Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Two Intermountain Clinics Recognized by Utah Million Hearts Coalition

The Utah Million Hearts Coalition recently recognized Intermountain Healthcare’s Sunset Clinic and Cedar City Clinic for Excellence in Blood Pressure Control. With only 46 clinics recognized statewide, this exclusive achievement demonstrates continual dedication to proper blood pressure control for patients.

“The award recognizes the hard work and dedication these clinics made to meet the highest standards of clinical blood pressure care,” said Kelly Robinson, Utah Million Hearts Coalition spokesperson. “More Utah providers, like the Sunset and Cedar City clinics, are taking blood pressure measurement and control to the next level by using evidence- based strategies to help patients keep blood pressure down - a strong sign that we’re making progress in preventing heart attacks and strokes and prioritizing patient care.”

Nearly 1 in 3 American adults has hypertension, also known as high blood pressure. Only half have it under control, putting them at greater risk of developing heart disease or stroke - two of the leading causes of death in the U.S.

To achieve the award, Intermountain’s Sunset Clinic and Cedar City Clinic shared control data with the Coalition and highlighted successful strategies and best practices they adopted. These clinics have helped their adult patients control their blood pressure by:
  • Making blood pressure measurement accuracy a priority
  • Using evidence-based guidelines and protocols for high blood pressure diagnosis
  • Continually training staff on correct measurement protocols
  • Using team-based care to improve patient engagement
  • Implementing the use of electronic health records that include patient reminders and visit summaries
  • Staying engaged with patients by offering support and educational tools

Clinics that would like additional information about applying for the award next year can contact Audrie Frehner, Health Educator at the Southwest Utah Public Health Department, at 435-986-2567 or afrehner@swuhealth.org.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Tularemia (Rabbit Fever) Found in Two Local Animals

KANAB, UT – The Southwest Utah Public Health Department (SWUPHD) has confirmed two cases of tularemia (in a cat and a rabbit) in Kane County. Tularemia, also known as Rabbit Fever, is a bacterial illness that can affect both animals and humans.

Tularemia is most commonly spread by the bite of an infected insect such as a deerfly or tick. People can also get tularemia by getting blood or tissue from infected animals (especially rabbits) in their eyes or mouth, or in cuts or scratches on the skin. It can also be spread by handling or eating rabbit meat that is not cooked well. Tularemia does not spread person-to-person.

The usual symptoms of tularemia are sudden fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, chest pain, and coughing. If tularemia is caused by the bite of an infected insect or from bacteria entering a cut or scratch, it usually causes a skin ulcer (open sore) and swollen glands. Eating or drinking food or water containing the bacteria may produce a throat infection, stomach pain, diarrhea, and vomiting. Breathing dust containing the bacteria may cause a pneumonia-like illness.

Tularemia is confirmed in humans by testing at healthcare facilities. Fortunately, human cases are rare and can be effectively treated with antibiotics. Many Utahns safely hunt and eat rabbits every season (September 1 – February 28).

Tularemia can be prevented by:
  • Discouraging children and pets from touching sick or dead rabbits, or other possibly infected animals or carcasses.
  • Wearing gloves when skinning or handling animals, especially wild rabbits.
  • Cooking wild rabbit meat thoroughly.
  • Wearing protective clothing and repellants containing DEET to protect against insect bites.

For more information, visit health.utah.gov/epi/diseases/tularemia