Cancer is the leading cause of death in North Carolina. This issue of the NCMJ discusses cancer prevention, screening, treatment, and survivorship; disparities in incidence and mortality; and ethics of clinical trials. Highlighting the importance of comprehensive data for understanding cancer, original articles in this issue address how medical homes can reduce health care utilization among breast cancer patients and how distance to care affects receipt of radiation therapy.
MAY / JUNE 2014 :: 75(3)
Data-Driven Improvement in Care and Patient OutcomesREAD MORE »
With ongoing advances in information technology, health care is now awash in medical data. Used wisely, this data can promote quality of care, lower costs, and enhance patient outcomes. This issue of the NCMJ provides real-world examples of how health care providers, insurers, industry, and others are using data to achieve these goals, as well as some of the hurdles that must be overcome as these efforts move forward.
Medical imaging has revolutionized screening and diagnosis, but this technology is not risk-free. As use of advanced imaging has grown, attention has increasingly focused on the risks of radiation exposure, the anxiety associated with incidental findings, and the costs of such imaging. This issue of the NCMJ will address the pros and cons of medical imaging and will discuss how this technology can be used more safely and effectively.
The policy forum in this issue focuses on how innovative educational programs are training tomorrow’s physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, physician assistants, allied health providers, and other health care professionals so that they will be prepared to meet North Carolina’s changing health care needs. Original articles address the epidemiology of traumatic brain injuries treated in emergency departments in North Carolina and medical students’ knowledge of patient safety and quality improvement.
This issue addresses pharmacogenomics, epigenetics, direct-to-consumer genomic testing, gene therapy, prenatal and newborn screening, and other medical applications of genetics. Commentaries also discuss the social, policy, and ethical issues associated with this technology and the need for health professional education in this area. Original articles describe community perceptions of genomic research and the relation of race and health insurance to long-term risk of mortality among lung cancer patients.
Commentaries in this issue cover a range of respiratory diseases—including asthma, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), tuberculosis, pertussis, influenza, and pneumonia—as well as treatment and prevention strategies such as smoking cessation and vaccination. Original articles include a descriptive review of asbestosis and silicosis hospitalization trends in North Carolina during the period 2002–2011, and an analysis of the prevalence, characteristics, and impact of COPD.