Week in Review: April 26

The Week in Review provides an overview of the past week’s top health care content, including industry news and trends, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Clinic Laboratories news, and upcoming events.

Industry News

Linked to Deaths, Surgical Staplers Get Closer Look from FDA

Surgical staplers, including those made by Minnesota-run Medtronic, have been associated with such high numbers of deaths, injuries, and malfunctions that the Food and Drug Administration is considering moving them to a higher-risk category that would give the regulator more control over the commonly used devices. The agency will convene a May 30 meeting to consider the higher-risk classification, after revelations that surgical staples and staplers used inside the body to reclose tissues have been associated with 366 reported patient deaths, 9,000 serious injuries, and more than 32,000 malfunctions since 2011, according to adverse-event reports filed with the FDA… Medtronic, the Ireland-based medical device maker that is run from offices in Fridley, is the industry-leading supplier of surgical staplers, competing with other companies like Johnson & Johnson's Ethicon division. Via Star Tribune.

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CDC Reports Largest U.S. Measles Outbreak Since Year 2000

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report 695 measles cases in 22 states. "This is the greatest number of cases reported in the United States since measles was eliminated from this country in 2000," according to a CDC statement issued late Wednesday. The agency attributed the high number of cases primarily to a few large outbreaks—one in the state of Washington and two others in New York City and New York state. The New York outbreaks are among the largest and longest lasting since 2000. Via NPR.

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Hospitals Sue Over New National Liver Transplant Policy

Hospitals and patients have sued to block a new nationwide liver transplant policy that they say will waste viable livers, lead to fewer transplants, and likely cause deaths. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the United Network for Organ Sharing hastily adopted the new policy and based it on faulty assumptions, according to the suit filed Monday in Atlanta federal court. Via Associated Press.

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Walgreens to Restrict Tobacco Product Sales to Customers Under 21 Years

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc said on Tuesday its drugstores will sell tobacco products to customers who are at least 21 years old under a new policy, effective September. In the face of an “epidemic” rise in tobacco products use among middle and high school students, the U.S. health regulator has been introducing new policies to restrict teen access to such products. Via Reuters.

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Mayo Clinic News

Mayo Clinic, Amazon, Johns Hopkins Considered Top Places to Work

More than half of the brands consumers would be most proud to work for are health institutes or technology companies, according to YouGov BrandIndex's 2019 Workforce Rankings. For the report, YouGov BrandIndex surveyed an unspecified number of participants ages 18 and older. Via Becker's Hospital Review.

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Peer Networks Drive Software Decisions Among Hospital CIOs

Epic and Cerner are virtually neck and neck in deployment of EHRs, according to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. Epic’s website boasts that all 20 of U.S. News & World Report’s top-ranked hospitals in 2018-19 used its EHR, as well. Add that to clinical staff’s familiarity. When Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic decided to implement a new EHR roughly five years ago, it searched for a system that could manage the academic medical center’s clinical, billing and revenue-cycle systems across all of its sites. Via Modern Healthcare.

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In Many States, Pregnancy Invalidates a Woman's DNR

Most states have statutes that invalidate a woman's advance directive if she is pregnant, a U.S. study finds. And because those statutes are often not clearly outlined in the DNR form, women filling out an advance directive most likely would not know that it wouldn't apply if they were pregnant, researchers reported in JAMA. "Two-thirds of states that had restrictions didn't disclose that in the advance directive document," said study leader Dr. Erin DeMartino of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. " Via Reuters.

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Suzanne R. Ferguson

Suzanne Ferguson is a Marketing Channel Manager at Mayo Clinic Laboratories and has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2014. Outside of work, Suzanne can be found traveling, reading and spending time with her family.