hospitalized.

News

VHA Accountability Unclear for Assuring Medical Equipment Sterility

Who is responsible for VHA's sterile processing reusable medical equipment is unclear, and the lack of accountability needs to be addressed, agency officials told lawmakers.

News

House Passes Bill to Improve Hiring, Retention at VHA

A three-year pilot program to provide undergraduate students a clinical observation experience within VA is called for in a bill recently passed by the House of Representatives.

News

Legislators Question Governance of VA EHR Implementation

How much will implementation and integration of a new electronic health record slow down processes at the VA, which already struggles with delays in care?

News

No Prior Mental Health Diagnosis for Many Soldiers Attempting Suicide

While mental health conditions are a strong predictor of who is likely to try to take their own life, that doesn't account for a sizeable percentage of soldiers at risk of suicide, according to a new study.

Pharmacy

VA Evaluates Form to Improve Function in Medication Labels

When time is of the essence, good design saves lives. That was the lesson of a recent experiment in Pittsburgh that tested whether anesthetist trainees would grab the right medication in a stressful simulated operating room scenario or make a potentially fatal mistake.




News

Lawmakers Continue to Push VA to Meet Benefits Modernization Deadline

VA remains on track for implementing its new disability appeals system by the February 2019 deadline, VA officials told lawmakers at a recent hearing.




News

Milwaukee VA Specialist Seeks to Make Radiology More Patient-Friendly

Ian Weissman, a radiologist with the Milwaukee VA, can trace his desire to be a doctor back to one source. “I grew up watching 'The Waltons.' There, the primary care doc was part of the community,” he explained. “That was my dream.”




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