Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Surgery for July 2018. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Learning to Change Important for Improving Practice

TUESDAY, July 31, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Although physicians typically struggle with change, relying on habits created in their practice, learning to change is important in order to improve practices and better deal with the changes sweeping through medicine, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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Total, Open Repairs Decline for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms

TUESDAY, July 31, 2018 (HealthDay News) — The number of open abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) repairs dropped by almost 80 percent during the last decade, according to a study published in the June issue of the Journal of Vascular Surgery.

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Front Desk Staff Can Set Up a Practice for Successful Billing

TUESDAY, July 31, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Allowing front desk staff adequate time and an uninterrupted environment to focus on billing can prevent problems later on, according to an article published in Physicians Practice.

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Odds of Death Up With Medium-, Large-Caliber Firearms

TUESDAY, July 31, 2018 (HealthDay News) — There is a correlation for firearm caliber with likelihood of death from gunshot wounds, according to a study published online July 27 in JAMA Network Open.

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Few Published Programs Address Medical Trainee Mistreatment

TUESDAY, July 31, 2018 (HealthDay News) — There are very few published descriptions of programs that address the mistreatment of medical trainees, according to a review published online July 27 in JAMA Network Open.

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Medical Boards May Contribute to Mental Health Stigma for Doctors

MONDAY, July 30, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Existing policy has been amended to encourage licensing boards to require disclosure of physical or mental health conditions only when these would negatively impact a physicians’ ability to practice medicine, according to an article published in the American Medical Association’s AMA Wire.

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Four Strategies Help Doctors Make Personal, Professional Gains

MONDAY, July 30, 2018 (HealthDay News) — In an article published in Physicians Practice, four strategies are presented to help physicians make personal and professional gains.

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Cross-Continuum Communication Beneficial After Discharge

FRIDAY, July 27, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Cross-continuum communication after hospital discharge can improve patient outcomes and overall health, according to an article published in Physicians Practice.

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CDC: Homicides by Firearm on the Rise in the United States

FRIDAY, July 27, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Gun murders are on the rise in the United States and are the most common type of murder, according to a QuickStats report published in the July 27 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Outpatient Opioid Prescriptions for Children Often Filled

FRIDAY, July 27, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Children often fill outpatient opioid prescriptions, with the most common indication for dental procedures, according to a study published online July 16 in Pediatrics.

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Assessing, Improving Patient Satisfaction Cuts Malpractice Risk

THURSDAY, July 26, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Assessing and improving patient satisfaction can help physicians avoid being sued for malpractice, according to an article published in Physicians Practice.

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Reducing Computers in Rounds May Cut Communication Barriers

THURSDAY, July 26, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Reducing the number of computers on wheels in a surgical intensive care unit can reduce barriers to communication during patient presentations, according to a research letter published online July 18 in JAMA Surgery.

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Prehospital Plasma Cuts Mortality Risk in Hemorrhagic Shock

THURSDAY, July 26, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Prehospital administration of thawed plasma during air medical transport results in lower 30-day mortality compared with standard-care resuscitation in injured patients at risk for hemorrhagic shock, according to research published in the July 26 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Insurers May Be Underpaying Doctors

THURSDAY, July 26, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Insurance companies sometimes underpay doctors the contracted amount for a service or procedure, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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FDA Approves Magnetic System for Guiding Lymph Node Biopsies

WEDNESDAY, July 25, 2018 (HealthDay News) — A magnetic system for guiding lymph node biopsies in patients with breast cancer undergoing mastectomy has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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Tools, Methods of RCTs Can Be Adapted to Real-World Settings

WEDNESDAY, July 25, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Use of appropriate statistical methodology can allow for the synthesis of data collected as part of traditional clinical trials with real-world data, according to an Ideas and Opinions piece published online July 24 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Lowering Default Number of Pills Can Reduce Prescribed Opioids

TUESDAY, July 24, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Reducing the default number of opioid pills prescribed in an electronic medical record (EMR) system can effectively decrease the amount of opioids prescribed after procedures, according to a study published online July 18 in JAMA Surgery.

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Physicians and Practices Should Prepare for Emergencies

TUESDAY, July 24, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Practices and physicians should prepare for emergency situations, such as natural disasters, network communications failures, and active shooter situations, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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Reproductive, Hormonal Factors Tied to Knee OA in Women

TUESDAY, July 24, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Female reproductive and hormonal factors are associated with incidence of knee osteoarthritis (OA), according to a study published in the July issue of Arthritis & Rheumatology.

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Infection Prevention Staffing Needs May Be Underestimated

TUESDAY, July 24, 2018 (HealthDay News) — A comprehensive assessment of health care organization composition and structure is necessary before determining infection preventionist (IP) staffing needs, according to a study published recently in the American Journal of Infection Control.

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VA MISSION Act May Up Costs, Lower Vet Health Care Quality

TUESDAY, July 24, 2018 (HealthDay News) — The Veterans Affairs Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks (VA MISSION) Act may increase costs and reduce quality of health care for veterans, according to an Ideas and Opinions piece published online July 24 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Medical Organizations Must Address Sexual Harassment

MONDAY, July 23, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Medical institutions and organizations need to ensure there are proactive interventions to transform the workplace in order to address sexual harassment and discrimination, according to an article published in the American Medical Association’s AMA Wire.

