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Archaeologists have pointed to certain architectural or decorative designs as representing “elite styles” that mark status distinctions. We look at one such style—Dogoszhi—that was applied to several pottery wares across the Chaco World of the northern Southwest. Using a large database of ceramics, we test whether this style comprised an elite style or whether it signaled participation in a broader Chaco social network. We compare the distribution of Dogoszhi style to measures of settlement importance, including site size and network centrality, and we investigate whether this style occurs differentially at Chacoan great houses as opposed to small houses, or by subregion. We also compare its spatial distribution to an earlier style, called Black Mesa style, similarly applied to a number of different wares. Our results indicate that both styles were consistently distributed within Chaco communities (whether great houses or small houses) but variably distributed across subareas and most measures of settlement importance. We conclude that Dogoszhi style was used to mark membership in social networks that cross-cut great house communities, a pattern more typical of heterarchical rather than hierarchical social structures. Such variation questions the uniform category of “elites” and points to the ways that representational diversity may be used to interpret different regional histories and alliances.
In 2020 a group of U.S. healthcare leaders formed the National Organization to Prevent Hospital-Acquired Pneumonia (NOHAP) to issue a call to action to address non–ventilator-associated hospital-acquired pneumonia (NVHAP). NVHAP is one of the most common and morbid healthcare-associated infections, but it is not tracked, reported, or actively prevented by most hospitals. This national call to action includes (1) launching a national healthcare conversation about NVHAP prevention; (2) adding NVHAP prevention measures to education for patients, healthcare professionals, and students; (3) challenging healthcare systems and insurers to implement and support NVHAP prevention; and (4) encouraging researchers to develop new strategies for NVHAP surveillance and prevention. The purpose of this document is to outline research needs to support the NVHAP call to action. Primary needs include the development of better models to estimate the economic cost of NVHAP, to elucidate the pathophysiology of NVHAP and identify the most promising pathways for prevention, to develop objective and efficient surveillance methods to track NVHAP, to rigorously test the impact of prevention strategies proposed to prevent NVHAP, and to identify the policy levers that will best engage hospitals in NVHAP surveillance and prevention. A joint task force developed this document including stakeholders from the Veterans’ Health Administration (VHA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), The Joint Commission, the American Dental Association, the Patient Safety Movement Foundation, Oral Health Nursing Education and Practice (OHNEP), Teaching Oral-Systemic Health (TOSH), industry partners and academia.
In the absence of pyuria, positive urine cultures are unlikely to represent infection. Conditional urine reflex culture policies have the potential to limit unnecessary urine culturing. We evaluated the impact of this diagnostic stewardship intervention.
We conducted a retrospective, quasi-experimental (nonrandomized) study, with interrupted time series, from August 2013 to January 2018 to examine rates of urine cultures before versus after the policy intervention. We compared 3 intervention sites to 3 control sites in an aggregated series using segmented negative binomial regression.
The study included 6 acute-care hospitals within the Veterans’ Health Administration across the United States.
Adult patients with at least 1 urinalysis ordered during acute-care admission, excluding pregnant patients or those undergoing urological procedures, were included.
At the intervention sites, urine cultures were performed if a preceding urinalysis met prespecified criteria. No such restrictions occurred at the control sites. The primary outcome was the rate of urine cultures performed per 1,000 patient days. The safety outcome was the rate of gram-negative bloodstream infection per 1,000 patient days.
The study included 224,573 urine cultures from 50,901 admissions in 24,759 unique patients. Among the intervention sites, the overall average number of urine cultures performed did not significantly decrease relative to the preintervention period (5.9% decrease; P = 0.8) but did decrease by 21% relative to control sites (P < .01). We detected no significant difference in the rates of gram-negative bloodstream infection among intervention or control sites (P = .49).
Conditional urine reflex culture policies were associated with a decrease in urine culturing without a change in the incidence of gram-negative bloodstream infection.
