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Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
Prevention Is the Goal
During the past three years, the VA has more than doubled the number of veterans in care who have been tested for HIV and linked those who are positive to HIV specialists. Newer programs focus on preventing transmission through aggressive treatment and prophylaxis, with mixed results.
Controversy continues about when and for whom prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening makes sense. PSA testing often is on lists of “excessive” medical procedures, but primary-care physicians are uncomfortable doing no screening for the common cancer. Two VA clinicians who have researched extensively in the area offer practical advice.
From diagnosis to selecting therapeutics to predicting the course of the disease, everything about treating multiple sclerosis is complex. New research revealing that male MS patients are likely to suffer other chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and coronary artery disease only makes management of the disease more difficult. The VA offers some tools to help clinicians navigate.
No one knows where or when the next influenza pandemic will begin, making immunization and surveillance important every year. At the VA, continued efforts to refine and expand the influenza vaccination program and invest in improved surveillance systems provide increasing protection for the nation’s most vulnerable veterans.
Interferon-Gamma Release Assays, revolutionary new blood tests that screen for tuberculosis are far more efficient than the old skin tests, which are notorious for inconsistencies in patient compliance and clinical interpretation as well as false positives for those vaccinated for TB. VA is beginning to expand the usage of the new tests, especially with the availability of new options.
INDIANAPOLIS, IN — While the medication alerts, automated reminders and warnings that pop up in electronic medical records (EMRs) improve patient care in theory, reality can be quite different: Alerts may be viewed as unhelpful noise by providers and rarely lead to medication changes.
WASHINGTON — The U.S. military continues to use improper processes to diagnose significant numbers of servicemembers with pre-existing personality disorders (PD) and then discharge them, according to government documents obtained by an advocacy group.
GAINESVILLE, FL — Treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), the fourth most common diagnosis among VA patients over 50 years old, has changed radically in the last 15 years, with better management and medications making surgery a less-attractive option in most cases.
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