Last month, the New England Journal of Medicine Journal Watch issued this year’s installment of their Guideline Watch, a collection of 13 clinical guidelines published within the last six months that hospitals and health systems should be most aware of. Their staff of clinician-editors review the latest medical journals and decide which guidelines will have the most clinical impact before providing brief summaries and key takeaways in this document. Below, find three guidelines that we believe could potentially be the most important for healthcare organizations to be aware of.
1. Changes in the 2019 U.S. Adult Immunization Schedule
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, it is now acceptable to administer the live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV or FluMist) after being inactive for the last two flu seasons due to a lack of efficacy. Keep in note that this should not be prepared for immunocompromised people. Additionally, the CDC has made updates to the font and colors of the schedule, as seen here, to make it easier for healthcare professionals to read.
2. A New Guideline for the Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease
Published in the Journal of American College of Cardiology, this new guideline shares both nonpharmacologic and pharmacologic aspects of CV disease prevention. Modifying one’s lifestyle to a healthier one is heavily emphasized, and new medication recommendations include starting blood pressure treatment at thresholds of 130/80 mmHg for patients with a greater than 10% 10-year CV risk.
3. New Guidance for Preventing Peripartum Depression
As the only guideline focused on mental health, these new recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force are geared more towards screening for the causative factors of peripartum depression rather than depression itself. With a goal of identifying at-risk women, the task force created the following list of potential causes that, if experienced, would put a woman at an increased risk for perinatal depression:
- History of depression
- Current depressive symptoms not meeting the threshold for screening positive for depression
- Low income
- Single parenthood
- Recent intimate partner violence
- Recent significant negative life events
With over 44 million adults—nearly 20% the U.S. population—having a mental health condition, mental health remains as one of the most prominent challenges that the healthcare industry currently faces. To this point, be on the lookout for the HBI Cost & Quality Academy’s upcoming best practice report on mental healthcare!
This blog only scratches the surface of the Guideline Watch. While we believe that the above guidelines are especially important for healthcare organizations to be cognizant of, the entire document deserves a read! Download your copy from the NEJM here.
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