Abstract: In America, mental health needs surpass the availability of specialized providers. This vulnerable population also has other obstacles for comprehensive care including gaps in medical coverage, stigma, economic barriers, and a geographical mal‑distribution of qualified mental health professionals. A wide availability of primary care providers, including primary care and family nurse practitioners, are well-positioned to deliver integrated mental and physical health care. A case study from a Southern California Coachella Valley primary care clinic with integrated services is used to demonstrate the much-needed approach of care to address health disparities that face low‑income immigrants, migrant workers, and others without access to specialized care centers and providers. It is argued that mental health care should be part of all holistic treatment provided by primary care and family nurse practitioners. This has implications for curricula and practice development.
Abstract: Background: There is currently a resurgence of interest in interprofessional education and collaborative practice (IPECP) and its potential to positively impact health outcomes at both the patient level and population level, healthcare delivery, and health professions education. This resurgence of interest led to the creation of the National Center on Interprofessional Collaborative Practice and Education in October 2012. Methods: This paper describes three intertwined knowledge generation strategies of the National Center on Interprofessional Practice and Education: (1) the development of a Nexus Incubator Network, (2) the undertaking of comparative effectiveness research, and (3) the creation of a National Center Data Repository. Results: As these strategies are implemented over time they will result in the production of empirically grounded knowledge regarding the direction and scope of the impact, if any, of IPECP on well-defined health and healthcare outcomes including the possible improvement of the patient experience of care. Conclusions: Among the motivating factors for the National Center and the three strategies adopted and addressed herein is the need for rigorously produced, scientifically sound evidence regarding IPECP and whether or not it has the capacity to positively affect the patient experience of care, the health of populations, and the per capita cost of healthcare.
Abstract: Published atrial fibrillation (AF) guidelines and decision tools offer oral anticoagulant (OAC) recommendations; however, they consider stroke and bleeding risk differently. The aims of our study are: (i) to compare the variation in OAC recommendations by the 2012 American College of Chest Physicians guidelines, the 2012 European Society of Cardiology (ESC) guidelines, the 2014 American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines and two published decision tools by Casciano and LaHaye; (ii) to compare the concordance with actual OAC use in the overall study population and the population stratified by stroke/bleed risk. A cross-sectional study using the 2001–2013 Lifelink claims data was used to contrast the treatment recommendations by these decision aids. CHA2DS2-VASc and HAS-BLED algorithms were used to stratify 15,129 AF patients into nine stroke/bleed risk groups to study the variation in treatment recommendations and concordance with actual OAC use/non-use. The AHA guidelines which were set to recommend OAC when CHA2DS2-VASc = 1 recommended OAC most often (86.30%) and the LaHaye tool recommended OAC the least often (14.91%). OAC treatment recommendations varied considerably when stroke risk was moderate or high (CHA2DS2-VASc > 0). Actual OAC use/non-use was highly discordant (>40%) with all of the guidelines or decision tools reflecting substantial opportunities to improve AF OAC decisions.
Abstract: Increasing prevalences, morbidity, premature mortality and medical needs associated with non-communicable diseases and conditions (NCDs) have reached epidemic proportions and placed a major drain on healthcare systems and global economies. Added to this are the challenges presented by overuse of antibiotics and increased antibiotic resistance. Solutions are needed that can address the challenges of NCDs and increasing antibiotic resistance, maximize preventative measures, and balance healthcare needs with available services and economic realities. Microbiome management including microbiota seeding, feeding, and rebiosis appears likely to be a core component of a path toward sustainable healthcare. Recent findings indicate that: (1) humans are mostly microbial (in terms of numbers of cells and genes); (2) immune dysfunction and misregulated inflammation are pivotal in the majority of NCDs; (3) microbiome status affects early immune education and risk of NCDs, and (4) microbiome status affects the risk of certain infections. Management of the microbiome to reduce later-life health risk and/or to treat emerging NCDs, to spare antibiotic use and to reduce the risk of recurrent infections may provide a more effective healthcare strategy across the life course particularly when a personalized medicine approach is considered. This review will examine the potential for microbiome management to contribute to sustainable healthcare.
Abstract: The role of place has emerged as an important factor in determining people’s health experiences. Rural populations experience an excess in mortality and morbidity compared to those in urban settings. One of the factors thought to contribute to this rural-urban health disparity is access to healthcare. The objective of this analysis was to examine access to specialized medical care services and several possible determinants of access to services in a distinctly rural population in Canada. In winter 2010, we conducted a baseline mail survey of 11,982 households located in rural Saskatchewan, Canada. We obtained 4620 completed household surveys. A key informant for each household responded to questions about access to medical specialists and the exact distance traveled to these services. Correlates of interest included the location of the residence within the province and within each household, socioeconomic status, household smoking status, median age of household residents, number of non-respiratory chronic conditions and number of current respiratory conditions. Analyses were conducted using log binomial regression for the outcome of interest. The overall response rate was 52%. Of households who required a visit to a medical specialist in the past 12 months, 23% reported having difficulty accessing specialist care. The magnitude of risk for encountering difficulty accessing medical specialist care services increased with the greatest distance categories. Accessing specialist care professionals by rural residents was particularly difficult for persons with current respiratory conditions.
Abstract: Objective: There is still little evidence regarding the type of mattress that is the best for preventing pressure ulcers (PUs). In a Dutch nursing home, a new type of overlay mattress (air inflated visco-elastic foam) was tested to analyze the opportunity for replacement of the normally used static air overlay mattress in its three-step PU prevention protocol In this small pilot the outcome measures were: healing of a category one pressure ulcer, new development or deterioration of a category one PU and need for repositioning. Methods: We included 20 nursing home residents with a new category one pressure ulcer, existing for no longer than 48 h following a consecutive sampling technic. All residents were staying for more than 30 days in the nursing home and were lying on a visco-elastic foam mattress without repositioning (step one of the 3-step protocol) at the start of the pilot study. They had not suffered from a PU in the month before. The intervention involved use of an air inflated foam overlay instead of a static air overlay (normally step 2 of the 3-step protocol). At the start; the following data were registered: age; gender; main diagnosis and presence of incontinence. Thereafter; all participating residents were checked weekly for PU healing tendency; deterioration of PUs; new PUs and need of repositioning. Only when residents showed still a category one PU after 48 h or deterioration of an existing pressure ulcer or if there was development of a new pressure ulcer, repositioning was put into practice (step 3 of the PU protocol). All residents participated during 8 weeks. Results: Seven residents developed a new pressure ulcer category one and still had a category one pressure ulcer at the end of the study period. One resident developed a pressure ulcer category 2. Fifteen residents needed repositioning from one week after start of the study until the end of the study. Conclusions: Overall 40% of the residents developed a pressure ulcer. Seventy five percent of the residents started with repositioning because there was no healing tendency of their category one PU diagnosed at the start of the pilot. Because this new type of overlay mattress resulted in an increased PU incidence, and almost standard need of repositioning with accompanied high costs, this type of overlay mattress gives no benefit above the traditional visco-elastic foam mattresses in combination with the originally used static air overlay.