The Target: BP program helped us to standardize our procedure for blood pressure determination across the clinic as a whole, thus leading to improved patient outcomes and quality of care delivery”said Thomas Mihelich, M.D., Chief Quality Officer at Utica Park Clinic in Tulsa, Oklahoma, one of 340 clinics receiving Gold level recognition this year. Of the 103 million Americans with high blood pressure, less than half of them have it controlled to a healthy level. Through the Target: BP program, healthcare providers have access to tools and resources to not only help them remain mindful of blood pressure management but help more of their patients become involved with their care and health goals in order to get their blood pressure under control.Related StoriesHealthy blood vessels could help stave off cognitive declineDon’t ignore diastolic blood pressure values, say researchersScientists turn type A blood into universal type O, potentially doubling blood transfusion stocks“A driving force behind Target: BP’s goal of improving cardiovascular health is the physician and patient partnership,” said AHA President Ivor Benjamin, M.D., FAHA. “No single risk factor has more impact on the nation’s death rates from cardiovascular disease than high blood pressure. We are pleased to see more and more practices prioritize blood pressure control and collaborate with their patients to achieve the program’s goal of reducing heart disease and strokes in their communities.”Experts agree that high blood pressure can often be managed effectively when patients work with their physician to create and follow a treatment plan.“Although we have the tools to effectively treat high blood pressure, many patients face a variety of barriers making it difficult to successfully manage the condition. Target: BP is meant to facilitate ways around those barriers,” said AMA President Barbara L. McAneny, M.D. “We applaud the physicians who are already working hard to control their patients’ blood pressure. And, because we know that improving control rates by just a few percentage points can lead to tens of thousands of additional hypertensive patients with controlled blood pressure, we will continue to urge more physician practices, health systems and patients to join this effort to prioritize blood pressure control. By increasing the national blood pressure control rate, we will be able to save many more lives and improve health outcomes for patients throughout the nation.”More than 1,650 physician practices and health systems nationwide have joined Target: BP™ since 2015, sharing a common goal to reduce the number of adult patients with uncontrolled blood pressure and improve health outcomes associated with heart disease. Launched in 2017, the Target: BP Recognition Program is an extension of Target: BP™. More information about Target: BP and a full list of this year’s recognized participants can be found at TargetBP.org. Source:https://www.ama-assn.org/ Oct 19 2018American Heart Association and American Medical Association award physician practices and health systems with Target: BP™ Recognition Program designation for their commitment to prioritize blood pressure control within the communities they serve The American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Medical Association (AMA) today recognized 802 physician practices and health systems from across the country for their commitment to reducing the number of Americans who have heart attacks and strokes each year. As part of the annual Target: BP Recognition Program, run jointly by the two associations since 2017, these practices are being recognized for their commitment to helping more patients improve blood pressure control.More than 8.7 million people with high blood pressure are represented by this year’s 802 program participants. The highest level of achievement in the program is to reach a control rate of 70 percent or more, signifying Gold status. According to this year’s Target: BP data, nearly half of Target: BP Recognition Program participants reached Gold status—with these health care organizations achieving on average 77 percent of their hypertensive patients’ blood pressure controlled. Data for the program is based on high blood pressure control being defined as less than 140/90 mmHg.
Source:https://www.pennmedicine.org/news/news-releases/2018/november/yelp-reviews-reveal-strengths-and-weaknesses-of-emergency-departments-and-urgent-care-clinics Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Nov 12 2018Yelp reviews reveal that emergency departments are viewed as being higher quality but lacking in service as compared to urgent care centers, which patients rate the opposite, according to a new study from researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The study results, published this month in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, provide a unique opportunity for researchers and clinicians to learn from online reviews, which provide a raw narrative from consumers.”Today’s world is very digital, and it’s very common for consumers to rate a restaurant, hotel or service online, a practice that is spilling over into health care,” said the study’s lead author, Anish Agarwal, MD, a National Clinician Scholars fellow and Emergency Medicine physician at Penn Medicine. “As an emergency department physician, patients often tell me that the internet is the first place they go for information about medical conditions and to research providers. Health systems and clinicians can learn a lot about the communities they treat and how people experience the services they provide by looking to online ratings and reviews.”In this new study, researchers, with the help of an automated system, analyzed high (five-star) and low (one-star) Yelp reviews for both emergency departments and urgent care centers, two venues that patients can select from when in need of acute care.Researchers identified key themes in the five-star reviews of emergency departments, including bedside manner, treatment of family members, and access to care on nights and weekends. Urgent care centers were unique in receiving five-star reviews more often for factors including ease of refilling prescriptions and being positively recommended by others.On the other side, emergency departments received negative remarks for speed of care, while urgent care centers received one-star reviews as a result of poor reception experiences and patients lacking confidence in the care received.”We are seeing more and more that patients are