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News & Updates

September 2019

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From the ROCC Desk

A Public Health Approach for Firearm Injury Prevention

In the most recent ROCC webinar, Ronald Stewart, MD, FACS, Professor and Chair of the Department of Surgery at UT Health San Antonio, and Medical Director, Trauma Programs, American College of Surgeons, discussed the public health framework for firearm injury prevention and the need for federally funded public health research focused on firearm morbidity and mortality. Dr. Stewart also described work of the ACS committee on trauma and collaborative efforts to enhance research, education, and targeted injury prevention initiatives.

In related news, the AAMC’s President and CEO Dr. David Skorton penned an op-ed in USA Today about the need to recognize that gun violence is a public health crisis.


The National Academy of Medicine Announces 2019 Fellows

The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) has named five 2019 NAM Fellows. During their two-year fellowship, the fellows will work with nationally-recognized researchers, policy experts, and clinicians to further the National Academies’ initiatives and guidance.

Reducing the Administration Burden of Prior Authorizations

In an update from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology’s 2015 Pilot Challenge winner, Lowell General Hospital in Lowell, Massachusetts successfully implemented an app-based software for digitizing and automating outdated paper-based systems for surgical prior authorizations, resulting in improved outcomes for patients and improved financial performance for the practice.


Innovations to Foster Evidence-based Care in Learning Health Systems: Ideas from the AHRQ Evidence-based Practice Centers

This blog post from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) outlines the barriers that learning health systems face when sharing data and keeping abreast of current research, and the new translational products clinicians and researchers have developed to navigate them.

Health Information Exchange After 10 Years: Time for a More Assertive, National Approach

The authors of this Health Affairs blog post describe the potential impact of federal health information exchange regulations released earlier this year and the possible barriers to successful implementation. They note that a national health information exchange network could provide opportunities to connect for communities with existing networks, and a platform for communities that have not yet developed their own.

The Limitations of Poor Broadband Internet Access for Telemedicine Use in Rural America: An Observational Study

A Sept. 3 letter in Annals of Internal Medicine called attention to the need to build broadband internet infrastructure in order to implement telemedicine in rural areas.  An editorial in the same issue noted further barriers to successful implementation—reimbursement structures, training, and licensing will also be needed to expand access to primary and specialty care to rural populations via telemedicine.


Opioid Prescriptions More Likely Later in the Work Day

One overlooked barrier to implementing evidence-based prescribing guidelines: time pressure and resulting physician fatigue. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that doctors were 33% more likely to prescribe opioids later in the day and 17% more likely to prescribe them if the doctor was running late. Similar effects of appointment time on adherence to guidelines have been found for antibiotic prescriptions, influenza vaccinations, and mammography orders.

Get Involved

NCATS Seeks Input for CTSA Program Improvement

Oct. 25—Deadline to submit comments to The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) on ways the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Program could better “deliver on its promise to develop, demonstrate and disseminate innovative approaches, methodologies and interventions that translate into improved human health.”

SACHRP Seeking Nominations

Oct. 28—Deadline to submit nominations for three candidates to be considered for appointment as voting members of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Human Research Protections (SACHRP).

Advocacy Corner

The AAMC Joins Hospital Associations Against Public Charge Rule

In a September 11 amicus brief, the AAMC joined five hospital associations in support of the California injunction to stop implementation of the Public Charge Rule, which has the potential to delay or prevent immigrants from seeking care for fear of deportation. “These harms to health constitute precisely the kind of irreparable harm warranting a preliminary injunction.”

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