With summer just around the corner, many of us are trying to be better about sticking with our workout routines, healthier diets, and methods for improvement and upkeep of wellness.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 900,000 Americans die prematurely every year from 1 of the 5 leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke, and unintentional injuries.1 Twenty percent to 40% of the deaths from each of these causes are preventable.
Some of the modifiable risk factors for heart disease, for example, include tobacco use, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, poor diet, being overweight, and lack of physical activity. Other risks are related to additional factors, such as social, environmental, and economic influences. These risks may be avoided by first making, and then keeping up with, changes in personal behaviors.
In this issue of the journal, our featured article pertains to wellness and the use of virtual health assistants (VHAs) as a clever means to changing patients’ health behaviors. “VHAs have the ability to reach patients on a daily basis—multiple times a day even—significantly expanding the reach of healthcare professionals, and allow patients to be informed about their own health, and make data-based choices,” Thomas Morrow, MD, explained (see “Changing Patients’ Health Behaviors with Clever Interventions”). We also provide concise reviews of studies on wellness, as well as a patient tip outlining ways to keep children healthy and active during the summer months.
Wellness also comprises prevention of, and promoting awareness about, preventable diseases in the community. In this issue, Peter A. Newman, PhD, and Ashley Lacombe-Duncan, MSW, explain the importance of raising awareness of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccinations for boys and young men. In particular, the authors discuss HPV prevention and treatment, as well as factors associated with low HPV vaccination rates, and how to address barriers to HPV vaccination in boys and young men (see “HPV Vaccination for Boys and Young Men: Addressing Misconceptions and Expanding Uptake”).
In another article, Samantha Yovanoff, PharmD, provides 3 take-aways pharmacists and retail clinicians can use in their practice today regarding the American Diabetes Association’s Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes. She urges healthcare professionals to reassess blood pressure goals, and to review the updated recommendations for preprandial glucose range and pneumococcal immunization. “The role of the pharmacist is ever expanding to include increased patient counseling and clinical services,” she stated (see “Medical Care 2015 Standards for Diabetes”).
We also have a great article featuring practical information for the healthcare team about how to plan for disability insurance. This article includes an overview of the steps necessary to begin shopping for individual disability insurance coverage, as well as what should be included in your policy and how certain carriers may differ from one another (see “Disability Insurance Planning for the Healthcare Team”).
We are also introducing a new section in the journal showcasing our offerings at InsidePatientCare.com. This month, we are providing an interview with Pamela B. Edwards, EdD, MSN, RN-BC, FABC, CNE, CENP, who discusses the peer-to-peer projects at Duke University, and the role of the entire healthcare team in improving patient outcomes. This interview will be available online first, and appear in our upcoming issue. We also provide results from regular polls online, in addition to webcasts from key opinion leaders and editorial board members (see FAQ Library).
We hope that you enjoy reading through this issue of Inside Patient Care: Retail Clinic Healthcare Solutions, and look forward to receiving your comments about the journal, and specific articles we have published.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Up to 40 percent of annual deaths from each of five leading US causes are preventable. www.cdc.gov/media/releases/ 2014/p0501-preventable-deaths.html. Updated May 1, 2014. Accessed June 4, 2015.