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Seniors say doctors don’t provide enough mental health care

Three in four adults 65 and older say they would tell their primary care physicians about feelings of anxiety or depression. But doctors don’t always provide appropriate care to older patients with those conditions, says a survey of more than 1,300 seniors issued Dec. 13 by the John A. Hartford Foundation. Appropriate, evidence-based care for anxiety and depression includes educating patients about their condition, engaging them in medical care and following up to ensure they’re responding properly to treatment, said Christopher Langston, PhD. He is program director at the foundation, which works to improve the well-being of seniors. “Depression is one of the most common and burdensome issues in older individuals,” Langston said. It’s unfortunate “that so many older people are still receiving mental health care that does not measure up.” Forty-six percent of older adults who received mental health treatment said their primary care physician didn’t follow up aft ...

Some EHRs in danger of missing data connections

Many physicians could discover that just because they implement an electronic health record system that is certified to meet meaningful use doesn’t mean it is capable of connecting with all the entities with which doctors want to exchange data. Experts are advising doctors who are adopting EHRs to think about what data exchange they plan to do and ensure that the system is capable of doing it. And that goes beyond checking for meaningful use certification. “Notwithstanding the improved information flow that an electronic health record makes possible within a hospital or medical practice, even certified EHRs often have limited capacity to share important care-related data with other EHRs, in effect creating electronic information silos,” said Kenneth W. Kizer, MD, MPH, director of the University of California, Davis Health System’s Institute for Population Health Improvement, in a statement. The IPHI developed the “HIE Ready Buyers’ Guide,” which addresses these l ...

26 organizations team up to fight antibiotic resistance

Antibiotic resistance has been a growing health concern for decades. But 26 organizations are joining together to highlight the increasing urgency of the problem and protect the effectiveness of antibiotics for future generations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Academy of Pediatrics, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy are among the 26 organizations that announced the effort on Nov. 13. By signing a joint statement, the groups agreed to better coordinate efforts to fight antibiotic resistance, support related research, improve surveillance and raise awareness. “Antibiotic resistance has become one of the world’s most pressing health problems,” said Brian C. Quinn, PhD, senior program officer and team director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Pioneer Portfolio, which is aimed at driving social change to improve health. “Antibiotics continue to be overused at alarming rates across the country. ...