Mobile devices with health apps, direct-to-consumer genetic testing, crowd-sourced information, and other data sources have enabled research by new classes of researchers. Independent researchers, citizen scientists, patient-directed researchers, self-experimenters, and others are not covered by federal research regulations because they are not recipients of federal financial assistance or conducting research in anticipation of a submission to the FDA for approval of a new drug or medical device. This article addresses the difficult policy challenge of promoting the welfare and interests of research participants, as well as the public, in the absence of regulatory requirements and without discouraging independent, innovative scientific inquiry. The article recommends a series of measures, including education, consultation, transparency, self-governance, and regulation to strike the appropriate balance.
Regulatory policy for genomic testing may be subject to biases that favor reliance on existing regulatory frameworks even when those frameworks carry unintended legal consequences or may be poorly tailored to the challenges genomic testing presents. This article explores three examples drawn from genetic privacy regulation, oversight of clinical uses of genomic information, and regulation of genomic software. Overreliance on expedient regulatory approaches has a potential to undercut complete and durable solutions.
The individual right of access to one’s own data is a crucial privacy protection long recognized in U.S. federal privacy laws. Mobile health devices and research software used in citizen science often fall outside the HIPAA Privacy Rule, leaving participants without HIPAA’s right of access to one’s own data. Absent state laws requiring access, the law of contract, as reflected in end-user agreements and terms of service, governs individuals’ ability to find out how much data is being stored and how it might be shared with third parties. Efforts to address this problem by establishing norms of individual access to data from mobile health research unfortunately can run afoul of the FDA’s investigational device exemption requirements.
Delivering high quality genomics-informed care to patients requires accurate test results whose clinical implications are understood. While other actors, including state agencies, professional organizations, and clinicians, are involved, this article focuses on the extent to which the federal agencies that play the most prominent roles — the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services enforcing CLIA and the FDA — effectively ensure that these elements are met and concludes by suggesting possible ways to improve their oversight of genomic testing.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) shows promising results in treating radionecrosis (RN) but there is limited evidence for its use in brain RN. The purpose of this study is to report the outcomes of using HBOT for symptomatic brain RN at a single institution.
This was a retrospective review of patients with symptomatic brain RN between 2008 and 2018 and was treated with HBOT. Demographic data, steroid use, clinical response, radiologic response and toxicities were collected. The index time for analysis was the first day of HBOT. The primary endpoint was clinical improvement of a presenting symptom, including steroid dose reduction.
Thirteen patients who received HBOT for symptomatic RN were included. The median time from last brain radiation therapy to presenting symptoms of brain RN was 6 months. Twelve patients (92%) had clinical improvement with median time to symptom improvement of 33 days (range 1–109 days). One patient had transient improvement after HBOT but had recurrent symptomatic RN at 12 months. Of the eight patients with evaluable follow-up MRI, four patients had radiological improvement while four had stable necrosis appearance. Two patients had subsequent deterioration in MRI appearances, one each in the background of initial radiologic improvement and stability. Median survival was 15 months with median follow-up of 10 months. Seven patients reported side effects attributable to HBOT (54%), four of which were otologic in origin.
HBOT is a safe and effective treatment for brain RN. HBOT showed clinical and radiologic improvement or stability in most patients. Prospective studies to further evaluate the effectiveness and side effects of HBOT are needed.
Transparency is a concept that is becoming increasingly lauded as a solution to a host of problems in the American health care system. Transparency initiatives show great promise, including empowering patients and other stakeholders to make more efficient decisions, improve resource allocation, and better regulate the health care industry. Nevertheless, transparency is not a cure-all for the problems facing the modern health care system. The authors of this volume present a nuanced view of transparency, exploring ways in which transparency has succeeded and ways in which transparency initiatives have room for improvement. Working at the intersection of law, medicine, ethics, and business, the book goes beyond the buzzwords to the heart of transparency's transformative potential, while interrogating its obstacles and downsides. It should be read by anyone looking for a better understanding of transparency in the health care context.