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Leaders of the World's Health Professions Step Up Their Support for Professional Self-Regulation

At the first ever interprofessional and international conference on the regulation of health professionals, more than 500 dentists, nurses, pharmacists, physicians, physical therapists, and government officials debated the critical importance of professional regulation as essential to safe, quality patient care. The conference was convened by the World Health Professional Alliance in collaboration with the World Confederation for Physical Therapy. Professional self-regulation is under more scrutiny than ever before in many countries. Often, national health professional associations are not being consulted. Discussion at this meeting focused on the impact of international trade in services agreements and the increasing cross-border movement of both patients and health professionals. For more information, please contact


International Health Professional Associations Present First Ever Guidelines on Incentives for Health Professionals

The world's leading health and hospital professional associations have joined to produce the first ever joint guidelines on incentives for the retention and recruitment of health professionals. Commissioned by the Global Health Workforce Alliance as part of its work to identify and implement solutions to the health workforce crisis, the Guidelines on Incentives for Health Professionals is the combined result of collaboration among the International Council of Nurses, the International Hospital Federation, the International Pharmaceutical Federation, the World Confederation for Physical Therapy, The World Dental Federation, and the World Medical Association.


Underlining both financial and nonfinancial incentives as critical to ensuring effective recruitment, retention, and performance of health workers across the world, this report describes different approaches taken by a number of countries. Examples of financial incentives cited include tax waivers, allowances, insurance, and performance payments. Examples of nonfinancial incentives include ensuring positive work environments, flexibility in employment arrangements, and support for career development. For more information, contact


VHA Inc Partners With Indiana Quality and Patient Safety Organizations to Address Medication Safety With Anticoagulants

If not administered properly, high-alert medications such as anticoagulants can cause life-threatening bleeds or thrombosis. Medication errors cause hundreds of thousands of potentially preventable deaths. The address this problem, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that it is considering adding deep vein thrombosis to its current list of 8 medical complications that it will no longer reimburse hospitals for beginning October 1, 2008. Emphasizing the importance of medication safety, the new patient safety goals of the Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations will take effect in January 2009, with better practices around anticoagulation therapy as a main objective.


To help hospitals meet this challenge, last summer, VHA Inc partnered with the Indiana Hospital and Health Association and the Indiana Patient Safety Center to launch a program focused on the safe use of anticoagulants. In less than a year, participating hospitals are performing at or exceeding the national safety standards, and adverse drug events associated with anticoagulant use are decreasing. For more information, please contact


World Union of Wound Healing Societies Releases Best Practice Document on Pain

The World Union of Wound Healing Societies released a second best practice guideline in June 2008. This document is an educational initiative and builds on the first document released in 2004 and contains expert knowledge from world-renowned wound care specialists. The guidelines are for anyone involved in wound care and provide an update on the latest scientific findings and easy-to-overview pain-relieving strategies. For patients suffering from chronic wounds, pain has a major impact on their quality of life. Pain is often perceived as most intense during dressing changes. In fact, 40% of patients living with an ulcer experience pain at dressing removal as the worst adverse effect.


Each of the 10 consensus statements is followed by an overview of scientific evidence supporting them. In addition, readers will find practical tools and tips that can be used to measure pain. These include pain assessment scales and pain monitoring tools. Because pain can vary over time, it is important to measure it continuously. For more information, please contact