30 September 2014

Medical Heritage Library in the US

There are now nearly 60,000 items stored in the Medical Heritage Library, a specialized research collection stored in the Internet Archive. All of this material can now be discovered through DPLA, an all-digital library that offers a single point of access to millions of items from libraries, archives, and museums around the United States.
New content is searchable as it is deposited and indexed from the MHL Website.

Maternity Care in Australia

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has released four new reports on maternity, available for download from the links below:

Maternal mortality: data linkage methodology: Foundations for enhanced maternity data collection and reporting in Australia National Maternity Data Development Project Stage 1
This report presents a data linkage methodology to ascertain the number of maternal and late maternal deaths in Australia. It is one of several components of the National Maternity Data Development Project.
Nomenclature for models of maternity care: a literature review: July 2012 Foundations for enhanced maternity data collection and reporting in Australia National Maternity Data Development Stage 1
This report presents a literature review on the development of a nomenclature for models of maternity care in Australia. It is one of several components of the National Maternity Data Development Project. 

Nomenclature for models of maternity care: a consultation report: December 2012 Foundations for enhanced maternity data collection and reporting in Australia National Maternity Data Development Stage 1
This report presents the findings of consultation on a proposed system for classifying models of maternity care in Australia. It is one of several components of the National Maternity Data Development Project. 

National perinatal mortality data reporting project: issues paper: Foundations for enhanced maternity data collection and reporting in Australia National Maternity Data Development Project: Stage 1
This paper presents findings on the issues that need to be considered in order to produce a national perinatal mortality report that is relevant to maternity services. It is one of several components of the National Maternity Data Development Project.

Case Studies in Improving Quality

The NHS in England has been looking at ways to become more efficient and increase productivity savings. The Health Foundation has funded eight projects that demonstrate tangible cost savings while also improving quality including providing more coordinated care, offering more care outside hospitals, and a greater role for patients through self-management and shared decision-making.  These case studies of the projects fall into the following areas:
  • Reviewing care and medicines use in care homes
  • Improving the design and delivery of ambulatory care
  • Redesign of acute services and departments
  • Delivering a more efficient and person-centred acute discharge process
You can see all of the eight projects on the UK Health Foundation website.

29 September 2014

ABCs of Cardiovascular Disease Prevention

The Journal of the American Heart Association has recently published an open access article acknowledging that it is difficult for clinicians to remember all the guideline information to follow when treating a patient with cardiovascular disease.  It is difficult to follow assessment guidelines, cholesterol treatments, medications and lifestyle management information.

The American Heart Association has made available this new guide including checklists, risk estimator tools and therapies and a lot more. Read the article for free and print out the checklists in pdf format.

Clinician's Guide to the Updated ABCs of Cardiovascular Disease Prevention. J Am Heart Assoc.3: e001098

Palliative care services in Australia 2014

Palliative care services in Australia 2014 is the third in a planned series of annual reports from AIHW. It provides a detailed picture of the national response to the palliative care needs of Australians. Information includes policies on palliative care, palliative care-related medications, palliative care in general practice and services provided by specialists.

Do You Know Your Cholesterol Numbers?

This information on the National Institute of Health (NIH) website is clear and concise and allows you to learn about the differences between HDL and LDL cholesterol and find out which numbers should be high and which should be low.

How is high blood pressure diagnosed? 

Private Hospital Admissions

A new report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare looks at increased admissions in private hospitals. The report, Australian hospital statistics 2012–13: Private hospitals, shows in 2012–13, there were about 3.8 million admissions in private hospitals in Australia, making up 41% of all admissions. The areas with the highest admission rates included Noosa in Queensland, Ku-ring-gai in New South Wales and Holdfast Bay in South Australia.