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FDA Warns Against Risks of Contaminated Synthetic Cannabis

MONDAY, July 23, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Users of synthetic marijuana products and health care providers should be aware of the risk of bleeding associated with contamination of synthetic cannabinoid products with brodifacoum, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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Embezzlement Not Uncommon in Medical Practices

MONDAY, July 23, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Embezzlement occurs frequently in medical practices and steps should be taken to prevent it, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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Increased Coverage in States With Medicaid Expansion

FRIDAY, July 20, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Coverage rates and access to care are significantly higher in states with Medicaid expansion, compared with non-expansion states, according to a study published in the July issue of Health Affairs.

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Patient Social Support Influential Factor for Transplant Providers

FRIDAY, July 20, 2018 (HealthDay News) — For transplant providers, the second most influential factor determining a patient’s suitability for transplantation is social support, according to a report published online June 28 in the Journal of Medical Ethics.

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Patients Care About the Clothes Doctors Wear

THURSDAY, July 19, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Patients do in fact care what doctors wear, according to a study recently published in BMJ Open.

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Hand-Holding, Stress Ball Don’t Cut Anxiety in Skin CA Removal

THURSDAY, July 19, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Hand-holding and squeezing a stress ball do not provide anxiety reduction among patients during excisional removal of non-melanoma skin cancer, according to a study published online July 18 in JAMA Dermatology.

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Overall Cancer Mortality Rates Decreasing for Men and Women

WEDNESDAY, July 18, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Cancer incidence rates have decreased among men but remained stable among women, while cancer death rates are decreasing for both men and women, according to a report published in the July 1 issue of Cancer.

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Seven Strategies Can Help Practices Manage Staff Time Off

WEDNESDAY, July 18, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Several strategies can be implemented to help address management of staff time off, allowing mutual respect for the employee and employer requests, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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No Outcome Differences Based on Anesthesia Team Make-Up

WEDNESDAY, July 18, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Anesthesia care team composition is not associated with surgical outcomes, according to a study recently published in Anesthesiology.

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Five-Year Stroke Rates Lower After PCI Versus CABG

WEDNESDAY, July 18, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Stroke rates are lower at 30 days and five years after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) than after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), according to a study published in the July 24 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Alternative Payment Models Should Include Precision Medicine

TUESDAY, July 17, 2018 (HealthDay News) — The American Medical Association has committed to working to integrate precision medicine into alternative payment models (APMs), according to an article published in the association’s AMA Wire.

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Trials Supporting FDA Approval of Breakthrough Drugs Examined

TUESDAY, July 17, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Pivotal trials supporting U.S. Food and Drug Administration approvals granted Breakthrough Therapy designation often lack randomization, double-blinding, and control groups, according to a research letter published in the July 17 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Preoperative Opioids Used by 23.1 Percent of Surgical Patients

TUESDAY, July 17, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Preoperative opioid use is reported in 23.1 percent of patients undergoing surgery, according to a study published online July 11 in JAMA Surgery.

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FDA Establishes New Task Force on Drug Shortages

TUESDAY, July 17, 2018 (HealthDay News) — In a recent statement, U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., announced the formation of a new drug shortages task force to thoroughly explore the reasons why drug shortages remain a persistent challenge.

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Adoption of EHR Linked to Reduction in Mortality Rates

MONDAY, July 16, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) is associated with a reduction in mortality rates in U.S. hospitals, according to a study published in the July issue of Health Affairs.

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eCare Plan Set to Improve Doctor/Pharmacist Relationship

MONDAY, July 16, 2018 (HealthDay News) — The Pharmacist eCare Plan is designed to improve communication between pharmacists and physicians by allowing documentation to be available via electronic health records (EHRs), according to an article published online in Drug Topics.

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Physician Burnout Tied to Higher Risk of Medical Errors

MONDAY, July 16, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Physician burnout, fatigue, and work-unit safety grades are independently associated with medical errors, according to a study published online July 9 in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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Virtual Assistants Not HIPAA Compliant

FRIDAY, July 13, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Virtual assistant programs like Google Assistant, Siri, and Alexa are not yet in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), warns an article published in Medical Economics.

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Gender Bias in Medicine Has Far-Reaching Consequences

FRIDAY, July 13, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Overlooking women in medicine can have far-reaching consequences, according to a perspective piece published in the June 14 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Most Back Pain Patients Halt Opioid Use After Surgery

FRIDAY, July 13, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Duration of preoperative opioid use appears to be the most important predictor of sustained opioid use following back surgery, according to a study published in the June 6 issue of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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2001 to 2015 Saw Decline in Self-Employment in Health Care

THURSDAY, July 12, 2018 (HealthDay News) — From 2001 to 2015 there was a decrease in the percentage of health care professionals who are self-employed and a decrease in the earning gap between self-employed and employed health care professionals, according to a study published online July 12 in JAMA Network Open.

