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Physician-authored article sees ‘freeing’ nurses as one answer to healthcare crisis

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — “It’s time to unlock the gates to the primary care club” and allow nurse practitioners to practice to the full extent of their education and training. That was a key message of a physician-authored article that recently ran in Slate magazine.
 
“Nurse practitioners should be released from their arbitrary bondage and do what they are trained to do, what they’re board-certified to do, and what many do so well: take care of patients and collaborate with physicians because they want to, not because they have to. Nurse practitioners and doctors should welcome each other’s perspectives, experiences, and abilities,” wrote Anne Reisman in the article titled “Free the Nurses.” Reisman is a physician in Connecticut.

In the article, posted April 18, Reisman outlines why she believes the “time is ripe” for change. Not only is student interest in primary care on the down slope, but the strain on the U.S. healthcare system will be further exasperated when some 30 million Americans gain coverage through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

She also highlights research that shows "nurse practitioners provide as good care with as good outcomes as primary care physicians, along with high rates of patient satisfaction."

Given that Reisman is a physician, she also brings an interesting insight to the table — primary care is an “ever-evolving conglomeration of medical knowledge and systems and empathy and integrity and creativity in problem-solving, this is precisely why it’s good to mix it up and reap the benefits of some nurse practitioner-doctor hybrid vigor.”

To read the entire article click here.
 

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Nearly one-third of women don’t fill new osteoporosis prescriptions, study finds

BY Alaric DeArment

PASADENA, Calif. — A new study by Kaiser Permanente finds that a large percentage of women with osteoporosis fail to pick up new prescriptions for the condition.

The study, which was based on the electronic health records of 8,454 women ages 55 years and older who were Kaiser Permanente Southern California members between December 2009 and March 2011 and were prescribed a new bisphosphonate medication, found that 29.5% of them did not pick up their prescription within 60 days of the order date. The problem was particularly acute among older women and those who used the emergency department in the prior year, but women taking other prescription drugs and those who had been hospitalized in the prior year were more likely to pick up their prescription. The same was true of women who had received their prescription from a doctor practicing at Kaiser Permanente for 10 years or longer.

"Although bisphosphonates have been proven to reduce the risk of osteoporotic fracture, low adherence to these medications is common, which contributes to serious and costly health problems," Kaiser Permanente scientist and lead study author Kristi Reynolds said. "This study simultaneously examined patient and prescribing provider characteristics and helped identify certain factors associated with why patients failed to pick up their new prescriptions."

The study was published this week in the journal Osteoporosis International.

 

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Coke to launch caffeine-free Zero this summer

BY Jason Owen

ATLANTA — Coke Zero has seen double-digit sales growth over the last five years, according to the company, and Coke is hoping to increase those numbers even more this summer with the release of Caffeine Free Coke Zero.

The company hopes the addition of a caffeine-free Coke Zero will further expand the ubiquity of the zero-calorie, fast-growing brand, as well as allow wary consumers to drink the beverage late in the day or evening without the caffeine keeping them up at night.

“Caffeine-free products are growing in popularity, making up nearly 30 percent of all sparkling beverage sales in the U.S.,” said Stuart Kronauge, head of Sparkling at the Coca-Cola North America Group. “By introducing Caffeine Free Coke Zero, we’re giving fans exactly what they want, making the brand accessible for enjoyment all day long.”

Caffeine Free Coke Zero will begin appearing on shelves in supermarkets, drug stores and mass merchants nationwide in mid-July, and will be available coast to coast in August. It will be packaged in 12-packs of 12-ounce cans and 2-liter bottles.


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