Bipartisan report on U.S biodefense readiness released
Hudson Institute is co-releasing "A National Blueprint for Biodefense: Leadership and Major Reform Needed to Optimize Efforts," a bipartisan report produced by the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense. The report outlines national vulnerabilities to growing biological threats and provides recommendations on improving U.S. defense against biological weapons and naturally occurring infectious diseases.

"A National Blueprint for Biodefense" provides a clear schedule of short-, medium- and long-term action items and programmatic, legislative and policy recommendations to bring about a coordinated biodefense platform under the leadership of the vice president. Conclusions in the report are the result of a yearlong program of high-level panels, public meetings, targeted interviews and extensive research.

Also this week:

Single-use device reprocessing diverted 873 tons of medical waste
Practice Greenhealth's "2015 Environmental Excellence Awards Sustainability Benchmark Report" shows that hospitals diverted more than 873 tons of medical waste through single-device reprocessing. Hospitals also diverted 92,205 tons of waste from landfills through recycling, saving nearly $4 million, according to the report.

NFPA issues errata on sprinkler systems standard
The National Fire and Protection Agency (NFPA) has issued an errata on NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems. Errata 13-6-1 corrects referencing Figures (A)(a) and (c) on the standard's 2016 edition.

NFPA 13 is the industry benchmark for the design and installation of automatic fire sprinkler systems and addresses component options to prevent fire deaths and property loss in addition to sprinkler system design, installation and testing approaches. 

VA issues final rule on expanding access to non-VA care
The Department of Veterans Affairs yesterday issued afinal rule for veterans needing to access VA care at non-VA facilities through the Veterans Choice Program. The rule will continue to use driving distance from the veteran's residence to the nearest VA medical facility as the determinant in partnering with non-VA facilities to administer care to veterans.

HITRUST webinar on implementing NIST cybersecurity framework
The Health Information Trust Alliance will host a Nov. 3 webinar for health care organizations on the National Institute of Standards and Technology's framework for reducing cybersecurity risks to critical infrastructure, including the health care sector.

UV light robots cut C. diff transmissions 25 percent on cancer patient floors
New research from Penn Medicine infection control specialists found that robots helped to reduce the rates of transmission of Clostridium difficileinfections among cancer inpatients — mostly blood cancer patients, a group more vulnerable to hospital-acquired infections — by 25 percent. The interventions also saved about $150,000 in annual direct medical costs.