Issue Archive

2010

Issue Date: 09/15/10
Identifying at-risk individuals and connecting them to appropriate care can improve health outcomes and reduce health disparities. Community care coordination aims to improve the quality, efficiency, and coordination of health care and social services for at-risk populations. Such programs often...
Issue Date: 09/01/10
Residents of rural communities often have limited access to appropriate, high quality care due to distance and a shortage of hospitals, physicians, and medical specialists that serve rural populations. Health information technology (health IT) applications, such as telehealth, electronic medical...
Issue Date: 08/18/10
"Integrated primary care" refers to the integration of behavioral health services--mental health, substance abuse, and health behavior change strategies--with primary care services. The level of integration can vary depending on whether both services are coordinated, co-located, or integrated into...
Issue Date: 08/04/10
The proportion of the U.S. population with limited English proficiency (LEP) has nearly doubled from 1980 to 2000, and is projected to increase. Research has shown that language and cultural barriers complicate physician-patient communication and adversely affect health care quality...
Issue Date: 07/21/10
Chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes are responsible for 7 of 10 deaths annually and account for 75 percent of the nation's health spending, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. However, most chronic diseases can be prevented and/or managed....
Issue Date: 07/07/10
In shared decisionmaking, both the patient and clinician share information, participate in the decisionmaking process, and agree on the best strategy for treatment. The clinician provides personalized information, tools, and/or decision aids to help the patient understand available treatment...
Issue Date: 06/23/10
Since the 1999 Institute of Medicine Report publicized that up to 98,000 patients die annually due to often preventable medical errors, many hospitals have initiated programs to increase medical reporting of errors and reduce costs associated with additional patient care and malpractice...
Issue Date: 06/09/10
Patients with multiple and complex health conditions, mental health problems, and/or limited English proficiency often need a range of social services and support to manage their conditions. Health care providers and organizations can help patients connect to behavioral health services, social...
Issue Date: 05/26/10
Clinical decisionmaking has become increasingly complex. Health care professionals are turning to decision support tools defined broadly as clinical systems, applications, or processes to optimize clinical decisionmaking at the point of care. These tools range from computerized alerts and reminders...
Issue Date: 05/12/10
Coaches in health care settings work with patients to make behavior changes and with health care professionals to make process improvements that can lead to better health outcomes. Patient navigators help individuals understand how the health care system works and gain access by removing barriers...
Issue Date: 04/28/10
Youth, especially among racial and ethnic minorities, experience higher rates of diseases, injuries, and violence than Whites and fewer opportunities to achieve optimal health.  Youth health risk factors include poor dietary choices, low levels of physical activity, lack of dental care, and ...
Issue Date: 04/14/10
Reducing waste and improving efficiency in health care delivery can reduce costs and improve health care quality. Inefficient processes waste limited health care resources that could otherwise improve health outcomes. Improvement strategies include implementing evidence-based practices and...
Issue Date: 03/31/10
The trend in primary care delivery toward patient-centered medical homes has gained the attention of policymakers.  The recently enacted health care reform legislation would expand practice- and community-based medical home demonstration projects through Medicare. The featured Innovations...
Issue Date: 03/17/10
Health care services that respect and respond to diverse patients' health beliefs, practices, and cultural and linguistic needs can produce positive health outcomes and reduce health disparities. The Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health has established national standards for...
Issue Date: 03/03/10
Pressure ulcers are a common problem across health care settings. The incidence of pressure ulcers varies by clinical setting: 0.4% to 38.0% for hospitals, 2.2% to 23.9% for long-term care, and 0% to 17% for home care, according to a 2003 article published in the Journal of the American Medical...
Issue Date: 02/17/10
Health promotion activities are designed to encourage healthy behaviors and reduce the risk factors associated with diseases and chronic conditions. Health education combined with related organizational, economic, and political interventions can enable individuals and communities to improve their...
Issue Date: 02/03/10
Americans are living longer with multiple conditions and being cared for by multiple providers. Coordinating care as patients move from one health care setting to another or between a primary care professional and specialists is essential to avoid duplication of efforts, conflicting plans of care, ...
Issue Date: 01/20/10
Nurses need professional opportunities to develop their leadership skills such as serving in various clinical roles and engaging in quality improvement initiatives.  The featured innovations describe leadership roles nurses play across patient care settings. The featured QualityTools...

2009

Issue Date: 12/23/09
People with mental health problems are more likely to visit their primary care doctors than mental health professionals. Yet, mental health problems are often overlooked in primary care settings due to time constraints and lack of training.    The featured innovations describe a remote mental...
Issue Date: 12/09/09
Social media applications ranging from text messaging to social networking are increasingly being used by health care providers to improve patient care.  The featured innovations describe mobile phone and text messaging programs to improve self-management of chronic diseases and increase...
Issue Date: 11/25/09
The elderly (age 65 and over) have complex health and social needs. Almost 75 percent of the elderly have at least one chronic illness, while roughly one-half have at least two. Many elderly patients take multiple medications, with some taking as many as 10 on a daily basis. The featured...
Issue Date: 11/11/09
Nearly one in two adults living in the United States has limited health literacy, which affects their ability to obtain, process, and understand basic health information, according to a 2004 Institute of Medicine report. The highest rates of limited health literacy are among people who are older, ...
Issue Date: 10/28/09
Oral health disparities persist in the U.S. population for many reasons, including complex cultural and social processes that affect oral health and access to effective dental health care. Infrequent preventive care and high rates of dental disease are associated with minority...
Issue Date: 10/14/09
In American hospitals alone, healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) account for an estimated 1.7 million infections and 99,000 associated deaths each year, according to a 2009 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (If you don't have the software to open this PDF, download...
Issue Date: 09/30/09
People with developmental disabilities experience chronic conditions due to physical or mental impairments such as loss of vision, hearing impairment, cerebral palsy or autism. Although these disabilities occur by age 22, they usually last a lifetime and interfere with major life activities such as...

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