November 2011

VA Looks at New Weapons in War Against Antibiotic Overuse, Resistant Infections

The war against overuse of antibiotics and the resulting resistant infections is constantly being fought at the VA. Sometimes battles are won – such as a successful program that decreased rates of healthcare associated MRSA infections 67% – and sometimes… Read More

Do HHS Proposed Changes to Common Rule Go Far Enough, Critics Ask

BETHESDA, MD — This summer, HHS announced a proposal to improve the rules governing the protection of human research subjects — a system usually referred to as the Common Rule, which has been in place since 1991. While the proposed… Read More

Treating a Million Diabetes Patients, VA Stays at Cutting Edge

With responsibility for treating diabetes in more than a million veterans in its primary-care population, VA is at the leading edge of care for the metabolic disease. For example, an article this spring in the Annals of Internal Medicine focused… Read More

Best-Practice Programs Reduce Diabetes Rate Among Native Americans, Alaskans

Following encouraging results from a demonstration project that involved 36 Indian Health Service (IHS), tribal and urban Indian health programs, the IHS has added “Youth and Type 2 Diabetes Prevention and Treatment” to its list of best practices. That program… Read More

National Drug Shortages Plague VA – Pharmacy Officials Detail Response at Public Hearing

SILVER SPRING, MD — VA is not immune to the effects of drug shortages, and even small problems in the drug pipeline can have serious effects on the department’s ability to get the right pharmaceutical to the right patient, VA… Read More

Powerful New Scanner Improves Diagnosis, Treatment of TBI, PTSD

WASHINGTON — A cutting-edge scanner that combines a whole-body, simultaneous positron emission topography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) could be invaluable in helping them better understand what changes are occurring in the brains of those suffering from TBI and… Read More

Military Battles Flu Every Year to Ensure Troop Readiness

WASHINGTON — Every year, the military has to do battle with an especially cunning and adaptable foe: seasonal influenza. During the 2010-2011 flu season, more than 600 cases of the flu were reported among troops on active duty (80.1% had… Read More

Concussions in Pro Football Players Provide Clues to Military TBI Treatment

Head Injury Leading Killer Among All-Americans WASHINGTON — Concerns about the long-term effects of repeated head trauma go far beyond military personnel injured in battlefield blasts. More than 50,000 Americans, most of them civilians, die each year from TBI, according… Read More

VA Tests Innovative Solutions to Veteran Unemployment

WASHINGTON — Unemployment among veterans is higher than the civilian sector, as servicemembers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have a difficult time finding a place in the work force. This has legislators attempting to understand the root causes of the… Read More

Faced With Lawsuit, TRICARE Reviews Policies After 4.9 Million Patient Data Breach

WASHINGTON — TRICARE is reviewing its current data protection security policies and procedures in response to a data breach that involved personal information on an estimated 4.9 million military clinic and hospital patients. A $4.9 billion class-action lawsuit that was… Read More