A 12-month study from Kaiser Permanente Northern California found using medical scribes in primary care may reduce EHR burdens for clinicians, improve workflow and clinician-patient interactions, and increase job satisfaction. The study found 57% of patients said their clinician spent less time on the computer when a medical scribe was present, and 49.8% said their physician spent more time than usual interacting with them.
Telemedicine could improve patient care and help with physician shortages in Pennsylvania, hospital executives said in testimony before the state's House Professional Licensure Committee. The committee is considering legislation that would require insurance companies to provide telemedicine coverage in some cases.
The risk of readmission was higher for patients treated at for-profit hospitals than nonprofit or public hospitals, researchers reported in PLOS One. The study, which analyzed data from the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program from 2012 to 2015, included cases of heart attack, heart failure, coronary artery bypass surgery, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and total hip or knee replacement surgery.
A Department of Veterans Affairs survey has found that the quality of care at five VA hospitals has improved over the last year enough that they can be removed from a list of high-risk facilities. More than 146 VA facilities were evaluated, with 103 showing service quality improvements and seven showing declines.
Hospital chefs are pushing to make meals served to patients nutritious, cooked from scratch, comforting and flavorful. Hospitals also are teaching patients about nutrition and food labels before discharge, as well as offering resources such as food pharmacies that provide healthy foods to patients after they go home.
Spanning Cloud Apps polled over 400 US employees and found that 60% of government workers would let colleagues use their work computer, compared with 40% of health care staffers. Another study by Wombat Security found that on average, health care employees incorrectly answered 23% of questions related to IT security best practices, compared with 24% among those in the hospitality industry.
A European study found eating foods with low nutritional quality may increase the risk of cancer in men and women, researchers reported in PLOS Medicine. The study used the nutrient scoring system of the British Food Standards Agency, which includes a color-coded Nutri-Score, in analyzing data, and researchers said the results support the idea of using a food labeling system to help people make healthier choices.
Senate lawmakers approved an $854 billion spending package that includes $675 billion for the Defense Department and $178 billion for the Labor, Education and HHS departments, including $3.8 billion in funding to combat the opioid abuse epidemic. The package, which now goes to the House, includes stopgap legislation that would keep the government open through Dec. 7.
The internet and social media have been a double-edged sword for social workers, accelerating communication and enabling global reach yet posing dangers such as privacy breaches and regulatory concerns. Professionals should self-regulate their own online activity while also calling upon government regulators to strengthen privacy protections, writes Elliot Caleria.
Marburg virus persisted in the testes of crab-eating macaques, suggesting that Marburg and other filoviruses, such as Ebola, might also persist in human testes after the body clears the virus from other organs, researchers reported in Cell Host & Microbe. Marburg virus caused the breakdown of the blood-testes barrier that protects Sertoli cells, but the presence of the virus did not appear to affect sperm generation or reproductive function.
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