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July 15, 2014
Court Rules Some Employers Exempt From ACA Contraception Mandate
The Supreme Court has decided that, for "closely held corporations," the contraceptive coverage mandate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993. But that decision could be mitigated by a previous ruling from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The American Nurses Association issued a statement expressing disappointment with the court's ruling.

Chikungunya Virus Arrives in the United States via the Caribbean
As of July 8, 153 cases of chikungunya have been documented in the United States and its territories by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, although no local transmission has been identified in the continental United States. Health care professionals may report cases to ArboNET.

MERS-CoV Transmission Likely Related to Breaches in Infection Control
The World Health Organization has found that an upsurge in cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in Abu Dhabi was likely related to several factors, including breaches in infection prevention and control measures in health care settings.

Adding Tomosynthesis to Digital Mammography May Improve Cancer Detection
A recent study showed that adding tomosynthesis (a "3D" x-ray technique) to digital mammography screening reduced the rate of unnecessary biopsy while increasing the rate of cancer detection. The researchers did disclose funding by a manufacturer of tomosynthesis devices; and further research is needed to determine clinical benefit.

Quick Takes
  • The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has released a draft recommendation statement concluding that there is insufficient evidence to support screening for vitamin D deficiency. Comments are invited through July 21.
  • A series of Lancet articles details the benefits of midwifery as a "solution to the challenges of providing high-quality maternal and newborn care" in all countries.
  • The USPSTF has updated its final recommendations on screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm and for carotid artery stenosis in asymptomatic adults.

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Diabetes and Puberty: A Glycemic Challenge," a July CE feature, discusses the central role nurses have in helping adolescent patients and their families cope with the effects of puberty on diabetes management. Don't miss our podcast with the lead author, a teenage patient, and her mother.
"The Perceptions of Health Care Team Members About Engaging Patients in Care Redesign," a CE–Original Research feature, describes results from a study exploring how health care workers felt about involving patients as partners on care redesign teams, and examining the facilitating factors, barriers, and effects of such engagement.
"Systematic Reviews, Step by Step: Data Extraction and Synthesis," the fifth article in this series from the Joanna Briggs Institute, focuses particularly on how to perform a meta-analysis of quantitative data.
"Quality Counts: The New World of Health Care Quality and Measurement" introduces a column offering a nursing perspective on the new quality measurements in hospital settings.
"Health Screening: Conflicting Findings, Dueling Recommendations," this month's AJN Reports, explores the confusing landscape of screening recommendations and provides resources that may help in decision making.

To hear more about these and other stories in the current issue, listen to the audio highlights. (If you have difficulty playing a podcast, please try using a different browser.) Full text of some articles may require purchase.


AJN's blog, Off the Charts, has daily updates on news that matters to nurses, as well as commentary on a range of topics. Bookmark us, check in often, and leave a comment: what's on your mind?

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Coming up in the August issue of AJN...

  • CE: Strengths-Based Nursing by Laurie N. Gottlieb. A holistic approach to care in which eight core values guide nursing action, thereby promoting empowerment, self-efficacy, and hope.
  • CE: Sustaining Pressure Ulcer Best Practices in a High-Volume Cardiac Care Environment by Rohini Paul, Stacey Paris McCutcheon, Jenna Penelope Tregarthen, Lyn Thayer Denend, and Stefanos A. Zenios. How one of the world's largest and busiest cardiac hospitals implemented several quality improvement strategies in order to reduce pressure ulcer prevalence.
  • Systematic Reviews, Step by Step: Presenting and Interpreting Findings by Suzanne Robertson-Malt. The sixth and final article in a series from the Joanna Briggs Institute details what should be included when presenting the findings of a systematic review.
  • Cultivating Quality: Using Evidence-Based Practice to Prevent Hospital-Acquired Pressure Ulcers and Promote Wound Healing by Elizabeth Roe and Deborah Lou Williams. This article describes a collaborative initiative undertaken by a hospital and a nursing education program to improve skin care.
  • Reflections: On the Phone by Wendy Call. Six moments in a six-month journey of loss.
  • Art of Nursing: Notes to the Evening Nurse by Katherine DiBella Seluja. A poem.


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