sharing their experiences online, and they’re looking to social media platforms and online communities to help inform their decision-making,” said Kevin B. Mahoney, executive vice president and chief administrative officer of the University of Pennsylvania Health System. “Within these review and rating websites lies a trove of decision-making data that we can and should be culling through to help inform how care is delivered, and what matters most to our patients in emergency situations.”Related StoriesIt is okay for women with lupus to get pregnant with proper care, says new studyAMSBIO offers new, best-in-class CAR-T cell range for research and immunotherapyOlympus Europe and Cytosurge join hands to accelerate drug development, single cell researchUrgent care centers have proliferated widely across the country in the past 15 years. Between 2007 and 2016, visits increased by more than 1,700 percent. But while emergency departments have established surveys for patients and their families to report their experiences, there is not a clear equivalent for gathering direct feedback from patients who visit urgent care centers.The study’s senior author, Raina Merchant, MD, director of the Penn Medicine Center for Digital Health and an associate professor in Emergency Medicine, believes Yelp reviews could fill a knowledge gap.”Online reviews provide a rapid way of taking the pulse of how this acute care market is emerging and what consumers look for in these settings” said Merchant. “These platforms can also help us identify new focus areas, in an effort to provide better, more efficient care to patients based on their expressed needs.”The researchers analyzed more than 100,000 Yelp reviews, posted between 2005 and 2017–in the midst of the urgent care boom–tied to 1,566 emergency departments and 5,601 from urgent care centers. During the study period, an average of one new review for an emergency department or an urgent care center appeared every hour of every day.The reviews fell largely on one end of the spectrum or the other: five stars or one star. Roughly 47 percent of emergency department and 30 percent of urgent care center reviews fell in the one-star category. The disproportionate amount of negative reviews for acute care facilities, compared to other entities reviewed online, like hotels or restaurants, could be a result of what is at stake for the consumer.”If a restaurant provides you with a quick meal exactly as advertised, they meet your expectations,” Merchant said. “With healthcare, things are different. People are often critically ill, the outcomes are uncertain, and the wait can be long–which are all things that sometimes can’t be controlled.”The research team found that each type of facility received similar five-star reviews for comfort, cleanliness of facilities, pediatric care, and professionalism. One-star reviews for poor phone experiences, long wait times, billing difficulties, and pain management were tied to both emergency departments and urgent care centers.Moving forward, the researchers hope to find more nontraditional sources to provide clues about patient experiences and use them to enhance care quality. read more
Source:https://news.rub.de/english/press-releases/2018-12-19-neuroscience-how-brain-reacts-loss-vision Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Dec 19 2018Going blind affects all senses, and disrupts memory abilityIf mice lose their vision immediately after birth due to a genetic defect, this has a considerable impact, both on the organization of the cerebral cortex and on memory ability. This is the conclusion drawn by researchers at Ruhr-Universität Bochum in a study published online in the journal Cerebral Cortex on 7 December 2018. They demonstrated that, in the months after blindness emerged, the density of neurotransmitter receptors that regulate excitation balance and are required for memory encoding was altered in all areas of the cortex that process sensory information. Furthermore, the hippocampus, a brain region that plays a crucial role in memory processes, was profoundly affected.Mirko Feldmann, Daniela Beckmann, Professor Ulf Eysel and Professor Denise Manahan-Vaughan from the Department of Neurophysiology conducted the study.Other senses sharpen after loss of visionFollowing the loss of vision, other senses become gradually more sensitive: tactile and hearing acuity and one’s sense of smell all improve, enabling a blind individual to use these senses to navigate accurately through the environment, despite a lack of visual input. But this process takes time and practice. The associated changes in the brain are facilitated by synaptic plasticity, a process that enables experience-dependent adaptation, learning and memory. One clue as to whether reorganizational adaptation is taking place in the brain is obtained by analyzing the density and distribution of neurotransmitters that are crucial for synaptic plasticity.Adaptation requires major effort from the brainRelated StoriesPosterior parietal cortex plays crucial role in making decisions, research showsWearing a hearing aid may mitigate dementia riskDon’t Miss the Blood-Brain Barrier Drug Delivery (B3DD) Summit this AugustThe researchers from Bochum studied what happens in the brain after loss of vision in mice. They examined the density of neurotransmitter receptors after the emergence of blindness and compared the results with the brains of healthy mice. In addition, they tested how well the blind mice performed in spatial recognition tests, in order to examine the animals’ memory.Before any changes had developed in the sensory cortices, the researchers observed that loss of vision was first followed by changes in the density of neurotransmitter receptors and impairments of synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus. In subsequent months, hippocampal plasticity became more impaired and spatial memory was affected. During this time the density of neurotransmitter receptors also changed in the visual cortex, as well as in other cortical areas that process other sensory information.”After blindness occurs, the brain tries to compensate for the loss by ramping up its sensitivity to the missing visual signals,” explains Denise Manahan-Vaughan, who led the study. When this fails to work, the other sensory modalities begin to adapt and increase their acuities. “Our study shows that this process of reorganization is supported by extensive changes in the expression and function of key neurotransmitter receptors in the brain. This is a major undertaking, during which time the hippocampus’ ability to store spatial experiences is hampered,” says Manahan-Vaughan. read more
