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Showing posts from March, 2012

Measurement of cardiovascular risk factors before NHS Health Checks

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the leading cause of death in the UK. Reducing the burden of CVD requires both primary and secondary prevention strategies. While there have been some primary prevention strategies in the UK over the past decade, there has been far greater focus on secondary prevention strategies targeting high risk individuals. The National Health Service (NHS) Health Check, a national primary prevention programme for vascular disease, aims to improve the prevention and early diagnosis of CVD.

In an article published recently in the medical journal JRSM Short Reports, Macide Artac and Colleagues from the Department of Primary Care & Public Health at Imperial College London  assessed measurement and level of CVD risk factors (blood pressure, cholesterol, body mass index (BMI), blood glucose and smoking status) before implementation of NHS Health Checks in general practices in the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham.

They found a high rate of recording o…

Reducing readmissions to hospital.

Reducing readmission of patients to hospital after their initial discharge is a priority for many health systems because of the considerable public health impact and financial cost of these readmissions. For example, in England, there are around 535 000 readmissions annually in patients aged 16 years or older. About 11.2% of hospital admissions result in readmission, and there is a wide variation between both general practices and primary care trusts. I discuss the experience of England in this area in a publication in the Annals of Internal Medicine. A number of initiatives have aimed to reduce hospital readmissions in England but their success has generally been limited. The most recent initiative - the success of which remains to be assessed - is to give general practitioners more control of NHS budgets. Giving physicians collective responsibility for health service budgets in their locality in an attempt to improve the efficiency of a health system  is a radical step and one that…

Web-Based Patient Ratings

Patients in many countries are now using the Internet to rate the how they feel about their experience of the health care they receive. In an article published in Archives of Internal Medicine, Felix Greaves and colleagues examined the associations between patient ratings on the NHS Choices website and other, more standard measures of the quality of services provided by NHS hospitals in England. They found an association between atients’ ratings of hospitals on the NHS Choices website and some more standard measures of clinical quality,  such as mortality and infection rates. They concluded that that the information provided by NHS Choices could be an important development in the measurement of the quality of hospital care. The article was featured by a number of media outlets, including the Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, and Pulse.