Seattle Children’s Bellevue branch warns of potential infection risk
The discovery that surgical instruments may not have been properly sterilized since Seattle Children’s Bellevue center opened in 2010 has triggered a warning to thousands of patients and families. The hospital is offering free tests for blood-borne viruses, such as hepatitis B and C and HIV, The Seattle Times reports.
Early medical-school training tipping toward Spokane
Two years before WSU’s medical school opens, there already will be more first- and second-year medical students studying east of the Cascades this fall than in Western Washington, The Seattle Times reports. State officials hope that some of the physicians who train in Spokane will stick around to work in Eastern and Central Washington, which faces a shortage of doctors.
States press for childhood vaccinations
Many adults have never seen someone with such diseases as measles or whooping cough and may not realize the risk of avoiding vaccinations. Eliminating vaccine exemptions or making them tougher to get can boost vaccination rates and reduce disease outbreaks, Kaiser Health News reports.
Pain isn’t the same for everyone
Nearly 40 million Americans experience severe pain and more than 25 million have pain every day, Kaiser Health News reports. The researchers with the National Institutes of Health also examined pain differences among ethnic groups and found, for example, that Hispanics and Asians are less likely to report pain.
Ebola: What clinicians need to know
Infection control and triage
Using proper infection control measures is crucial for preventing transmission of infectious diseases. Serious communicable diseases such as MERS and Ebola virus disease are making headlines, and flu season is looming. It’s crucial that appropriate infection control precautions are taken on a daily basis for every patient.
To protect your health care workers and patients from infectious diseases in health care settings:
- Review and ensure implementation of proper infection control procedures during all stages of the patient encounter;
- Review triage protocols for early identification to trigger appropriate infection control response; and,
- Take extra steps specifically for Ebola.
Resources for physicians
- Complete infection control guidance from the CDC
- A health care provider preparedness checklist for Ebola
- Department of Health’s key messages for providers regarding Ebola
- Department of Health’s guidance for safe handling of human remains of Ebola patients in the U.S.
Resources for patients
- Department of Health Ebola overview for patients
- Department of Health Ebola fact sheet (available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Russian, Somali, Ukrainian and Vietnamese)
- Patient resources for your practice on Ebola from the CDC
- CDC travel advisory
- Ebola facts (color pdf poster) from U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
News and other resources
- Medscape’s Ebola resource center
- Washington State Department of Health’s Ebola virus disease information for public health and health care providers
- American Medical Association’s Ebola resource center
- Washington State Hospital Association’s Ebola resources for hospitals and the public
- Washington State Nurses Association’s Ebola resources for registered nurses
News on Ebola
Increasing regulation and awareness around the causes and effects of sports-related concussions is leading to greater safety among young athletes. Physicians Leah G. Concannon and Stanley A. Herring of the Seattle Sports Concussion Program explore the latest developments in youth concussion management in their Bulletin article PreventableTragedies. Click here to download the article.
Check out the latest addition to our Practice Resources: tips for how to make appropriate use of social media from the Washington State Department of Health, Federation of State Medical Boards and more.
The open enrollment period for health coverage under the Washington State Healthplanfinder is Nov. 15, 2014 to Feb. 15, 2015. Individuals may qualify for special enrollment periods outside of the open enrollment dates, depending on their circumstances. For those who qualify for Medicaid/Apple Health, enrollment is ongoing. Or if your life situation changes, you may be able to enroll in a subsidized plan.
What’s new this enrollment season? Many things, but here are two you should know about:
- Coverage renewals: Individuals who enrolled in a plan last year will need to renew their coverage during open enrollment. There are new options available this enrollment season and everyone — even those whose coverage was automatically renewed — is encouraged to review their plan and not just assume the one they had last year remains the most affordable one for them.
- Opportunity for small businesses to get coverage: King County small businesses will now be able to purchase coverage for their employees through Healthplanfinder. (Previously, only individuals in King County could purchase coverage.) The Washington Health Benefit Exchange offers information for employers.
King County’s website on health coverage has information on enrollment events in the county, how to get assistance with enrollment, and a Q&A about the new enrollment and renewal process. It will be updated regularly throughout the enrollment season. To find out more about how and where to enroll, consult Public Health – Seattle & King County’s enrollment event calendar.
More information can be found at Washington Health Benefit Exchange.
Visit our Education and Events page to learn more about:
- Upcoming Continuing Medical Education opportunities throughout the Seattle-King County region; and
- Free access to Heal-WA, an online medical library featuring tool kits, calculators, dictionaries, electronic textbooks, and journals.
- Viewpoints: Improving Drug Prices; Bundling Payments For Hip And Knee Replacements
- Research Roundup: Palliative Care; Increasing Cost Of Insulin; Health Coverage For Prisoners
- State Highlights: New Texas Law To Help Consumers With Surprise Medical Bills About To Take Effect; Judge Halts Calif. Lawsuit Brought Against Narcotic Drug Makers
- Abortion Foes Pursue Public Records On Clinic Data, Comb Through Trash
- Your NEJM Group Today: Gross Hematuria in Child, Medicine as Art, Maine Gastroenterology Opportunity (FREE)
- News from the European Society of Cardiology Conference (FREE)
- FDA Approves a Second PCSK9 Inhibitor to Lower LDL Cholesterol (FREE)
- FDA Warns of Severe Joint Pain with Certain Diabetes Drugs (FREE)