California, Oregon pharmacists can soon prescribe birth control
Pharmacists in those two states will be authorized to prescribe contraceptives after women fill out a questionnaire about their health and medical histories, The New York Times reports. The laws are the latest effort to make birth control more accessible, which medical professionals and policymakers have long sought.
End Of Medicare bonus program means pay cut for primary care doctors
A health law program that has been paying primary care physicians a 10 percent bonus for caring for Medicare patients expires next year, Kaiser Health News reports. In 2012, $664 million in bonuses went to roughly 170,000 primary care practitioners, awarding each an average of almost $4,000.
Light may help nonseasonal depression
Bright light therapy has long been used to stave off depression that can arrive with the dark days of winter. But one study found that combining light therapy with Prozac was effective against nonseasonal depression, The New York Times reported.
Breast-feeding is good for moms, too
Two recent studies suggest that mothers may have much to gain from breast-feeding, The New York Times reports. One study found that breast-feeding protects women from a type of breast cancer, while the other suggests that breast-feeding may work as a sort of “reset” button for metabolism after pregnancy.
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