In case you’re looking for something more meaningful to read this summer than Fifty Shades of Grey or Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, The Institute of Medicine has released some dandy reports suitable for reading or for hiding those trashy beach novels.
First up, in May, IOM released Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention: Solving the Weight of the Nation. The report focuses on five critical goals for preventing obesity:
- integrating physical activity into people’s daily lives,
- making healthy food and beverage options available everywhere,
- transforming marketing and messages about nutrition and activity,
- making schools a gateway to healthy weights, and
- galvanizing employers and health care professionals to support healthy lifestyles.
The committee outlined specific strategies include: requiring at least 60 minutes per day of physical education and activity in schools, industry-wide guidelines on which foods and beverages can be marketed to children and how, expansion of workplace wellness programs, taking full advantage of physicians’ roles to advocate for obesity prevention with patients and in the community, and increasing the availability of lower-calorie, healthier children’s meals in restaurants.
Also in May, IOM published Ethical and Scientific Issues in Studying the Safety of Approved Drugs. In response to the passage of the Food and Drug Administration Act in 2007, the FDA asked the IOM to evaluate scientific and ethical aspects of safety studies for approved drugs. The IOM concluded that the FDA’s current approach to drug oversight in the postmarket setting is not systematic enough and does not ensure that benefits and risks of drugs are assessed consistently over the drug’s life cycle. “Adopting a regulatory framework that is standardized across all drugs, yet flexible enough to adapt to regulatory decisions of differing complexity, could help make the agency’s decision-making process more predictable, transparent, and proactive. These changes could allow the FDA to better anticipate postapproval research needs and improve drug safety for all Americans.”
Finally, for the ambitious reader, the IOM had just released the discussion paper A CEO Checklist for High-Value Health Care. Despite risking costs, healthcare remains suboptimal in many areas. “To aid and accelerate the system-wide transformation necessary, we have assembled what we are calling “A CEO Checklist for High-Value Care” (the Checklist). The Checklist’s 10 items reflect the strategies that, in our experiences and those of others, have proven effective and essential to improving quality and reducing costs. They describe the foundational, infrastructure, care delivery, and feedback components of a system oriented around value, and represent basic opportunities—indeed obligations—for hospital and health care delivery system CEOs and Boards to improve the value of health care in their institutions.”
The 10 items include:
- Governance priority—visible and determined leadership by CEO and Board
- Culture of continuous improvement—commitment to ongoing, real-time learning
- IT best practices—automated, reliable information to and from the point of care
- Evidence protocols—effective, efficient, and consistent care
- Resource utilization—optimized use of personnel, physical space, and other resources
- Integrated care—right care, right setting, right providers, right teamwork
- Shared decision making—patient–clinician collaboration on care plans
- Targeted services—tailored community and clinic interventions for resource-intensive patients
- Embedded safeguards—supports and prompts to reduce injury and infection
- Internal transparency—visible progress in performance, outcomes, and costs