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Doctors, nurses getting A(H1N1)

More than 80 physicians, nurses and other health care workers had contracted influenza A(H1N1) by late June, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. An agency report on some of the infected workers revealed that about half were infected at work, and none had followed all of the CDC's recommended protective practices, which include the use of respirators, gloves and eye protection. There is no vaccine. The report in the June 19 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report focuses on infected health care personnel detected through May 13 ( Among them were four physicians, five registered nurses and four nursing assistants. "This is a snapshot of what we knew up until that time," said Michael Bell, MD, associate director for infection control at the CDC, who spoke at a June 18 briefing. Since May 13, the number of infected individuals with some relationship to health care delivery has grown, and detailed informatio ...

Medical homesteading: Moving forward with care coordination

At first, the Cranford Family Practice in Cranford, N.J., did not appear to be the most logical choice to be a pioneer of the patient-centered medical home concept. For starters, the single-physician practice did not have a very robust disease registry to track patients across care settings. It also had limited electronic communication with patients, and it did not regularly host group visits for patients with related diseases or illnesses. But by participating in a national demonstration project with 35 other small- and medium-sized family practices, family physician Robert Eidus, MD, helped his practice realize its potential to serve as a medical home by strengthening its resources. "For some practices, this was completely new," Dr. Eidus said. "But others had been working in this direction for many years, and this was a catalyst to keep moving in this direction and foster patient care." The demonstration was sponsored by TransforMED, a wholly owned, for-profit subsidiary of ...

5 people die under new Washington physician-assisted suicide law

Five Washington patients with terminal illnesses ingested lethal doses of medication prescribed for them by physicians under their state's new death-with-dignity law, approved by 58% of voters in a November 2008 ballot initiative. At this article's deadline, 14 patients had made written requests for life-ending prescriptions, according to a Web site updated weekly by the Washington State Dept. of Health. Thirteen lethal prescriptions had been dispensed by pharmacies. In two of these cases, a mental health professional was consulted and filed a compliance form. The psychiatric referral is required if the attending or consulting physician has doubts about the patient's mental competence. The Washington law, which took effect March 5 and is virtually identical to Oregon's first-in-the-nation law, makes physician-assisted suicide available to patients who have been judged terminally ill by two doctors. Patients must make an oral request and a witnessed written request. Another oral r ...