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Featuring hospital and health care headlines from the media and the Web.

Iowa News

Petersen, hospital volunteer, named Iowan of the Day
“We’re all going to need help at one time or another – and, if we don’t help each other, who will?” Because of his willingness to volunteer, Ken Petersen of Council Bluffs was named an Iowan of the Day by the Iowa State Fair Blue Ribbon Foundation and Cookies Food Products. His day of recognition will be Thursday, Aug. 16, at the Iowa State Fair. “Ken Petersen has brightened the lives of those around him by being active in more than 29 state and local organizations and nonprofits in Council Bluffs and southwest Iowa,” said Jake Powers, Jennie Edmundson Hospital Volunteer Coordinator and Petersen’s nominator. (Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil)

Dojo’s students help children’s hospital
Typically the students at Dojo’s Family Martial Arts are seen participating in their karate classes in their full karate uniforms. However, every year for a week or two during the summer months, they are allowed to wear Dojo’s T-shirts instead of their typical karate tops. This year, there was an added twist: In order for the students to be allowed to wear their T-shirts, they were asked to bring donations from the Child Life Wish List from Blank Children’s Hospital. T-shirt week actually was T-shirt month this year, and the students donated more than $1,000 worth of toys, games and other supplies. (Altoona Herald-Index)

National News

Hospitals clamor for specialty nurses amid shortage
The nursing shortage is getting worse, according to a report from Massachusetts Hospital Association and the Organization of Nurse Leaders. Vacancy rates for registered nurses rose from 3 percent in 2010 to 3.9 in 2011 in a survey of 76 hospitals, The Boston Globe reported. The shortage of RNs at specialty hospitals was worse at 5.1 percent, compared to acute care hospitals at a 3.9 vacancy rate, according to the report. (Fierce Healthcare)

U.S. children at risk from poor adherence to car seat guidelines, study warns
Proper car seat use is a problem for kids in the United States, a new study suggests, with many parents ignoring or unaware of current guidelines that ensure a child’s safety in the risk of a vehicle accident. Car crashes are the leading cause of death for children older than 3 in the U.S. and cause another 179,000 child injuries each year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, child safety seats cut death risk by 71 percent for infant passengers and 54 percent for toddlers between the ages of 1 and 4 – if they are used properly. (CBS News)

8 ACOs worth a closer look
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released its first list of 27 qualified Accountable Care Organizations that meet the requirements of its Medicare Shared Savings plan. As of July 1, HHS announced that 89 new accountable care organizations have begun serving 1.2 million Medicare patients in 40 states and Washington, D.C. That’s not to suggest that the feds have a monopoly in this space. In total, Leavitt Partners estimates there were 221 private and public ACOs in the U.S. as of the end of May 2012. This overview of how eight ACOs are treading these uncertain waters might help inform your own decision. (InformationWeek)

Reform means patients have to change, too
There was no time to really talk in the Massachusetts State House hubbub before Gov. Deval Patrick signed the new health cost control plan into law on Monday. But the president of the Massachusetts Medical Society, Dr. Richard Aghababian, shared a quick line that intrigued me, something about how health reform means that patients have to change, too. “My thoughts are that if the citizens of Massachusetts want to control the costs of health care, not only do we have to change doctor-hospital-nurse behavior but we also have to change patient behavior,” he said. (WBUR)

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