Citation: Digital rail network mapping achieves efficiencies (2018, April 30) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-digital-rail-network-efficiencies.html The EU-funded Skylynx (Upgrading Railways from the Air) project has underlined the benefits of digitalising Europe’s rail network. By more cost-effectively targeting the maintenance of assets along the line, the need to put workers in harm’s way is reduced, allowing operators to allocate staff to more valuable tasks. The deployment of assets can also be more efficiently planned. “Rail operators have in the past visualised the rail corridor using paper and technical drawings,” explains project coordinator Jorge Lopez-Sanchez from SigmaRail in Spain. “What we propose instead is something like a Google Maps app for railways. Pictures are taken by drone, with 3-D ‘street views’ achieved through 3-D cameras. Our Sigma-Q technology also tags assets and relevant information that will be useful for the design, operation and maintenance of tracks.”Europe’s secret success A key aim of the project has been to facilitate the efficient deployment of the European Railway Traffic Management System (ERTMS), a relatively unheralded European success story, according to Lopez-Sanchez. “Before ERTMS, each European country had its own signalling system,” he explains. “This meant that if you wanted to send a train from London to Amsterdam for example, you either had to change trains or equip trains with multiple signalling equipment, which is expensive or slow. This is how the idea to create one single system across Europe came about.”ERTMS is now Europe’s de facto standard signalling system, and for new lines being constructed in Europe, there is no alternative. ERTMS has also become a global success, and is being deployed in countries including Saudi Arabia, Australia and Mexico. The deployment of ERTMS however remains a challenge. Europe’s legacy of multiple automatic train protection systems has slowed progress and required huge political effort in order to agree on a system that is suitable for all EU members. Lopez-Sanchez also points out the technical challenges in creating a system that is truly functional across all EU Member States, as well as deploying advanced systems along old rail lines. Digitalising rail networksGathering data on the state of these lines is therefore crucial. “Deploying advanced signalling systems such as ERTMS requires operators to know the exact location of safety-related rail assets such as signals and danger points,” explains Lopez-Sanchez. “You can imagine that a system designed to carry thousands of people at a speed of up to 350 km/h requires a high degree of accuracy.” This was the starting point of the Skylynx project; applying cutting-edge technology to develop the digital models of rail corridors. “The benefits for industry are huge,” says Lopez-Sanchez. “Workers for example will not be required to gather data from the tracks, since this task can be accomplished using drones. This will significantly improve safety. Rail companies will be able to quickly identify lines in need of maintenance, saving time and money. At the end of the day, operational efficiencies will translate into lower costs for the general public.” Credit: Skylynx EU-funded researchers have been able to gather accurate geographical data through the use of drones, remote sensing and 360-degree cameras to deliver digital 3-D models of railway lines. This will assist rail and infrastructure companies in assessing tracks throughout their lifecycle. Satellites helping to modernise railways Provided by CORDIS Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. read more
SHARE SHARE SHARE EMAIL political development COMMENT Published on March 25, 2019 Elections 2019 While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is the dominant partner in every State it has opted for alliance, it is not the case in Tamil Nadu. Here, it is at best, a junior partner trying to get a toe-hold in a state that has been a Dravidian bastion for decades. It was happy to be allotted just five seats (another regional party PMK got seven) in the alliance led by AIADMK. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections that was powered by a Modi wave, all it managed was a solitary seat in Tamil Nadu. It contested in nine constituencies and its vote share was just 5.5. per cent.Better performance This time the party expects a much better performance as it hopes to capitalise on the vacuum in the political leadership in the State which, for the first time in several decades, is going to polls without the presence of a charismatic leader. Apart from that, the various welfare measures that the central government has announced that benefitted Tamil Nadu in a big way should favour the BJP. “In the past several decades, the entire political scene in Tamil Nadu was based on pro or anti-Dravidian leaders. There were five prominent leaders in Tamil Nadu – K Kamaraj, C N Annadurai, M Karunanidhi, M G Ramachandran and J Jayalalithaa. People were voting for and against these leaders. Now, there is a very big vacuum for leadership. Hence we feel the pattern of voting will definitely change this time. People don’t have a choice in leadership on which there were voting earlier,” said Thirupathy Narayanan, State Executive Member & State Head, Media Relations, BJP.It hopes to garner more seats and share than 2014 when it had won just one seat. Of course, its previous best tally was when it won four seats in 1999 when it was part of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) alliance.Infrastructure supportHe said Tamil Nadu people will vote for parties based on their principles and performance and claimed that the BJP has supported the infrastructure development of the State in the past five years. “We hope the corruption-free record and Centre’s several schemes that brought a lot of benefits to common man and poor will be acknowledged. Tamil Nadu benefitted a lot in many schemes of the Centre,” he added.Narayanan also said that corruption has been big a problem in the country including Tamil Nadu. BJP government at the centre has taken a lot of measures to curb corruption. The party, he said, would highlight the Modi government’s clean image and tell people of Tamil Nadu that it is time a similar transformation is brought about in the State. COMMENTS read more