Category Archives for Special Health Announcements

Flu, pneumonia deaths exceed epidemic threshold

Becker’s Healthcare reports statistics on a significant rise in influenza and pneumonia deaths, focusing on flu-related death in 10 states: Alabama, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Tennessee.

With such outcomes, the tracking of clinical staff immunizations, according to guidelines, becomes critical to impact the outcomes as well as for compliance reasons.  As with many standards, being compliant needs at least as much focus by healthcare management as reporting compliance.  How well is your healthcare delivery organization doing at its part in containing influenza, pneumonia and other diseases through vaccination efforts ?

Our research shows that the most successful vaccination programs have good operational tracking that:

  • is particularly easy for capture or entry of vaccination data
  • is structured to match the reporting requirements as to demographics and disposition
  • provides no-hassle reports that are very accessible, easy to interpret and focused on action for staff, managers and executives
  • is institutionalized so everyone is aware and on the same page

ActionCue Clinical Information has built-in forms for CDC/NHSN-defined data requirements and a built-in report with both detailed data and immediate indication of immunization program effectiveness.

Form for easy entry of disposition data

Built-in Report

ActionCue CI saves clinical managers 20-30% of their work time while delivering more insightful, actionable information across the entire Quality, Patient Safety and Performance Improvement effort. Over 90% of organizations using the ActionCue application are compliant with vaccination requirements and compliance is just that clear.

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Imported Drug-Resistant Stomach Bug Spreading In U.S.



Associated Press — A drug-resistant strain of a nasty stomach bug made its way into the U.S. and spread, causing more than 200 illnesses since last May, health officials said Thursday.

Many cases were traced to people who had recently traveled to the Dominican Republic, India or other countries. Outbreaks of the shigella (shih-GEHL’-uh) bacteria are not unusual, but this strain is resistant to the antibiotic most commonly prescribed for adults.

“This is the first time we’ve documented this large an outbreak of antibiotic-resistant (shigella) linked to international travel,” said Dr. Anna Bowen of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Since last May, the imported superbug has sickened at least 243 people, with large recent outbreaks in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and California.

Shigella is a common cause of diarrhea. The bacteria spread very easily through contaminated food or pools and ponds. Outbreaks also are common at daycare centers when staff members don’t wash their hands well enough after changing diapers.

For most people, it’s an unpleasant but temporary illness that ends within a week and can be helped with over-the-counter medicines like Pepto-Bismol or Imodium. Sometimes antibiotics are used: usually azithromycin for children and ciprofloxacin, sold as Cipro, for adults.

The past few years, health officials have been detecting shigella bugs resistant to azithromycin. The Cipro-resistant superbug has sickened people in 32 states and Puerto Rico.

“It’s moving itself around the country,” but it’s too early to know if the superbug has rooted in the U.S. for good, Bowen said.


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Yahoo News reports today, that in response to the Dallas Hospital ER handling of the recently confirmed Ebola virus case, the CDC was prompted to issue a nationwide alert to all hospitals updating them of how to appropriately respond to possible cases of the deadly disease.

Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) Algorithm for Evaluation of the Returned Traveler

Checklist for Patients Being Evaluated for Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the United StatesThe Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) Algorithm for Evaluation of the Returned Traveler and the Checklist for Patients Being Evaluated for Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the United States are located on the website, and are to help hospital staff identify and evaluate returning travelers for the EVD.

If you have not familiarized yourself with the signs and proper handling of patients who may have the EVD please follow this link to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website here: Ebola Update.

Yahoo News Coverage


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Temporary Paralysis and Other Things You Need to Know About Enterovirus

Special Health Announcement - Temporary Paralysis and Other Things You Need To Know About Enterovirus.

Source: ABC News


There is still a mystery surrounding Enterovirus cases spreading around the country. Now the CDC is investigating possible connections between the virus and temporary paralysis. Although its symptoms are similar to the common cold, its rapid progression and severity makes it very different — with many cases ending up in Intensive Care. Hundreds are hospitalized in 11 states, at higher risk are children with asthma.

Here are some important things you should know:

• Highly contagious, spreadable by cough or sneeze, and also can live on surfaces. But full knowledge of how is spreads is unknown due to lack of scientific studies on the virus.

• Starts like common cold; Runny Nose, Coughing, sneezing and fever

• Progresses rapidly; difficulty breathing, possible loss of consciousness (look for wheezing, shortness of breath or difficulty speaking)

Apparently this isn’t the first case of an outbreak of Enterovirus (EV-D68). According to a 2011 CDC report, from 2008 to 2010 there were clusters of Acute Respiratory Illness associated with EV-D68 across multiple continents including Asia, Europe and the United States. While it’s not the first time however, health officials are scratching their heads as to why it has reemerged… and with such voracity.

Particularly alarming is the lack of specific treatment for the virus and its, now possible, connection to acute onset of focal limb weakness — or temporary paralysis. Instead, health officials are tasked with treating the symptoms of the infection, often requiring hospitalization.

For the most current information on the virus, and to find out what is being done about it, visit the CDC website.

The CDC has a specific link for Healthcare Professionals on Evaluating, Reporting, Testing and Infection Control Recommendations here.

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Ebola Is Here — CDC Confirms first Ebola Case Diagnosed in US

ebola virus now in usa

The Ebola virus. Photograph: Frederick Murpy/CDC/EPA Source:

CNBC is reporting that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced on Tuesday the first officially diagnosed domestic case of the Ebola virus within the US.

Officials say, the yet-as identified patient is under “strict isolation” in Dallas, Texas, apparently confirming a statement issued on Monday by the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas.

Monday night Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas released the following statement:

“Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas has admitted a patient into strict isolation to be evaluated for potential Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) based on the patient’s symptoms and recent travel history. The hospital is following all Centers for Disease Control and Texas Department of Heath recommendations to ensure the safety of patients, hospital staff, volunteers, physicians and visitors. The CDC anticipates preliminary results tomorrow (Wednesday).”

In a press conference, CDC Director Tom Frieden said the patient in question had been traveling in Liberia, where he may have contracted the disease.

“It is certainly possible that someone who had contact with this individual…could develop Ebola in the coming weeks,” Frieden said, but added that “there is no doubt in my mind that we will stop it here.”

According to the CDC website, “The 2014 Ebola outbreak is the largest in history and the first Ebola epidemic the world has ever known.” The virus is know to be transmitted by contact with blood or body fluids (including but not limited to urine, saliva, feces, vomit, and semen) of a person who is sick with Ebola. Objects, such as needles and syringes, that have been contaminated and animals that are infected are also know means of transmitting the virus. At this time it is not believed that Ebola is transmitted through the air or by water.

There is currently no known treatment or cure for the virus.

Complete information on the Ebola Virus can be found on the CDC website at

The CNBC story can be found here.

Dallas CBS News Report.

Could Feds enact emergency measures?


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