MINNEAPOLIS - A routine primary-care visit typically includes weighing-in, blood-pressure monitoring and a body-temperature check. In some cases, the physician may also listen to patients’ heart and breathing rhythms, look down their throats or check their ears.
What’s between the ears is another matter, however. Routine screening for mental function or cognitive impairment is rarely done in the VA or the private sector, according to a physician who urges that it be done. More
Please read this article and participate in this month's online opinion poll: Should cognitive screening become part of a routine primary-care office visit at VA?
WILKES-BARRE, PA - For staff and residents, life in a dementia-care unit often becomes a dance of frustration. The constant struggle to interpret the world around them upsets patients; the inability to keep residents from “acting out” exhausts staff members. Thanks to a grant from the VA Employee Innovation Initiative, a certified therapeutic-recreation specialist here has developed a pilot program that combines intensive, ongoing staff training and special intervention rooms in an effort to replace staff anxiety with confidence and patient frustration with calm. More
WASHINGTON - As government agencies struggle with an ever-increasing number of drug shortages on a national level, pharmacists at VA hospitals deal with the problem - usually very successfully - on a day-to-day basis. Terrill Washington, PharmD, chief of pharmacy services at the Washington DC VA Medical Center, has had to come with some creative solutions. More
New Report - Expand Pharmacists' Private Sector Scope of Practice WASHINGTON - Scope of practice for pharmacists in the private sector needs to be expanded to improve the quality and costs of healthcare delivery, according to a new U.S. Public Health Service report. The report looks at how widely expanding the scope of pharmacy practice in the private sector - just as these roles already have been expanded in the federal sector and in some places in the private sector - can alleviate demands on the healthcare system. More
Specialty Update: Oncology
VA Patients with Certain Types of Cancer Survive Longer The survival rate for older men receiving colon cancer care and some types of lung cancer in VA was better than similar fee-for-service (FFS) Medicare beneficiaries, according to a study out of Harvard Medical School. Researchers compared the survival rates of older patients with cancer and their FFS Medicare counterparts to determine whether differences in the stage of diagnosis and receipt of guideline-recommended therapies explained improved survival rates. More
Specialty Update: Coagulation
TXA Improves Cuagulopathy in Troops Injured in Battle The use of Tranexamic Acid (TXA) with blood component-based resuscitation following combat injury results in improved measures of cuagulopathy and survival, a recent study has concluded, leading to the use of the agent in casualty care for U.S. troops. More
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