2015 Issues

September 2015

Individual Prescriber Preferences Contribute to VA’s Antibiotic Overuse

By Brenda L. MooneySALT LAKE CITY — A study conducted in the VA health system uncovered a disturbing truth about overuse of antibiotics: A big contributor to the problem is that some clinicians prescribe the... View Article

September 2015

Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction Modestly Better for PTSD

By Brenda L. MooneyMINNEAPOLIS — Mindfulness-based stress reduction therapy performed moderately better than present-centered group therapy in helping veterans relieve self-reported symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).That’s according to a report published recently in the... View Article

September 2015

PTSD Treatment Affected by Sleep Quality

SAN DIEGO — Sleep quality appears to have a significant effect on the success of treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to a veterans study.The study, led by researchers at the VA San Diego... View Article

September 2015

Poor Sleep Quality Linked to Reduced Veteran Resilience

Reduced resilience among veterans and returning military personnel might be linked to poor sleep quality, according to a recent study.

September 2015

Risk of Sleep Apnea Increases With PTSD Severity

SAN DIEGO — The likelihood of having a high risk of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) goes up with increasing severity of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, according to a study of young veterans.The study, which... View Article

September 2015

Prostate Cancer Treatment Has Long-Term Effects

NEW YORK — The long-term impact on functional outcomes after prostate cancer treatment is substantial, with the vast majority of older patients reporting erectile dysfunction/sexual inactivity and other adverse symptoms 12 years later, according to... View Article

September 2015

Radiation for Prostate Cancer Well Tolerated At VA

 BROOKLYN, NY — Prostate cancer patients treated at a VAMC appeared to tolerate dose-escalated radiation well, according to a recent study.Results of the research, which analyzed the long-term results of veterans treated with dose-escalated radiation... View Article

September 2015

Congressional Testimony: VA Still Failing to Protect Whistleblowers

Sufficient safeguards still are lacking to prevent retaliation against those who filed complaints against the VA, whistleblowers told a congressional subcommittee recently.

September 2015

VA’s Aging Infrastructure Likely to Create Future Care Crisis

With 50% of the VA facilities more than 60 years old, including operating rooms so outdated that modern equipment and technology won’t fit.

September 2015

Program Expansion Sought to Allow All Vets to Opt for Outside Care

Legislation introduced by a key Republican leader seeks to open up the Veterans Choice Program so that any VA patient can opt for outside healthcare through the program.

September 2015

Team-Based ED Program Halves Inappropriate Prescribing for Older Veterans

In the bustle of a hectic VAMC emergency department, do healthcare providers always remember which common medications are often problematic for older veterans? Usually not.

September 2015

DoD Blames Lack of Standards, Inadequate Testing for Live Anthrax Shipments

Spores Were Sent to 88 Primary Labs in 50 States, Nine Foreign CountriesBy Annette M. BoyleWASHINGTON — In what DoD officials called a “massive institutional failure,” samples of supposedly inactivated anthrax spores, some of which... View Article

September 2015

GAO Warns VA/DoD Medical Record Interoperability Could Take Years

By Sandra BasuWASHINGTON — Despite recent moves to improve their technology, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has concluded that DoD and VA still are behind schedule when it comes to key activities related to “the... View Article

September 2015

Beyond Battlefield Medicine, Ketamine Helps Warriors Function Despite Injury

For 40 years, ketamine remained on the fringes of battlefield medicine. Now, the DoD has embraced ketamine both on the field and in the hospital.

September 2015

As Opioid Prescribing Drops, VA Expands Alternative Pain Therapies

A year ago, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) rolled out new restrictions on hydrocodone-based painkillers, creating a painful situation for many veterans.

September 2015

Service Dog Becomes Veteran’s ‘Support System’

Rules Clarified on Animals on VA PropertyThe VA has revised its regulation regarding the presence of animals on VA property to ensure its practices remain consistent with federal law. Under the revised regulation, only dogs... View Article

September 2015

Doctors are Human Animals

They want to be loved, they are tribal, they instinctually favor stories over scientific evidence, they make mistakes, and even small gifts make them susceptible to being biased. If we took doctors seriously as human animals, we might hurt them — and they might hurt us - a lot less.

September 2015

VA: Disability Claims Backlog Reduced to Lowest Ever

By Sandra BasuWASHINGTON—Calling it a “historic milestone,” the VA announced last month that it has reduced the disability claims backlog to the lowest it has ever been. As of last month, the claims backlog stood at... View Article

September 2015

Honored AF Major Promotes Greater Primary Care Role for Pharmacists

In 2012, pharmacists at Hill Air Force Base had 84 direct patient-to-pharmacist clinical interactions a year. Today there are 9,600 patient interactions.

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