American College of Physicians: Internal Medicine — Doctors for Adults ®

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College briefs

Call for spring 2002 Board of Governors resolutions

The deadline for submitting resolutions to be heard at the April 2002 Board of Governors meeting is Jan. 4, 2002. ACP-ASIM members may initiate a resolution addressing any issue or topic by submitting it to their Governor and/or chapter council. A resolution becomes a resolution of the chapter once the chapter council approves it.

To research the College's position on a health and public policy issue prior to submitting a resolution, go to www.acponline.org/advocacy/. In accordance with the ACP- ASIM's resolution process, resolutions should clearly distinguish the action requested within its resolved clause(s) as either a policy resolve ("Resolved that ACP-ASIM policy ...") or a directive, which requests action/study on an issue ("Resolved that the Board of Regents ..."). Please contact your Governor if you have any questions regarding the resolution format.

New resolutions are acted upon by the Board of Governors and then presented to the Board of Regents with recommendations for action and/or follow-up. Once the Board of Regents has voted on the recommendations, resolutions either become policy or are forwarded to College committees and/or staff for study and/or implementation.

The fall 2001 Board of Governors conference was cancelled due to the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001. Therefore, an emergency electronic process was established to handle 7 of the 18 fall resolutions that the Reference Committee felt required immediate action. The remaining 11 resolutions will be heard at the spring meeting in Philadelphia, along with newly submitted resolutions.

Journal Club Web site offers full text back to 1991

The ACP Journal Club's new Web site, www.acpjc.org, now offers full text of all abstracts and commentaries dating back to 1991.

The site will also feature abstracts and commentaries that have not yet appeared in the print journal. In addition, the site has a new look similar to the online version of Annals of Internal Medicine.

The ACP Journal Club site replaces an earlier College product, Best Evidence, a CD-ROM that compiled evidence from several publications including ACP Journal Club. Unlike Best Evidence, the ACP Journal Club Web site is free to College members and will be continuously updated.

Content for ACP Journal Club is selected from more than 100 clinical journals. Out-of-date content will be regularly culled from the site to keep the material current.

College releases guide to HIPAA regulations

The College's Practice Management Center is creating management tools to help internists meet the requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.

Earlier this fall, the Center released "HIPAA: An Overview," a 21-page analysis of the sweeping law. The federal government has released three "rules" implementing portions of HIPAA to simplify the electronic transmission of health care data and to protect the security and confidentiality of those data.

The Practice Management Center is also developing manuals to help physicians comply with each of the three rules. College members will be able to download the manuals free of charge from ACP-ASIM Online once they have been completed. The guidelinhttp://www.acponline.orge addressing the transaction rule should be released before the end of the year.

The current guide is online at www.acponline.org/pmc/regulatory.htm.

Wanted: internists to teach patient safety curriculum

The College is seeking internists interested in teaching their colleagues about best practices in patient safety.

The College is developing seven CME modules as part of a three-year research grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The centerpiece of the research will be an innovative patient safety CME curriculum that will be offered to ACP- ASIM chapters at no cost.

College members who participate in this train-the-trainer program must attend one or two expenses-paid, day-and-a-half training sessions at College headquarters in Philadelphia on Jan. 18-19 and in July.

For more information, call Kyle Bartlett, PhD, at 800-523-1546, ext. 2838.

End-of-life care brochures for patients, physicians

The College's Center for Ethics and Professionalism has released three patient education brochures on palliative and end-of-life care.

The brochures offer clearly worded advice for patients and caregivers and are suitable for distribution in doctor's offices. They focus on pain, talking to physicians about the end of life, and making end-of-life care decisions for loved ones.

The Center also has a tip sheet for physicians with suggestions on how to identify patients who would benefit from the brochures and tips on how to broach sensitive end-of-life issues in face-to-face discussions.

The brochures are available at no charge in packages of 50 each. To order, call 800-523-1546, ext. 2839, or e-mail ssmith@acponline.org. You can also download the brochures free of charge from ACP-ASIM Online at www.acponline.org/ethics/patient_education.htm.

Nearly half of College members say they use handheld computers

According to a survey conducted by ACP-ASIM, 47% of respondents said they use handheld computers, and 67% said they will be using the devices by the end of 2002.

College researchers found almost no difference in the percent of male and female internists who use handheld computers. They did find, however, that young physicians are more likely to use the devices. Sixty percent of respondents 40 and under said they use handhelds, 42% of those between 41 and 50 use the devices, and 34% of respondents over 51 use them.

More than 80% of respondents who reported using handheld computers said they use the devices to access drug information. Respondents also said they use handheld computers for referencing normal lab values (32%), reading medical textbooks (21%), and billing and coding (21%).

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