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British Medical Journal Seeks Patient Reviewers

A unique opportunity for patients to comment on research, education, analysis and editorial articles by the British Medical Journal is now available in a new initiative. BMJ is committing to improving the relevance and patient centeredness of its research by seeking reviews from patients as part of its peer review process.

http://bmj.co/1Gjyhll

 

Home Health Technology Market to Skyrocket

The number of customers using home health technologies will grow from 14.3 million in 2014 to 78.5 million by 2020, according to market intelligence firm Tractica. Home health technologies allow consumers to manage their own health and wellness in a variety of ways, but there are several obstacles to the growth.

http://bit.ly/1HVzDSl

 

Choosing a Hospital Just Got Easier

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has made the process of choosing a hospital easier on their Hospital Compare site by adding star ratings for patients’ experience of care. The ratings are based on data from the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS), which has been in use since 2006 to measure patients’ perspectives of hospital care.

http://1.usa.gov/1De8t2z

Translational Health Disparities Course

The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities will again host a course on the science of health disparities this summer. The course will take place on the campus of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, from August 3, 2015 to August 14, 2015.

While the course is free, students who are accepted will be responsible for transportation, room and board. Course objectives are: 1) Recognize the history of health disparities and identify priorities for the elimination of health disparities, 2) Describe a broad-based perspective on current health disparities research and critically analyze issues pertaining to gathering and interpretation of data, novel research methods, and resource utilization and 3) Integrate diverse professional background and learning skills to include critical appraisal of the literature focused on understanding and addressing health disparities.

The target audience includes: Health care/public health professionals, Public policy professionals, Academic Researchers, Community researchers, Members of community-based and faith-based organizations and Scientists engaged in health disparities research and activities. See more details here:  http://1.usa.gov/1cXeTxT

2015 County Health Rankings

How can we use a wealth of data to improve the health of communities across the nation? The release of the 2015 County Health Rankings by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation gives local public health officials the information they need to improve health for all of their residents. See the data and find out about solutions: http://bit.ly/1cXmiNL

Health Equity Thunderclap

The U.S. Office of Minority Health invited you to join the Thunderclap! A Thunderclap is a social media tool that makes a message louder because we all say it together. On April 30, at 2 PM EDT, take action for health equity and raise awareness of health disparities. Sign up here: http://bit.ly/1K2VfLJ

Safely Measuring Kids’ Medicine

Kitchen spoons are great for mixing up your family’s favorite recipes, but when it comes to measuring kids medicine, teaspoons and tablespoons should be left in the utensil drawer, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. The AAP is urging parents, physicians and pharmacists to use only metric measurements on prescriptions, drug labels and dosing devices to make sure children receive the correct amount of medication.

“Household spoons vary in size. They are not precise. Parents should use syringes, which is a much more accurate way for them to give their child the intended dose of medication.”

According to the Academy more than 70,000 children visit emergency rooms each year because of unintentional medication overdoses. One recent study found that those errors are significantly less common among parents who use only milliliter-based dosing. The Academy is recommending several changes to improve accuracy, including: The use of standard label language with lower case m and upper case L as the only abbreviation for milliliter. Having pediatricians review milliliter-based doses with families when a prescription is written. Including NO extra markings on dosing devices, as well as the elimination of oversize syringes and cups. And asking manufacturers to eliminate use of all other dosing units other than metric.

To read more about correctly measuring kids medicine go to: http://bit.ly/1GCh06v

Former Smokers Harmed by Tobacco Tell Their Stories

U.S. health officials released a new round of graphic anti-smoking ads featuring former smokers living with the ravages of tobacco.

The new ads highlight the benefits of quitting for the families of smokers and the importance of giving up cigarettes completely, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Bottom line, these ads will save lives and they will also save money,” CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden said during a news conference Thursday. Tobacco is “public health enemy number one,” Frieden said. “More than 1,000 Americans per day are killed by tobacco — nearly 500,000 every year.”  Yet 42 million Americans still smoke, according to the CDC.

Among those former smokers featured in the ads is Julia, 58, who smoked for more than 20 years and developed colon cancer at 49. “I tried to quit many times,” she said during the news conference. “With the help of my family and my faith, I was able to quit smoking successfully. Unfortunately, I did not walk away from smoking without consequences. The battle I fought with cancer isn’t something I would wish on anybody.”

To read more about the ads go to: http://1.usa.gov/1CMmNiA

NLM Releases TOXinvaders, a Mobile Game about Chemistry, the Environment and Health

The Division of Specialized Information Services of the National Library of Medicine launches TOXinvaders, an environmental health and toxicology game for iPhone and iPad, available from the Apple Store.

TOXinvaders supports middle school science concepts pertaining to chemistry, environment and health. It can serve as an engaging classroom or homework activity for middle and high school students, as well as an entertaining learning activity for gaming aficionados of all ages. In the classroom environment, TOXinvaders works best as a supplement to NLM Tox Town, Environmental Health Student Portal, TOXMAP, and ChemIDplus Web sites.

The game consists of four fast-paced levels, in which a launcher is used to annihilate toxic chemicals falling from the sky and earn protective shield points by capturing “good chemicals.” To move on to the next level, players must take a brief quiz about the chemicals. These dynamically generated tests provide an excellent opportunity to learn more about environmental health and toxicology from the game’s chemical information sheet and from NLM Web sites.

Click here for the link to the Apple Store to download the app: http://apple.co/1NvGl6o

 

 

How to Assess the Effectiveness of ACA Outreach and Education Efforts (webinar)

From Community Science

“Join Community Science for a Webinar: “How to Assess the Effectiveness of ACA Outreach and Education Efforts” on Wednesday, April 29, 2015, 2:30pm – 4:00pm EDT.  This webinar will provide practical strategies to assess outreach and education efforts used to inform difficult to reach, racially and ethnically diverse populations on the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  In addition, this webinar will provide organizations that are conducting, funding, or planning, ACA outreach and education to racially and ethnically diverse populations with insights on assessing the reach and effectiveness of those activities. The webinar will focus on lessons learned from an evaluation conducted by Community Science.”

Register: http://bit.ly/1HkmzFM