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AJN, American Journal of Nursing:
doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000410349.03534.c5
In the News

2011 Win–Loss Scoreboard

Pfeifer, Gail M. MA, RN

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Abstract

AJN took a look back at some of the health care achievements (and disappointments) of 2011.

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Health Disparities

WIN:

* The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published a plan to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities through integrated approaches and evidence-based practices.

Loss:

* Hospital readmission rates among black patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were 30% higher than they were among groups with the lowest rates.

Sources: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. HHS Action Plan to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities (http://1.usa.gov/tLcpd4); Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Readmissions for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, 2008. Statistical Brief 121.

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Heart Failure

Win:

* Risk-adjusted rates of U.S. heart failure hospitalizations decreased 30% from 1998 to 2008, according to a report in JAMA.

Loss:

* In the same study, the authors reported that declines in hospitalization were less pronounced in black men, and results varied widely from state to state.

Source: Chen J, et al. JAMA 2011;306(15):1669 78.

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Cancer

Win:

* Breast cancer incidence decreased among white, Latino, and American Indian–Alaskan Native women.

Loss:

* A year into the cholera epidemic in Haiti, the percentage of people with access to clean drinking water in Port-au-Prince settlement camps had decreased from 48% to 7%.

Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Breast Cancer Trends. (http://1.usa.gov/ulvD6c); Chaturvedi AK, et al. J Clin Oncol 2011;29(32):4294-301.

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Prevention

Wins:

* More people with Medicare are taking advantage of preventive health care benefits, such as annual wellness visits and cardiovascular screening.

* Partners in Health is planning a comprehensive cholera-prevention program for this month that should vaccinate 100,000 Haitians against the disease.

Losses:

* The continuing economic crisis threatens proposed funding for preventive and public health initiatives, which could make these services disappear.

* Human papillomavirus–related oropharyngeal cancer will likely constitute most head and neck cancers in the United States in the next 20 years, according to a report in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Sources: Rural Assistance Center. More People Using Free Preventive Benefits Provided by Affordable Care Act (http://bit.ly/rFedIa); Kuehn BM. JAMA 2011;306(18):1965-6; Partners in Health. Cholera One Year Later. http://bit.ly/tXxJ6P.

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Hazardous Medical Waste

Win:

* Tools for tackling and monitoring hazardous medical waste, including waste in low-income countries, are now available on the World Health Organization Web site at http://bit.ly/tUdp0x.

Loss:

* About 20% of the waste generated by health care activities is toxic, infectious, or radioactive.

Source: World Health Organization. Healthcare Waste and Its Safe Management; World Health Organization. Waste from Health Care Activities. Fact sheet No. 253 (http://bit.ly/tZnZT0).

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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