Australian hospital statistics 2012–13: private hospitals, September 2014  


Sufferers of rare cancers

Have you been diagnosed with a less common cancer? Sufferers of rare cancers are being sought for the largest ever Australian study into possible causes of the disease. The Forgotten Cancers Project aims to understand the causes of less common cancers such as non-Hodgkin lymphoma, leukaemia, multiple myeloma, kidney, bladder, stomach, brain, liver, oesophageal, pancreatic, endometrial/uterine, thyroid, gallbladder, small intestine, bone and other rare cancers as relatively little is known about them.

By studying the roles of genes, lifestyle and early life environment the research is seeking to understand why people develop these cancers, to be in a better position to improve the prevention and treatment of these diseases in the future.

The Forgotten Cancers Project is run by the Cancer Council Victoria, as part of a consortium including hospitals, universities and research institutions both in Australia and overseas.

23 September 2014

The Schizophrenia Library

The Schizophrenia Library is a one stop shop for information on schizophrenia. It is a resource comprising relevant schizophrenia and psychosis- related research findings, gathered from a variety of sources, and stored in a searchable database.

The Schizophrenia Library is an initiative of the Schizophrenia Research Institute and is supported by NSW Health.

Data by Region

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released Data by Region to provide easy access to ABS statistics on geographical regions within Australia. Data by Region is the first geo-navigator of its kind to be released by the ABS. Data by Region presents key statistical summaries about selected regions and provides data over a five year period up to 2012, so people can track changes in their region, over time.
Click here to find information about any region in Australia.        

Medical Device Safety Bulletin

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has released the latest edition of its medical device safety bulletin. Topics covered in this issue include:
  • Risk of electric shock during defibrillator check
  • Endoscopes reprocessing procedures
  • Recent safety alerts
  • Following Instructions for Use and maintenance key to safe use of slings and patient lifters.

Medical Devices Safety Update, Volume 2, Number 5, September 2014

Nursing and the Work Environment

Work environment plays an important role in the ability to provide quality nursing care. It can impact the safety of patient care and influence job satisfaction of health care staff. 
The collection of papers presented in this virtual issue highlight clinical nursing issues associated to the work environment. From issues of violence in the workplace to stress, attrition and job satisfaction these papers highlight the global importance of this topic.  From each of these papers it is clear that a healthy working environment can be influential recruitment and retention of nurses, the reduction of stress, increase care satisfaction and improve patient outcomes.

2014. VI: Work environment. JCN Journal of Clinical Nursing, edited by Professor Graeme D. Smith.

Increased Focus on Syphilis

Syphilis has reached its highest level ever recorded in Australia, with data showing 1765 people were diagnosed with the potentially deadly bacterial disease in Australia last year - a 34 per cent increase on the number documented in 2009. The increase is almost exclusively among gay men and attributed to decreases in condom use.

If syphilis is not diagnosed it can have a significant impact on people's health, with symptoms in the later stage of the disease including difficulty coordinating muscle movements, paralysis, numbness, blindness, and dementia.

This recent data has been produced in a new report by the Kirby Institute.  HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmissible infections in Australia Annual Surveillance Report 2014

11 September 2014

Preventing suicide: a global imperative

The World Health Organisation reports that a person dies by suicide somewhere in the world every 40 seconds.  Their report, Preventing suicide: a global imperative, aims to increase awareness of the public health significance of suicide and suicide attempts, to make suicide prevention a higher priority on the global public health agenda, and to encourage and support countries to develop or strengthen comprehensive suicide prevention strategies.

"The report provides a global knowledge base on suicide and suicide attempts as well as actionable steps for countries based on their current resources and context to move forward in suicide prevention."

Drug and alcohol research in the 21st century

The National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre recently held a symposium at the University of NSW.  The abstracts and posters have been published in: Drug and alcohol research in the 21st century : critical issues and new directions.

The keynote speaker was Keith Humphreys from the Department of Psychiatry at Stanford University in Californial  His topic was "Policies for improving the quantity and quality of substance use disorder treatment" and he made the point that this treatment falls short of the ideal around the world.  It has proven easier to expand quantity rather than quality, which requires an understanding of how and why treatment works and how organisations change.