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Vol. 23, No. 9, SEPTEMBER 2006


Public Policy Update

JACHO Publishes Study on Emergency Preparedness
A new Joint Commission study finds that community-based preparation for and response to disasters will require more effective communication and planning among hospitals, public health agencies and community first responders. The study also found that national benchmarks are needed to measure and promote emergency preparedness planning.

The study, “Integrating Hospitals into Community Emergency Preparedness Planning,” appears in the June 6, 2006 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine. Supported in part by a grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, it is the first large-scale national assessment of how closely hospitals and their communities are collaborating and planning together for natural or other disasters.

The study found that most acute care hospitals are involved in community-wide drills, analyze threats and vulnerabilities with community first responders, and are in communities that have plans for mobilizing necessary supplies, equipment, and decontamination facilities that would be required in an emergency. However, the Joint Commission study recommends drills and exercises that more truly simulate the stresses created by emergency conditions that persist over time.
For more information, go to http://www.annals.org/cgi/content/full/144/11/799.

IOM Report Outlines Medical Errors
A recently released Institute of Medicine report lists specific steps that nurses and other health professionals should take to reduce opportunities for medication errors to occur.
Titled “Preventing Medication Errors,” the report is the latest in the Quality Chasm Series launched by IOM in 1996 to focus on assessing and improving the quality of healthcare in the United States. Included is an overview of the system for drug development, regulation, distribution and use, as well as an examination of the literature on the incidence and cost of medication errors and the effectiveness of error-prevention strategies.
Additional information can be accessed at http://www.nap.edu/catalog/11623.html#description.

HHS Establishes Prevention Initiative for Seniors
The Department of Health and Human Services has announced a $15 million public-private collaborative to help seniors better manage chronic diseases, eat better, exercise more and avoid injuries such as falls.

The HHS Administration on Aging will provide grants to support evidence-based interventions in up to 12 states for three years, subject to available funding. In addition, the Atlantic Philanthropies will provide up to $5 million in funding and technical support for as many as five states with the potential to reach large numbers of older adults.
For more information, go to http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2006pres/20060705.html.

Alliance for Aging Research Seeks Blue Ribbon Commission
The Alliance for Aging Research is taking the lead on an initiative seeking support and funding for a Blue Ribbon Commission to bring national attention to the issues of providing healthcare services to an aging population and to foster a dialogue that will drive policy solutions. AACN has submitted a letter of support for this initiative.

Without significant, dramatic change, the nation’s healthcare system will be unprepared to cope with the demands of the millions of older citizens who, in only five years, will begin to become eligible for Medicare, according to the alliance. A Blue Ribbon Commission could play a vital leadership role in engaging and educating the public, and energizing policymakers around this issue.

For more information about the alliance, visit www.agingresearch.org.


PDA Center
Coming Soon to Your PDA: An Abundance of AACN Continuing Education Multimedia Resources



Did you know that your PDA, loaded with clinical Medicopeia software, is also a multimedia device that will play your favorite music, NTI educational sessions, DVD videos (including certification review courses) and much more?

Visit the AACN PDA Specials and What's New page to find out how your PDA can support your continuing education and certification review needs, and become the only mobile device you will need for music, entertainment, education and clinical reference! No other “pod” or mobile device can compete with the versatility and functionality of your Palm or Pocket PC!

And, if you haven't discovered what a PDA loaded with Medicopeia can do for you, visit www.aacn.org/pdaspecials.


Grants


Oct. 1 is the deadline to apply for three AACN nursing research grants.

AACN Clinical Practice Grant
This $6,000 grant supports research focused on one or more AACN research priorities. Research conducted in fulfillment of an academic degree is acceptable.

AACN-Sigma Theta Tau Critical Care Grant
AACN and Sigma Theta Tau International cosponsor this $10,000 grant. The grant may be used to fund research for an academic degree. Principal investigators must be members of AACN and/or of Sigma Theta Tau International.

Evidence-based Clinical Practice Grant
This grant funds six awards of up to $1,000 each to stimulate the use of patient-focused data or previously generated research findings to develop, implement and evaluate changes in acute and critical care nursing practice.

To find out about AACN’s research priorities and grant opportunities, visit the Research area of the AACN Web site or e-mail research@aacn.org.

Resources for Promoting Excellence in End-of-Life Care Linked From AACN Web Site


AACN is now hosting the critical care special segment of the demonstration project “Promoting Excellence in End-of-Life Care,” a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).

By funding innovative projects of national significance, the program is dedicated to long-term changes in healthcare institutions to substantially improve care for dying people and their families.

Promoting Excellence work groups were chosen in areas indicating a readiness to address end-of-life care issues. Included among the resources and best practices is information focused on clinical care, education, evaluation and organization; seven end-of-life care domains; and an extensive list of resources. Related projects undertaken by AACN’s Critical Care Work Group are also noted. The purpose of the Promoting Excellence program is to provide vital information and resources to the palliative care, hospice and end-of-life healthcare community including clinicians and researchers; the extended healthcare community (clinicians, administrators, providers, funding sources); and the general public.

To access the information, go to www.aacn.org > Clinical Practice > Robert Wood Johnson [Promoting Excellence at End-of-Life].
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