FDA alerts hospitals, surgical centers to additional sterilizer product    11/09/2012
The Food and Drug Administration yesterday announced additional recalls of a product used by hospitals and surgical centers to monitor the effectiveness of certain sterilization systems. The agency said that Advanced Sterilization Products has issued a recall of all lots of Sterrad Cyclesure 24 Biological Indicators manufactured between February 2008 and December 2011 because of insufficient data to support the labeled expiration time. FDA recommends hospitals and other health care facilities check the lot number printed on packaging components of Sterrad Cyclesure 24 Biological Indicator and determine if products are subject to this recall; stop using affected products; immediately return affected products as instructed in the ASP recall notice; and use an appropriate alternative sterilizer if available. This recall is in addition to the lot numbers of Sterrad Cyclesure 24 Biological Indicators that are listed in ASP's July recall notice.
Health care employee Hurricane Sandy relief fund established   11/09/2012
The Hurricane Sandy Health Care Employee Relief Fund has been established to provide assistance to employees of hospitals and other health care organizations in affected communities who have suffered serious personal losses. Funds will be administered by the United Hospital Fund and distributed to employees in need through area hospitals and other health care organizations. Sponsors are the Greater New York Hospital Association, Healthcare Association of New York State, New Jersey Hospital Association, Nassau-Suffolk Hospital Council, Northern Metropolitan Hospital Association and United Hospital Fund, with the generous support of the AHA. "The hospital family watched proudly as nurses, doctors and other caregivers bravely took care of patients during Hurricane Sandy," said AHA President and CEO Rich Umbdenstock. "Hospitals stand ready to help our colleagues in the affected region.  That's why the AHA is proud to donate $100,000 to the fund to help those who helped so many." Contributions are tax-deductible, and 100% will benefit employees in need. Those interested in contributing to the fund are encouraged to go to http://www.uhfnyc.org/hurricane_sandy_relief_fund or send a check made payable to United Hospital Fund with a memo designation of "Hurricane Sandy Health Care Employee Relief Fund" to United Hospital Fund, 1411 Broadway, 12th Floor, New York, NY 10018-3496, Attn: Hurricane Relief Fund.
CDC: No change in adult smoking rate    11/09/2012
The prevalence of adults who smoke remained virtually unchanged in 2011, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Using data from the 2011 National Health Interview Survey, CDC's Office on Smoking and Health estimated national cigarette smoking prevalence among adults to be 19.0%, only slightly lower than 2010's estimated prevalence of 19.3%. For more, see the CDC release.
Reminder: Rescheduled members-only webinar Monday on bundled payment    11/09/2012
AHA members are invited to attend a free Nov. 12 webinar on findings from a new study on Medicare bundled payment sponsored by the AHA and Association of American Medical Colleges. The webinar, from 2-3:30 p.m. ET, will discuss key implications for policy makers and health care providers, and answer questions from the audience. The webinar was scheduled for Oct. 29, but it was postponed due to Hurricane Sandy. To register for the event, visit www.aha.org/bundlingwebinar.