A political history of the Indian Health Service.
One of the few bright spots to emerge from the history of relations between American Indians and the federal government is the remarkable record of the Indian Health Service (IHS). The IHS has raised the health status of Indians to approximate that of most other Americans, a striking achievement in the light of the poverty and stark living conditions experienced by this population. The gains occurred in spite of chronically low funding and can be attributed to the combination of vision, stubbornness, and political savvy of the agency's physician directors and the support of a handful of tribal leaders and powerful allies in the Congress and the White House. Despite the agency's imperfections and the sizeable health problems that still exist among American Indians and Alaskan Natives, the IHS is an example of one federal program that has worked. (+info)
Recruitment and retention in the Navajo Area Indian Health Service.
OBJECTIVE: To determine why physicians and midlevel providers join, leave, or stay in Navajo Area Indian Health Service (IHS). DESIGN: Cross-sectional analysis of data obtained from questionnaires. SETTING: Navajo Area IHS hospitals. SUBJECTS: Navajo Area health care physicians and midlevel health care providers. Main outcome measures The prevalence of physicians and midlevel providers who plan to leave the Navajo Area IHS, the demographic characteristics of these physicians and midlevel providers, and the most common reasons for staying or leaving. RESULTS: A total of 221 (64%) physicians and midlevel providers responded. Of these, 58% planned to leave eventually, and 47% of all physicians and midlevel providers planned to leave in the next 3 years. Physicians and midlevel providers planning to leave tended to be younger than those planning to stay (P: = 0.009). The most common reason to join the IHS was a desire to work in the Southwest, to stay was the quality of the medical staff, and to leave was lack of administrative support. CONCLUSIONS: A high turnover rate of physicians and midlevel providers may occur in the next 3 years. A combination of factors specific to the provider, the institution, and the environment attracts physicians to the Navajo IHS and encourages them to stay. Factors that push physicians and midlevel providers to leave tend to be specific to the institution and are potentially amenable. (+info)
Informatics issues in the national dissemination of a computer-based clinical guideline: a case study in childhood immunization.
IMM/Serve is a computer-based guideline that provides patient-specific recommendations regarding childhood immunization. IMM/Serve is currently installed at an estimated 75 sites within the US Indian Health Service (IHS), with plans to extend its use to roughly 150 additional sites nationwide by the end of the year 2000. The dissemination of IMM/Serve within the IHS provides a case study with concrete examples that illustrate the diverse informatics issues that arise in the widespread dissemination of a computer-based clinical guideline. (+info)
Incidence of Rocky Mountain spotted fever among American Indians in Oklahoma.
OBJECTIVE: Although the state of Oklahoma has traditionally reported very high incidence rates of Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) cases, the incidence of RMSF among the American Indian population of the state has not been studied. The authors used data from several sources to estimate the incidence of RMSF among American Indians in Oklahoma. METHODS: The authors retrospectively reviewed an Indian Health Service (IHS) hospital discharge database for 1980-1996 and available medical charts from four IHS hospitals. The authors also reviewed RMSF case report forms submitted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for 1981-1996. RESULTS: The study data show that American Indians in the IHS Oklahoma City Area were hospitalized with RMSF at an annual rate of 48.2 per million population, compared with an estimated hospitalization rate of 16.9 per million Oklahoma residents. The majority of cases in the IHS database (69%) were diagnosed based on clinical suspicion rather than laboratory confirmation. The incidence of RMSF for Oklahoma American Indians as reported to the CDC was 37.4 cases per million, compared with 21.6 per million for all Oklahoma residents (RR 1.7, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.5, 2.1). CONCLUSIONS: Rates derived from the IHS database may not be comparable to state and national rates because of differences in case inclusion criteria. However, an analysis of case report forms indicates that American Indians n Oklahoma have a significantly higher incidence of RMSF than that of the overall Oklahoma population. Oklahoma American Indians may benefit from educationa campaigns emphasizing prevention of tick bites and exposure to tick habitats. (+info)
Domestic violence screening, policies, and procedures in Indian health service facilities.
