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"Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose."
Zora Neale Hurston


Partnering with pharmacists to reduce drug errors

Patients frequently present to general medical and emergency short-stay units with multiple comorbidities and complex medication regimens placing them at increased risk of medication errors. This study compared a ‘partnered pharmacist' approach to medication charting, completed at the time of admission, to standard medical charting. Researchers concluded that partnering with a pharmacist to chart initial medications resulted in a significant reduction in medication errors for this population.

Source: Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics 2016; 41(4): 414-418

Further reading:
Editorial: Responding to the challenge of look-alike, sound-alike drug names
Source: BMJ Quality & Safety 2016; online first: 23 August

Slick scripts: impact on patient flow targets of pharmacists preparing discharge prescriptions in a hospital with an electronic prescribing system
Source: Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 2016; online first: 15 August


Older Australians – new AIHW report

In 2016 15% of Australia's population are older Australians (approximately 3.7 million people). This new report from AIHW defines older Australians as those aged 65 years and over or, in the Indigenous population, those aged 50 years and over. The report's findings indicate that: Australia's older population is growing; most older Australians are not using aged care services; 93% are not current smokers; 41% reported being sufficiently active; 76% owned their own home; and 15% were engaged in paid employment. In relation to hospital presentations for this age group, more than 50% required emergency or urgent care. The most common diagnoses were: pain in throat; pain in chest; and ‘other symptoms involving the nervous and musculoskeletal systems'.

Source: AIHW 2016


Taking action on Indigenous maternal smoking

Smoking during pregnancy is linked to miscarriage, growth restriction and preterm birth. This paper indicates that one in two pregnant Indigenous Australian women is a smoker, compared with one in eight in the non-Indigenous population. Unless smoking rates among Indigenous pregnant women reduce at six-fold the current rate of decline, the 2018 Close the Gap target of reducing tobacco smoking by half will not be met. The authors suggest that barriers to Indigenous women receiving appropriate primary health care are remediable and require urgent attention.

Source: Australian Journal of Primary Health 2016; 22(4): 276-282

Further reading
Tobacco smoking and breastfeeding: Effect on the lactation process, breast milk composition and infant development. A critical review
Source: Environmental Research 2016; 151:321-338
Full text available for Austin & MHW Heidelberg staff via document delivery


Nebuliser vs inhaler for COPD exacerbation

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbations are commonly treated with bronchodilators, however evidence to support the best mode of delivery - nebuliser or inhaler with spacer - is sparse. This has led to wide variations in clinical practice throughout the world. This new systematic review examined the evidence for wet nebulisers compared with inhalers and the authors concluded there was no difference between the two bronchodilator delivery modes. The reviewers did find evidence that nebuliser treatment improved lung function (a secondary outcome) more so than inhalers with a spacer, however the evidence was limited.

Source: Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2016; 8: online first: 29 August


Alzheimer’s – a Type 3 diabetes?

"Recently researchers proposed the term 'Type-3-Diabetes' for Alzheimer's disease because of the shared molecular and cellular features among Type-1-Diabetes, Type-2-Diabetes and insulin resistance associated with memory deficits and cognitive decline in elderly individuals." The authors of this review discuss both the shared mechanisms between Alzheimer's disease and diabetes and therapeutic avenues for the two conditions.

Source: Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Molecular Basis of Disease 2016; online first 25 August
Full text available for Austin & MHW Heidelberg staff via document delivery


Austin Health Research Online - recent submissions

Negative experiences and donor return: an examination of the role of asking for something different.
Masser BM, Bove LL, White KM, et. al. Transfusion 2016; 56(3): 605-613

Exceptionally long CDR3H of bovine scFv antigenized with BoHV-1 B-epitope generates specific immune response against the targeted epitope.
Pasman Y, Soliman C, Ramsland PA, et. al. Molecular Immunology 2016; 77: 113-125
Full text available for Austin & MHW Heidelberg staff via document delivery

Early outcome of liver resections in octogenarians.
Bhandari RS, Riddiough G, Muralidharan V, et. al. Kathmandu University Medical Journal 2015; 13(49): 19-23

Adjuvant endocrine therapy in women with oestrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer: How should the skeletal and vascular side effects be assessed and managed?
Ramchand SK, Lim E, Grossmann M. Clinical Endocrinology 2016; online first: 6 August

See more at AHRO, Austin Health Research Online


eBooks spotlight

Fetal and neonatal physiology / edited by Richard A. Polin - 5th ed.- Elsevier, 2017.
This book provides essential information to diagnose, treat and manage sick and premature infants. From basic sciences to exam preparation this edition offers key information necessary to effectively manage health problems seen in newborn and premature infants.

Henry's clinical diagnosis and management by laboratory methods / edited by Richard A. McPherson, Matthew R. Pincus - 23rd ed.- Elsevier, 2017.
A definitive text in laboratory medicine since 1908, it is a comprehensive, multidisciplinary pathology reference that gives you state-of-the art guidance on lab test selection and interpretation of results.

Treat the cause : a review of the quality of care provided to patients treated for acute pancreatitis : a report published by the National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death / compiled by DA O'Deilly - NCEPOD, 2016.
"This NCEPOD report highlights the process of care for patients aged 16 years or older with acute pancreatitis. The report takes a critical look at areas where the care of patients might have been improved."


Journals spotlight

These links provide access to the current table of contents:

Blood Pressure Monitoring


Health Care Management Review

International Journal of Nursing Knowledge

Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry


Nurse Educator

Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health

Pharmacoepidemiology & Drug Safety

Sports Medicine

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