Antibiotic resistance: Know your ABC’s

Antibiotic resistance: Know your ABC’s

As healthcare providers and patients, we have long heard the warnings about the dangers and eminent threat of antibiotic resistance. Bacteria have continually adapted to antibiotics, becoming increasingly resistant to many of the medications used to treat them. Resistance is now a galobal issue that must be addressed comprehensively and quickly.

The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) is raising awareness and focusing attention on antibiotic resistance during Get Smart About Antibiotics Week. The centerpiece of this outreach is a new “ABC’s of Antibiotics” infographic poster for patients and families that illustrates when antibiotics work and when they don’t.

A = Ask if antibiotics are appropriate; B = Bacteria – antibiotics only kill bacteria...

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Safe Diabetes Care – Insulin Pens are ONE Person ONLY

Safe Diabetes Care - Insulin Pens are ONE Person ONLY

Diabetes is a chronic condition that is a 24/7 responsibility for everyone who has it. Diligence is necessary to manage diabetes, since its highs and lows can strike while we are otherwise busy with life. It is exciting that there are advances and tools such as the insulin pen to make it easier for people to administer insulin. This is particularly helpful for children, who often must take insulin during the school day, or for those who need to administer insulin while on the go. Diabetes isn’t a convenient disease to live with, no matter what your age.

Along with these tools come great responsibilities, of course, and as health professionals, we can help keep our patients safe. It’s always important to think about how someone uses an insulin pen...

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35 U.S. hospitals designated as Ebola treatment centers

35 U.S. hospitals designated as Ebola treatment centers

CDC trains and assesses Ebola hospital readiness in collaborative effort

An increasing number of U.S. hospitals are now equipped to treat patients with Ebola, giving nationwide health system Ebola readiness efforts a boost. According toExternal Web Site Icon the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state health officials have identified and designated 35 hospitals with Ebola treatment centers, with more expected in the coming weeks.

Hospitals with Ebola treatment centers have been designated by state health officials to serve as treatment facilities for Ebola patients based on a collaborative decision with local health authorities and the hospital administration.

Ebola treatment centers are staffed, equipped and have been assessed to have current capabilities, training and resources to provide the ...

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Not Worth the Risk: Failing to Implement Basic Safe Injection Techniques

Not Worth the Risk: Failing to Implement Basic Safe Injection Techniques

The International Spine Intervention Society supports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s safe injection practices. As a strong proponent of using evidence-based medicine and safe injection practices, the International Spine Intervention Society agrees with the message espoused by CDC’s new Key Standards for Pain Clinics Adobe PDF file [PDF – 1.35 MB]External Web Site Icon poster.  Unfortunately, there continue to be rare (although much too frequent) infections during interventional spine procedures that are directly linked to failures of implementing basic safe injection techniques. Fortunately, the evidence is clear that by simply following safe injection practices physicians can reduce the likelihood of their patients developing infections.

While many providers express concern that they are not adequ...

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Safe Injection Practices: Establishing the Habit in Residency

Safe Injection Practices: Establishing the Habit in Residency

I have learned in residency that a physician’s best and worst habits develop during training. Therefore, even in the midst of a chaotic hospital day, it is crucial that I maintain a mental checklist for every procedure, especially injections.

A frequent encounter concerns the lidocaine vial. Last year, I performed countless lidocaine injections in the ER for suturing wounds and hematoma blocks for fracture reduction. If the vial was multi-use, I always ensured it was stored appropriately – out of the ER bays in a safe, clean area, avoiding the ever-present improperly stored “leftover” vial...

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3 Timely Factoids to Make You a Smarter Marketer

3 Timely Factoids to Make You a Smarter Marketer

About the only thing that’s certain in healthcare delivery is that constant change will continue. And that, unfortunately, makes everyone’s marketing assumptions suspect. Keeping pace with a shifting landscape makes it more challenging to  market a medical practice.

Here are a few important-but-independent observations, factoids and tips that crossed our radar. Consider how each item—maybe all of them—could drive adjustments in your marketing thinking.

Some Americans will defer healthcare.

As the curtain gradually pulls back on affordable care in 2015, many people are shocked to find higher medical insurance premiums or deductibles or both.

The Obama administration unveiled data showing that many Americans with health insurance bought under the Affordable Care Act could face ...

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What Would Empathy-Based Healthcare Look Like?

What Would Empathy-Based Healthcare Look Like?

Dr. Paul Rosen thinks a lot about empathy in healthcare delivery.

In his insightful and inspiring TEDx presentation, Dr. Rosen observed: “In 1915, Henry Ford took a tour of the brand new Henry Ford Hospital. When he finished his tour, he turned to the hospital administrator and said, ‘Well, I see you’ve designed the hospital perfectly to fit the needs of the physician…instead of the patient.’

One hundred years later, how much progress have we made?

As the Clinical Director of Service and Operational Excellence at Nemours Children’s Health System, he asks the challenging question, “What would healthcare look like if it was based on empathy?”He speaks candidly to that issue in his talk titled: Empathy: The Next Revolution in Health Care.

“It seems like our healthcare cul...

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New Marketing: Improving Service Line Profitability (Part One)

New Marketing: Improving Service Line Profitability (Part One)

Clinical service department profitability is a constant challenge for hospitals. What’s changed, however, is just about everything else. Boosting service line profitability requires adjustments to various “new school” marketing shifts.

The newly empowered patient now regards medical services with the critical eye of a retail shopper. The dynamics of healthcare reform, facility mergers and acquisitions, and increasingly intense competition have business savvy CEOs and marketing pros laser-focused on Return-on-Investment (ROI).

Change is so rapid and pervasive that relatively recent marketing goals, strategies and tactics are being challenged as “old school.” One course—usually the longer path—is to create a completely new service line where the payback potential is long term.

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Texas Torches Telemedicine? Board Issues Emergency Rule

Texas Torches Telemedicine? Board Issues Emergency Rule

The Texas Medical Board issued an Emergency Rule with proposed changes to the practice standards and disciplinary guidelines for remote prescribing via telemedicine consults. The Emergency Rule states that the use of online questionnaires, or questions and answers exchanged through email, electronic text or chat, or telephone evaluation of a patient are not adequate to establish a valid physician-patient relationship under the Texas regulations. The Emergency Rule states that the physician must perform a physical examination via a face-to-face visit or in-person evaluation. The Emergency Rule carves out mental health services from this in-person evaluation requirement. The changes in the Emergency Rule affect Texas Administrative Code, Title 22, Part 9, Section 190.8(1)(L).

The Board’s...

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Dump the Business Model

Dump the Business Model

There are no winners in the fee-for-service game.

It’s time to toss the whole business-as-usual model — for your own good and the good of your customers.

The emerging Default Model of health care — the “consumer-directed” insured fee-for-service model in which health plans compete to lower premiums by bargaining providers into narrow networks — not only does not work for health care’s customers, it cannot work. This is not because we are doing it wrong or being sloppy. By its very nature the Default Model must continually fail to bring our customers what they want and desperately need. Ultimately it cannot bring you, the providers, what you want and need.

Take a dive with me into the real-world game-theory mechanics of the health care economy, and you will see why...

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