Deadline for submitting health care worker flu vaccination data approaching   05/01/2013
May 15 is the deadline for hospitals participating in the inpatient quality reporting program to submit summary data on health care personnel flu vaccination to the National Health Safety Network for the 2012-2013 flu season. Fewer than half of them have done so, AHA has learned from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Participating hospitals must report summary data for health care personnel working in the hospital for at least 30 days between Oct. 1, 2012 and March 31, 2013 to avoid a 2% reduction in their Medicare inpatient payments for FY 2015 and exclusion from the Value Based Purchasing program. CDC will report the data for each hospital to CMS and provide a hospital-specific flu vaccination percentage for each reporting hospital. Hospitals not enrolled in the network should follow the 5-step enrollment process. Details on submitting data can be found on the NHSN website.
SAMHSA reports sharp rise in ED visits involving sleep medication   05/01/2013
The number of emergency department visits involving adverse reactions to the insomnia medication zolpidem rose nearly 220% between 2005 and 2010, according to a new report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Patients 45 and older accounted for three-quarter of the 19,487 visits in 2010, and women for two-thirds. Half of the visits involved other medications combined with zolpidem, the active ingredient in Ambien, Ambien CR, Edluar and Zolpimist. In January, the Food and Drug Administration required makers of drugs containing zolpidem to halve the recommended dose for women and suggested reducing the recommended dose for men. Adverse reactions associated with the medication include daytime drowsiness, dizziness, hallucinations, agitation, sleep-walking and drowsiness while driving. When combined with other drugs that depress the central nervous system, the sedative effects of zolpidem can be dangerously enhanced, the report adds. “Although short-term sleeping medications can help patients, it is exceedingly important that they be carefully used and monitored,” said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela Hyde.
NIH awards $40 million in grants to reduce stroke disparities   05/01/2013
Four research centers are expected to receive $40 million in funding over five years to develop culturally tailored interventions aimed at lowering stroke risk among U.S. racial and ethnic minorities, the National Institutes of Health announced today. The grant awards are contingent on the availability of funds from NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the agency said. The recipients are: Kaiser Permanente Northern California and the University of California, San Francisco; the Center for Stroke Disparities Solutions, a consortium led by NYU Langone Medical Center and Columbia University Medical Center; the University of California, Los Angeles; and the Florida Puerto Rico Collaboration to Reduce Stroke Disparities. "Each program addresses disparity from a different perspective," said NINDS Program Director Salina Waddy, M.D. "One will address uncontrolled blood pressure and be delivered in an individual's home. Others will test community-based strategies to improve diet and exercise behaviors. Still others will bring into focus trends at the health care system and hospital levels."
NCHL accepting award nominations, presentations through May 10   05/01/2013
The National Center for Healthcare Leadership is accepting nominations through May 10 for the 2013 Gail L. Warden Leadership Excellence Award, which honors a health care leader whose commitment, values and contributions have improved population health through leadership and organizational excellence. Organizations across the hospital and health care field also are invited to submit proposals to present their work at the 2013 Human Capital Investment Conference, which showcases innovative leadership development practices. For more information, visit www.nchl.org. Warden is president emeritus of Henry Ford Health System in Detroit. He served as AHA executive vice president from 1976 to 1981 and AHA chairman in 1995.