For years, hospitals have been dealing with sharp drug price increases and shortages. To combat these problems, hospitals are going into the drug manufacturing business. A group of major hospital systems plans to form a nonprofit company that will provide several generic drugs to the hospitals—either by manufacturing them or working with a third-party manufacturer.
The goal of the effort is to challenge the many companies that take advantage of the market by buying up monopolies of off-patent drugs and then raising prices. Everyone remembers when Martin Shkreli raised the price of an older drug from $13.50 per tablet to $750.
The Association for Accessible Medicines, the generic manufacturers’ trade group, says it welcomes the competition, and some drug shortage experts indicate that increasing suppliers will help.
Researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health’s Division of Intramural Research Programs recently developed a free Ask Suicide-Screening Questions (ASQ) toolkit to help nurses and other healthcare professionals identify young people at risk for suicide. The toolkit, which is organized for specific medical settings (for example for emergency departments, inpatient units, or specialty clinics), includes four questions that take 20 minutes to administer. One study of the toolkit found that 97% of youth at risk for suicide were identified when a yes response was given to one or more of the four questions. Read more.
Nurses are well respected by the public. However, according to a recently published study, patients lose confidence in nurses and nursing care when they feel that not enough nurses are available. This study, conducted in England and led by Linda H. Aiken, PhD, RN, FAAN, FRCN, Claire M. Fagin Leadership Professor in Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania, concluded that reducing missed nursing care by ensuring adequate numbers of RNs at the hospital bedside and improved hospital clinical care environments offer opportunities to enhance patient satisfaction. Read more.
You and your patients may be suffering the ill effects of cold winter weather. Take steps to keep yourself happy and healthy…and share them with your patients:
- Exercise regularly to release endorphins and improve your mood.
- Eat healthy (with an occasional indulgence).
- Meditate to calm anxiety and ease mild depression.
- Spend time (in person or virtually) with friends and family.
- Investigate light therapy, which may help seasonal depression.
- Seek help when you experience serious signs of depression.
Hospitals in every state were penalized with cuts in Medicare payments for having too many infections. (Maryland is the only state not affected because it has a different Medicare payment system.) Medicare considers these conditions when evaluating hospitals:
- Infections from colon surgeries, hysterectomies, urinary tract catheters, and central line tubes.
- Rates of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Clostridium difficile
- Frequency of 10 types of in-hospital injuries (including bedsores, hip fractures, blood clots, sepsis, and postsurgical wound ruptures).
New York is the first state to require that nurses get bachelors degree. Within 10 years of receiving an RN license, nurses must earn their BSN. The law does not apply to nurses already in practice. The BSN requirement has been a priority for several years, but New York is the first state to make it law. Read more.
This unexpectedly bad flu season has been made even more difficult because of a shortage of fluids used to deliver medication and treat dehydrated patients. The ongoing shortage was worsened when the hurricane in Puerto Rico left many manufacturing plants without power. The small saline bags used for hydrating patients and diluting medications have been especially hard hit. Read more.
Did you know that nurses are now part of the largest employer in the United States? That’s right, health care is now a bigger U.S. employer than retail or manufacturing. The reasons are complex, but the aging population and medical spending growth are two big factors. Read more.
Has your organization ever experienced a data breach? According to a survey by the University of Phoenix College of Health Professions, one in five RNs say yes. If you’ve experienced a breach, what happened? Was security tightened? Were protocols changed? If you answered no to those questions, you’re not alone. A quarter of respondents who said their facility had a data breach saw no changes in how data security and patient privacy are handled. Read more about this survey and healthcare data security here.
The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) conducted a meta-analysis to identify whether long-term night shift work increased the risks of common cancers in women. See the results of the study here.
The American Heart Association has updated its guidelines for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and emergency cardiovascular care. This update provides the evidence review and treatment recommendation for chest compression–only CPR versus CPR using chest compressions with rescue breaths for children <18 years of age. Read more.
The outpouring of support for citizens effected by the 2017 hurricanes continues. This time, it comes in the form of scholarships for nurses enrolling in Ponce Health Sciences University accelerated bachelor in science nursing program. The program offers 14 scholarships, seven merit based and seven needs based. The scholarships, which pay for 50% of the tuition fees, were developed to help Puerto Rico recover as quickly as possible from the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria. Read more.
Is it appropriate for healthcare professionals to wear body cameras? Here are some pros and cons, according to those debating this issue:
Provide evidence in malpractice litigation
Prompt better behavior by patients, families, and healthcare workers when they know they’re being recorded
De-escalate potentially volatile situations
Potential security and privacy violations
Interference with honest communication, especially with regard to sensitive healthcare topics such as mental health and drug misuse
Feasibility of safely storing protecting recordings
Read more on here. And we welcome your opinion on this topic.