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AMA Aims to Boost Affordability of ACA Marketplace Plans

THURSDAY, July 12, 2018 (HealthDay News) — The American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates has adopted policy to increase the number of people who obtain coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by making marketplace plans more affordable.

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Patient Experience Officers Can Play Key Role in Medical Offices

THURSDAY, July 12, 2018 (HealthDay News) — A patient experience officer is an increasingly important new role in physician practices, according to an article recently published in Physicians Practice.

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Peer-Led Education Helps Physicians Save Time With EHRs

THURSDAY, July 12, 2018 (HealthDay News) — A peer-based education program can improve the efficiency of electronic health record (EHR) use, according to an article published in the American Medical Association’s AMA Wire.

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Attending Surgeon Influences Genetic Testing in Breast Cancer

WEDNESDAY, July 11, 2018 (HealthDay News) — The attending surgeon is associated with variation in the receipt of genetic testing after breast cancer diagnosis, according to a study published online July 3 in JAMA Surgery.

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International Group Develops Best Practices for Drug Packaging

TUESDAY, July 10, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Nine new drug labeling and packaging guidelines have been developed with an aim of reducing medication errors, according to a report published in Drug Topics.

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AMA Calls for Inclusive Family, Medical Leave Policies

TUESDAY, July 10, 2018 (HealthDay News) — The American Medical Association (AMA) calls for inclusive family and medical leave policies to support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) workers who care for relatives, spouses, and partners.

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Recent Years Have Seen U.S. Military Reinventing Trauma Care

TUESDAY, July 10, 2018 (HealthDay News) — The U.S. military has reinvented trauma care, offering hope for changing approaches to health care, according to a blog post published online July 3 in Health Affairs.

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High Financial Burden Up With ASCVD in Low-Income Families

TUESDAY, July 10, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Low-income families that include a member with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) have increased odds of high financial burden and catastrophic financial burden, according to a study published online July 3 in JAMA Cardiology.

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Error Rate 7.4 Percent in Speech Recognition-Assisted Notes

TUESDAY, July 10, 2018 (HealthDay News) — The error rate in speech recognition (SR)-assisted documentation is 7.4 percent, according to a study published online July 6 in JAMA Network Open.

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HCV-Infected Kidney Transplant More Efficient in HCV-Infected

TUESDAY, July 10, 2018 (HealthDay News) — For patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection with end-stage renal disease, transplant of an HCV-infected kidney followed by treatment is more cost-effective than transplant of an HCV-uninfected kidney, according to a study published online July 10 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Red Cross Issues Nationwide Call for Blood Donations

MONDAY, July 9, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Following a blood shortage triggered by the Fourth of July holiday week, the American Red Cross has called for donations of all blood types, but especially type O.

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IT Solutions for Easier EHRs Save Physicians Time, Burnout

FRIDAY, July 6, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Yale Medicine is effectively targeting electronic health record (EHR) use and functionality as a way to improve physician job satisfaction and reduce burnout, according to an article published in the American Medical Association’s AMA Wire.

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IV Acetaminophen Minimally Helpful for Colectomy Pain

FRIDAY, July 6, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Intravenous acetaminophen does not decrease opioid utilization to a clinically significant threshold among colectomy patients, according to a study published in the July issue of Anesthesiology.

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Patient Complaints Mainly About Rudeness, Rushing, Reproach

THURSDAY, July 5, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Understanding patients’ complaints about practice can be instructive for physicians, according to an article published June 6 in Physicians Practice.

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Hospitals Face $218B in Federal Payment Cuts From 2010 to 2028

THURSDAY, July 5, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Cumulative reductions in federal payments to hospitals from 2010 to 2028 are estimated to reach $218.2 billion, according to a study commissioned by the Federation of American Hospitals and the American Hospital Association (AHA).

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Anticonvulsants Seem to Be Ineffective for Low Back Pain

THURSDAY, July 5, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Anticonvulsant drugs are ineffective for chronic low back pain and can cause harm, despite a recent increase in prescribing, according to a review published online July 3 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

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Patients Comfortable With Doctors Having Tattoos, Piercings

THURSDAY, July 5, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Patients do not appear to mind if doctors have tattoos or piercings, according to a study published online July 2 in the Emergency Medicine Journal.

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AMA Urges Caution With Use of Wire-Bristle BBQ Grill Brushes

TUESDAY, July 3, 2018 (HealthDay News) — The American Medical Association (AMA) states that caution should be exercised with use of wire-bristle grill brushes due to the potential health and safety risks associated with bristles that may break off and adhere to the grill or cooked food.

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Intensive Management Program Benefits High-Risk Patients

MONDAY, July 2, 2018 (HealthDay News) — For high-risk patients, use of an intensive management program is associated with greater receipt of outpatient care with no increase in total costs, according to a study published in the June 19 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Follow-up Lacking for Women With Severe Maternal Morbidity

MONDAY, July 2, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Women in New Zealand who experienced severe maternal morbidity (SMM) often do not receive information, an offer of support, or a follow-up appointment before their hospital discharge, according to a study published in the June issue of the International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics.

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