New Poll Says Nursing Homes Should Require Flu Shots for All Staff and Patients

As flu season swings into high gear, a new poll suggests that nursing homes and other long-term care facilities should be doing more to get their staff and patients vaccinated before it's too late.

Nearly three-quarters of people over age 50 surveyed in a new poll say that all staff in such facilities should definitely be required to get the flu vaccine. The new results, from the National Poll on Healthy Aging, come at a time when nursing homes and assisted living facilities lag behind hospitals and other healthcare settings in the rate of flu vaccination among staff.
Top Policy Insights from IHPI in 2017

Amid the recent flurry of end-of-year highlights, our IHPI Impact Accelerator team has compiled a list of " Top Policy Insights of 2017," featuring some of the significant stories from IHPI and its members over the past year.

Please check out the full list here, which highlights research on healthy aging, Medicaid policy, surgical quality, opioids, sepsis, behavioral health, and more.
In Chronic Disease Care, Family Helpers are Key, but Feel Left Out

People with diabetes, heart failure, and other chronic diseases often live independent lives, without a traditional caregiver. But many have a family member or friend who plays a key supporting role in their health care.

A new study finds that many of these "health supporters" wish they could understand their loved one's condition better, or get more involved in helping them navigate a long-term illness. The study, published in the journal Families, Systems and Health by a team from U-M, the University of Pittsburgh and VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, also reveals that many aren't getting the information or access from health providers that they need to do so.
What These 10 Studies Taught Us About Opioid Addiction in 2017

The pain that follows many operations, and torments patients with other medical conditions, often requires strong medication. But prescribing opioid painkillers when they're not needed, or in excess amounts, has helped create the crisis of addiction and overdose affecting the United States.

The issue has fueled a wide range of research at U-M to learn more about how opioid prescribing can be improved, which patient populations need better monitoring and tailored care ---- and how those who become addicted can get effective help. This review revisits 10 U-M studies from 2017 that are helping clinicians manage ---- or limit ---- opioid prescriptions so patients can avoid misuse and addiction.
Bringing a New Dimension to Eye Exams

A new 3-D photographic technique, adapted from automotive engineering, could offer a fast and simple way to capture the eye's intricate features with richer detail ---- and might one day be used to help people obtain access to specialty eye care remotely.

"By using this camera, we can create a permanent digital record of the same kind of images that ophthalmologists form in their minds through physical examinations, which can be examined at any time, and examined over time to measure changes," says Maria Woodward, M.D., M.S., an ophthalmologist at the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center.
Better Treatment, Not More Spending, Saves Heart Attack Patients, Study Finds

A new long-term look at heart attack care and spending in America shows more survival, more spending, and more variation between hospitals on both scores. And while some of that spending appears to be paying off, a lot of the dollars spent in the six months after a heart attack don't seem to be making much of a difference in the long-term death rate for patients.

The findings are published in JAMA Cardiology by a team led by Donald Likosky, Ph.D., M.S., and other members of IHPI and the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice.
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The Institute brings great minds together to address healthcare's biggest challenges. More than 500 investigators come to IHPI from U-M's top-ranked schools of medicine, nursing, public health, engineering, social work, law, business, and public policy, among others, as well as members of affiliated local research organizations.
Krein and Saint Receive 2017 VA Health System Impact Award

Sarah Krein, Ph.D., RN, and Sanjay Saint, M.D., M.P.H., are the recipients of the 2017 Health System Impact Award from the VA Health Services Research and Development Service (HSR&D).

Krein and Saint earned the award for their scientific and operational efforts to make Veterans' care safer by reducing the risks of unneeded and harmful urinary catheters. Their work has significantly changed practice across the VA. Moreover, their work has driven changes in urinary catheter practice in the U.S. private sector and around the world.

Krein and Saint
McKee Appointed to National Academies Roundtable on Health Literacy

Michael McKee, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of family medicine, is one of seven new appointees to the Roundtable on Health Literacy of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The Roundtable was established in 2005 to build upon the work of the Institute of Medicine consensus report, Health Literacy: A Prescription to End Confusion. It brings together leaders from academia, industry, government, foundations and associations, and representatives of patient and consumer interests who have an interest and role in improving health literacy.

As CNN's medical correspondent, Sanjay Gupta, M.D., has covered many disasters, medical discoveries, epidemics and catastrophes - enough to see the crucial role of effective and timely communication of health information.

On March 23-25, he and his wife Rebecca will team up with U-M to host an innovation event aimed at generating new ideas and tools to improve health communication.

The marathon weekend event, called the Gupta Family Hackathon, will include more than 200 students and professionals from the worlds of health, digital technology, design, communication and information science. Teams will form, work over the weekend, and present their prototypes for judging, competing for a chance to develop their ideas further with the help of U-M mentors.

The application to participate opens soon, and applicants will be selected on a rolling basis until March 1. There is no cost to participate, and food and team working space will be provided.

Organized by the U-M Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, the event is co-supported by a gift from the Guptas and by Michigan Medicine, U-M's academic medical center.

Learn more and apply at guptahacks.org
See all upcoming events on our Events page
2008: Urology's Dow Division of HSR Established

The Dow Division of Health Services Research, within the U-M Medical School's Department of Urology, is among the largest and most comprehensive such enterprises in the nation. The division's research portfolio is thematically broad, but unified by the singular goal of ensuring that every patient gets the right care, in the right place, at the right time. It also offers fellowship training in Urological Health Services and Outcomes Research and hosts an HSR Symposium.

The Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation is committed to improving the quality, safety, equity, and affordability of healthcare services.

To carry out our ambitious mission, our efforts are focused in four areas:
  • Evaluating the impact of healthcare reforms
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IHPI Informs is published monthly by the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy & Innovation.
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