A Pennsylvania law from 2007 went into effect this month, giving nurse-midwives the authority to prescribe drugs and medical devices, administer immunizations, and order lab tests. The state Board of Medicine still must develop an application process for nurse-midwives who want the prescribing authority.
Some medical professionals recommend that all pregnant women undergo prenatal thyroid screening due to the risks of thyroid complications during pregnancy and the fact that thyroid problems can easily go undiagnosed. Others say that the cost and uncertainty of screening outweighs the health benefits, as test results are often hard interpret. It is also uncertain whether treatment can help women with subclinical hypothyroidism.
Technologies for personal health records could empower patients, but such systems also pose risks because they rely on billing information, which could reflect coding inaccuracies and do not completely indicate people's medical conditions, experts said. Dr. Paul Tang, chief medical information officer at Palo Alto Medical Foundation and member of a panel tasked to advise the Obama administration on health IT policy, said such problems should be studied further to protect patients.
Accidental injections of epinephrine are a growing problem, according to researchers who reviewed case reports from the past 20 years. They said of 69 reported cases, more than two-thirds have occurred in the past six years. Most accidents occurred when people accidentally jabbed themselves in a finger when trying to use or help someone use an EpiPen.
The University of South Florida Department of Pediatrics will use a $100,000 grant to expand the services provided by its Ronald McDonald Care Mobile program. The 40-foot van has two exam rooms and a laboratory that allow nurse practitioners and nursing students to provide health care for underprivileged school children in Pasco County.