March 21st, 2011 by admin
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The National Alliance on Mental Illness released a report this month that included policy recommendations for states to consider including educating the public, families and peers about mental illness and incorporating behavioral health screening into primary care. The good news is that we’re on the mark here in Arizona as we’ve already begun to implement most of the national recommendations.
This spring we began rolling out Mental Health First Aid, which is an evidence-based public education program designed to teach non-professional people about mental illness. The program teaches a five-step process to assess a situation, select and implement appropriate interventions, and help a person in crisis or who may be developing the signs and symptoms of mental illness. We’ve also taken steps to integrate behavioral and physical healthcare by hosting the Arizona Integrated Models of Care in Behavioral Health and Primary Care Forum which brought together people from the behavioral and community health fields.
We’ve also creatively found other ways to increase of peer support organizations participation, developed greater transparency for consumers to choose treatment options that are best for them with our on-line dashboard, opened opportunities for consumers to help transform the behavioral health system with our Raise Your Voice forums, and released a toolkit on Integrating Culturally Diverse Communities into Planning for and Responding to Emergencies.
March 15th, 2011 by admin
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The first round of Instructor Training for Mental Health First Aid was completedin Tucson and our efforts are already paying huge dividends. 23 new trainers graduated from the intensive 5-day training program and are now certified Mental Health First Aid Instructors! The new trainers include peers, family members, behavioral health providers, T/RBHA staff, Pima Community College and Cochise College employees, community health center providers, a faith-based leader, and a person from the Veteran’s Administration system. We’re scheduling 2 more of these 5-day Instructor Training courses for the coming months and dozens of the 12-hour community training classes as well. Our goal is to get thousands of Arizonans trained to:
- assess a situation;
- select and implement appropriate interventions; and
- help a person in crisis or who may be developing the signs and symptoms of mental illness.
March 9th, 2011 by admin
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As I was looking through a weekly publication in the Phoenix area I noticed that there are several physicians that are already advertising their services for medical marijuana evaluations and certifications for a fee. Some of the ads and websites seem to imply that the certifications that physicians are writing right now will be valid for getting an Qualified Patient identification card from the Arizona Department of Health Services once the law takes effect on April 14. This is not the case.
The Department is still in the process of finalizing the Administrative Code (Rules) for the entire program- including the physician certification requirements that will be required when applying for an Arizona Medical Marijuana Qualified Patient Card. While we haven’t completed the Rules, we’re certain that we’ll be requiring that applicants submit a written certification from a physician on a form developed by the ADHS that will include a series of physician attestations. Since this form does not yet exist, whatever forms patients are receiving from physicians right now will not meet our future requirements for getting an ADHS medical marijuana qualified patient identification card.
Our goal is to complete the Rulemaking by March 28. We also expect to publish the official required physician certification form on our website on March 28. The official start for the program will be April 14- and that’s the first day that we expect to be accepting applications for AZ Qualified Patient Medical Marijuana Cards. We will begin processing applications for cards on April 14; however the application will need to contain a physician certification on our final form that will be available March 28. If a patient has had a medical appointment prior to March 28 and received some kind of certification or sheet of paper- the patient will need to ask their physician to fill out and sign the official form in order to receive an AZ Medical Marijuana Qualified Patient Card.
It’s not appropriate for me to give advice regarding whether or not folks should or shouldn’t see physicians right now for consultations regarding whether or not they could benefit from medical marijuana- but I felt compelled to get information out there that the forms that are being filled-out and signed by physicians right now won’t meet our future requirements for receiving an AZ Medical Marijuana Qualified Patient Identification Card from the Arizona Department of Health Services.
March 8th, 2011 by admin
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Our Assisted Living Licensing Office is working hard to get the message out about important (and exciting) changes taking place in the program, like our new Online Renewal System. Representatives from the Office are meeting with the Arizona Board of Examiners of Nursing Care Institution Administrators and Assisted Living Facility Managers, the Long Term Care Ombudsman, Adult Protective Services, AHCCCS, the Foundation for Senior Living, and the Arizona Board of Nursing, as well as various Assisted Living provider organizations, to give short presentations about the office and ways that we can work with the community and other agencies to protect the health and safety of Assisted Living residents throughout the State. In addition to discussing changes in the Office, these networking meetings will help those organizations help us when we have facilities in need of our assistance.
March 7th, 2011 by admin
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Good news this time. The number of bloodstream infections in intensive care unit patients with central lines decreased by 58% over the last 10 years according to a new CDC Vital Signs report. This decrease saved 27,000 lives and $1.8B in excess health care costs. Bloodstream infections in patients with central lines can be deadly, killing as many as 1 in 4 patients who gets one.
Most hospital Infectious Disease Committees follow central line infections very closely these days. Back in the day (about 10-15 years ago), it was common practice to put in central lines at the bedside with only a pair of sterile gloves. Now most hospitals require full gowning, face mask, and cap, along with full sterile draping of the patient. This is even required now in many ORs for central lines put in patients right before surgery.
You can check out our website dedicated to preventing Healthcare Associated Infections. We also help facilitate communication through the hospital association for facilities that are participating in the national collaborative “On the Cusp” to prevent blood stream infections. Part of our strategic initiatives for 2011 is to help address blood stream infections in hemodialysis units so our prevention efforts will be extending beyond acute care hospitals.
By the way- a “central line” and a simple “IV” are different things. Central lines are inserted into large veins and are pretty big because they need to handle a large volume. Simple IV’s usually go into veins. IV’s have a much lower risk of infection.