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Clinical Accuracy Spoken Here
Medical History First Step in Diagnosing Heart Failure

The signs and symptoms of heart failure (HF) are also common in other conditions. Therefore, the assessment process includes:

  • Determining the presence of diseases or conditions that can cause HF

  • Ruling out other causes of symptoms

  • Finding any damage to the heart

  • Checking the function of the heart

Symptoms such as decreased exercise tolerance and dyspnea are the catalysts most often initiating contact with a health care provider.

A medical history, both personal and family, is the first step in diagnosing HF.

Athena Forum, Heart Failure: Module B, Assessment www.athenaforum.com

Multiple Treatment Options for Colorectal Cancer

Chemotherapy for colorectal cancer is a rapidly evolving field. Emerging treatments include chemotherapy regimens that incorporate agents that interfere with DNA synthesis during cancer cell division and, more recently, anti-angiogenesis agents. These newer drugs result in better outcomes for many colorectal cancer patients, but they also are much more expensive than earlier treatments.

Biological therapy is also known as immunotherapy. Biological therapies use substances that occur naturally in the body to destroy cancer cells. There are several types of treatments including: monoclonal antibodies, cancer growth inhibitors, vaccines and gene therapy.

Athena Forum, CRC: Module C, Treatment Options
Excellence in Case Mgmnt

“Pharmaceutical Care” Improves Outcomes, Quality

Pharmacists now play a very important role on the discharge planning team in establishing a smooth transition of care by providing expertise in planning and overseeing a patient’s drug therapy regimen. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) defines “pharmaceutical care” as the “Direct, responsible provision of medication-related care for the purpose of achieving definite outcomes that improve a patient’s quality of life.” Pharmacists are proponents of Medication Reconciliation at admission and discharge and think these should be part of every patient’s plan, as a safety measure.

[Athena Forum, Discharge Planning Course: Module A.]

In the Headlines . . .

The Heart-Hearing Connection

The inner ear is extremely sensitive to blood flow. Studies have shown that a healthy cardiovascular system – a person's heart, arteries and veins – has a positive effect on hearing. Conversely, inadequate blood flow and trauma to the blood vessels of the inner ear can contribute to hearing loss.

Some researchers hypothesize that because the inner ear is so sensitive to blood flow, abnormalities in the condition of blood vessels here could be noted earlier than in other, less sensitive parts of the body. In his study, David R. Friedland, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of otolaryngology and communication sciences at the Medical College of Wisconsin, hypothesized that low-frequency hearing loss may be a potential marker for predicting the presence or potential development of cardiovascular disease. [EHS Magazine 2.1.11]

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JSPH & Athena Forum – Partners in Chronic Care
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The Jefferson School of Population Health’s online Master of Science in Chronic Care Management (MS-CCM) stresses chronic illness prevention and wellness, integrates evidence-based guidelines, includes behavioral health concerns, and appreciates cultural and individual variation.
The program prepares leaders to critically analyze, design, implement and evaluate systems to improve chronic illness prevention and care management across various health care settings and populations

For more information about Jefferson’s MS-CCM program, click here. 215-503-5305

The look of confidence
  CM Excellence® Series: 
  » Principles of Case
  » Patient Advocacy
  » Utilization Management
  » Discharge Planning
  » Hospital Revenue Cycle

  Clinical Series: 
  » Asthma
  » Behavioral Health
  » Colorectal Cancer
  » COPD
  » CV Risk: Stroke & MI
  » Diabetes
  » EOL & Palliative
  » GI Disorders
  » Heart Failure
  » Multiple Sclerosis
  » Obesity Management
  » Pain Management
  » Rheumatoid Arthritis
  » Women’s Health



Cathy Wright Cathy Wright, BSN, RN
Clinical Editor
Athena Forum


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