Non-Clinical Topics

VA Might Yet Move to Commercial EHR System

VA Might Yet Move to Commercial EHR System

After years of working to modernize its electronic health record internally, a senior IT official indicated last month that a shift to a commercial EHR is the likely path forward for VA.

Opioid Safety Initiative Drives Down Prescriptions for High-Dose Painkillers

Opioid Safety Initiative Drives Down Prescriptions for High-Dose Painkillers

Thanks to a national initiative begun at the VHA in 2013, fewer veterans are receiving prescriptions for risky dosages of opioid painkillers.

How Low To Go: The Continuing Controversy on BP Targets

How Low To Go: The Continuing Controversy on BP Targets

After the release of the SPRINT research in 2015, the question about treating hypertension in older adults appeared to be, “How low can you go?”

Shulkin Sails Through Senate on Promise of VA Changes

Shulkin Sails Through Senate on Promise of VA Changes

David J. Shulkin, MD, stepped into the role of VA secretary last month after receiving unanimous support from the U.S. Senate.

VA Action Stabilizes Prescription Costs for Veterans

VA Action Stabilizes Prescription Costs for Veterans

Late last month, the VA introduced a tiered pharmacy benefit designed to decrease the cost of outpatient medications for most veterans.

Change in Law Allows IVF at VA for Wounded Veterans Left Infertile

Change in Law Allows IVF at VA for Wounded Veterans Left Infertile

Veterans whose combat-related trauma left them infertile now have access to in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment covered by VA, thanks to implementation of a new interim final rule.

GAO: Quality of Care Oversight Is Lacking at IHS

GAO: Quality of Care Oversight Is Lacking at IHS

The Indian Health Service’s “oversight of the quality of care in its federally-operated facilities has been limited and inconsistent,” according to a new report pointing out the agency’s mission is to “raise the physical, mental, social, and spiritual health of American Indians and Alaska Natives to the highest level.”

VA Accountability Tops Legislative List in New Congress

VA Accountability Tops Legislative List in New Congress

House lawmakers wasted no time beginning the 115th Congress last month with legislation addressing VA accountability.

VA Urgent Care, ED Staffing Helped By New Legislation

VA Urgent Care, ED Staffing Helped By New Legislation

VA soon will be able to implement flexible work schedules for certain medical professionals to better accommodate patients.

Army Pharmacy Pilots New Service Model at Four Sites

Army Pharmacy Pilots New Service Model at Four Sites

Four Army pharmacy sites have taken the lead in shifting the patient experience from a transactional paradigm to a service-oriented model the Army hopes to replicate across all facilities.

Metformin Improves Colorectal Cancer Survival in Veterans

Metformin has been associated with improved colorectal cancer survival (CRC), but investigations have been limited by small numbers of patients and confounding by diabetic severity, according to a new study.

VA Epilepsy Video Series Offers Hope to Patients Struggling With The Disease

VA Epilepsy Video Series Offers Hope to Patients Struggling With The Disease

For many veterans, the onset of epilepsy is terrifying, and a confirmed diagnosis does little to provide relief.

Don’t Forget Leishmaniasis When Servicemembers Have Mysterious Symptoms

Don’t Forget Leishmaniasis When Servicemembers Have Mysterious Symptoms

Military physicians stumped by a diagnosis might want to consider leishmaniasis in personnel returning from Iraq or Afghanistan, according to a new report.

Army Child Abuse, Neglect Cases Under-Reported

Army Child Abuse, Neglect Cases Under-Reported

Abuse and neglect of children of Army personnel appears to be under-reported, according to a new report which also suggests a breakdown of communication between civilian child protective services and the military.

New Rule Allows Benefits for Some Camp Lejeune Veterans

New Rule Allows Benefits for Some Camp Lejeune Veterans

Thousands of veterans who were exposed to contaminants at Camp Lejeune will become eligible for automatic disability compensation if they have been diagnosed with eight diseases linked with toxins in the water supply.

VA Grapples With Federal Hiring Freeze, Exemption Sought

VA Grapples With Federal Hiring Freeze, Exemption Sought

WASHINGTON—Shortly after taking office last month, President Donald Trump ordered a freeze on the hiring of federal civilian employees across the executive branch, raising questions on how the VA would be affected.

Telehealth Device Helps Avoid Suicide in Veterans With Schizophrenia

Telehealth Device Helps Avoid Suicide in Veterans With Schizophrenia

Telehealth tools are showing promise in helping save the lives of schizophrenic veterans with a high risk of suicide, but the VA is facing a setback in using them.

Forum Describes Alternatives to Treat Veteran Pain

Forum Describes Alternatives to Treat Veteran Pain

A pilot program integrating complementary and integrative health approaches in pain management and mental health services at 15 VA facilities has the potential to help facilitate the understanding of nonpharmacological approaches to treating pain.

House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Gets Former Military Doctor as Chairman

House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Gets Former Military Doctor as Chairman

The influential House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs will welcome a new leader this month.

Goolsby Uses Variety of Tools to Prepare Military Physicians for Challenging Roles

Goolsby Uses Variety of Tools to Prepare Military Physicians for Challenging Roles

Maj. Craig Goolsby, MD, wears a lot of hats at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU).

Increasing Use of Community Care Risks Poor Coordination With VA

Increasing Use of Community Care Risks Poor Coordination With VA

In less than a decade, the number of veterans receiving care at community health centers rose 43%, in part reflecting increased access to local providers through the Veterans Choice program, according to researchers at the Geiger Gibson/RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative at George Washington University.

VA Expands Practice Authority for Three High-Level Nurse Categories

VA Expands Practice Authority for Three High-Level Nurse Categories

The VA has granted full practice authority to three roles of advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) to practice to the full extent of their education, training and certification, regardless of state restrictions.