BACKGROUND: Research shows that domestic violence against women in the United States is common, and the prevalence of domestic violence is high among Native American women. Victims of domestic violence can benefit from appropriate office intervention and referral. This study examined the effect of administrative and legal requirements on screening for domestic violence in Indian Health Service (IHS) hospitals and clinics. METHODS: A questionnaire was mailed using the total design method to all IHS hospitals and clinics regarding activities related to domestic violence: screening; policies and procedures; presence of committees; staff training; and state and tribal mandatory reporting requirements. RESULTS: The response rate was 65%. Eighty-eight (62%) of 142 facilities screen for domestic violence. A facility was more likely to screen if it had policies and procedures for domestic violence. Ninety-one (64%) of sites had policies and procedures for domestic violence. Less than one half these sites evaluated the use of these policies and procedures. Hospitals were more likely to have policies and procedures than clinics, as were sites administered by the IHS, rather than those administered by tribal contract. Fifty-eight (40.8%) facilities indicated 18 states have mandatory domestic violence reporting requirements. Thirty-three (23.2%) facilities indicated 31 different tribes mandate reporting of domestic violence. Forty-two (29.6%) facilities reported mandatory staff training in at least one topic related to domestic violence in the past year. CONCLUSIONS: Domestic violence policies and procedures promote screening for this important health care problem. (+info)
Patients with diagnosed diabetes mellitus can be accurately identified in an Indian Health Service patient registration database.
OBJECTIVE: The computerized patient registration databases maintained by the Indian Health Service (IHS) represent a potentially important source of data about the epidemic of diabetes among American Indian and Alaskan Native people. The purpose of this study is to determine the accuracy of this data source, and to identify the optimal search criteria to identify patients with a diagnosis of diabetes in an IHS patient registration database. METHODS: The authors compared the results of a series of computerized searches to a "gold standard" sample of 465 manually reviewed charts from a large IHS facility. RESULTS: Among patients ages 15 years and older, the best criterion for identifying patients diagnosed with diabetes was the presence of at least one purpose of visit narrative identified by a 250.00 to 250.93 ICD-9 code. The presence of a single computerized code for diabetes identified patients with diagnosed diabetes with a sensitivity of 92% (95% confidence interval [CI] 81, 97), a specificity of 99% (95% CI 98, 99), and a calculated positive predictive value of 94% (95% CI 85, 99). In a separate chart review of 462 charts of patients who had at least one 250.00 to 250.93 ICD-9 code recorded in the database, 435 had a diagnosis of diabetes for an observed positive predictive value of 94%. Because the prevalence of diabetes varies by age of the patient, the positive predictive value of the ability to identify patients with diabetes also varies by age. CONCLUSION: A computerized search of an IHS patient database can identify patients with a diagnosis of diabetes with an accuracy that is similar to the reported accuracy from other health care system databases. (+info)
Racial misclassification of American Indians in Oklahoma State surveillance data for sexually transmitted diseases.
The burden of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) is high in American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations. In addition, race is often misclassified in surveillance data. This study examined potential racial misclassification of American Indians in STD surveillance data in Oklahoma. Oklahoma State STD surveillance data for 1995 were matched with the Oklahoma State Indian Health Service Patient Registry to determine the number of AI/AN women who had one of three STDs but were not listed in Oklahoma surveillance data as AI/AN. Accounting for racial misclassification increased the rate of chlamydia for AI/AN women in Oklahoma by 32% (342/100,000 vs. 452/100,000) in the overall population. For gonorrhea, the rate increased by 57% (94/100,000 vs. 148/100,000) and for syphilis by 27% (15/100,000 vs. 19/100,000). Misclassified AI/AN women most often were classified as "White," and the likelihood of misclassification increased with a lower percentage of AI/AN ancestry. These findings indicate that STD rates may be underestimated for AI/AN populations nationwide. Racial misclassification in state surveillance data causes inaccuracies in characterizing the burden of infectious diseases in minorities. (+info)
Perspectives on American Indian health.
American Indians and Alaska Natives continue to experience significant disparities in health status compared with the US general population and now are facing the new challenges of rising rates of chronic diseases. The Indian health system continues to try to meet the federal trust responsibility to provide health care for American Indians and Alaska Natives despite significant shortfalls in funding, resources, and staff. New approaches to these Indian health challenges, including a greater focus on public health, community-based interventions, and tribal management of health programs, provide hope that the health of Indian communities will improve in the near future. (+info)