Encouraging Transformations in the Healthcare Industry

March 2016, Vol 4, No 3 - Letter from the Editor
Frederique H. Evans, MBS

The healthcare industry is undergoing a transformation as a result of changes in technology, economics, societal forces, and other factors. Although it may be challenging for healthcare professionals to adapt to certain changes, some of them are having a positive impact on the industry. Challenges with adapting to the ongoing changes in healthcare delivery have been discussed before, but there are several emerging trends, such as the evolution of quality measures and the return of at-home care, that are changing healthcare for the better that must be highlighted. In this issue of Inside Patient Care, we touch on 8 trends that are having a positive impact on the healthcare industry (see “Telemedicine, Text Messaging, and Drones: 8 Emerging Healthcare Trends”).

We review vaccine recommendations and updates, including a more effective influenza vaccine approach that may be a productive step in formulating a vaccine that causes long-term immunity (see “Taking a Step Toward Long-Term Immunity in Influenza”). “When stimulated by a new exposure (infection or vaccination), memory cells can re-enter germinal centers and undergo new rounds of somatic hypermutation and selection. The net effect of this ongoing selection across the entire population exposed to the virus is a virus-immunity ‘arms race,’” explain Aaron G. Schmidt, Laboratory of Molecular Medicine, Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, and colleagues. The importance of the prevention of typhoid fever with vaccination is also reviewed, which highlights that vaccinated travelers must still be cautious in their selection of food and beverages (see “ACIP Publishes Updated Typhoid Vaccine Recommendations”. Further changes in the industry include the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ professional dispensing fees for pharmacies, which hope to serve as a basis for compensation for pharmacist-provided services (see “CMS Introduces Professional Dispensing Fees for Pharmacies”).

As part of this issue, we have included data on the US Preventive Services Task Force update to their 2008 recommendations for diabetes screening in asymptomatic adults (see “USPSTF Updates Recommendations for Screening for Diabetes in Asymptomatic Adults”). “Clinical trials and additional modeling studies are needed to better elucidate the optimal frequency of screening and the age at which to start screening,” the researchers concluded.

In an interview with Inside Patient Care, Matthew C. Osterhaus, BSPharm, FASCP, FAPhA, Co-Owner/Opera­tor of Osterhaus Pharmacy in Maquoketa, IA, and Immediate Past President of the American Pharmacists Association, discusses how to incorporate patient-centered care into your practice. “Identifying a need that is not being met, or an area that the physician is having trouble getting their patients to—even if it’s just a logistical issue for the physician, such as not being able to see a patient as often as they need to—can be a good start,” he stated.

This issue’s Products and Services section also includes an update from the US Food and Drug Administration regarding its stance on blood donations from patients who may have been exposed to the Zika virus.

As always, we hope you will enjoy this issue of Inside Patient Care.

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