CareFlash – More Than a Flash in the Pan

November 14, 2008

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When friends or family end up in the hospital, it’s often difficult to know what to do, what the problems are, who will visit whom when.

CareFlash is a great site that helps educate and coordinate the experience when a loved one ends up in a hospital.

CareFlash provides a common place on the Internet, to and from which people may submit, retrieve and share information and well-wishes surrounding a loved one’s health circumstances. In the respective context of each community, we serve-up hundreds of 3-D healthcare animations on disorders, procedures and anatomical function, all produced with world-class quality and accuracy, and narrated in plain language. The animations are also available in Spanish and Arabic with more languages to come in 2008.

Best of all, it’s free. Check it out!

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First MRSA, Now C.-diff….

November 12, 2008
Smear of C.-diff

Smear of C.-diff

Not totally a shock to those who follow the infection scene.   According to Lisa McGiffert, Director of Consumers Union’s Stop Hospital Infections Campaign ( www.StopHospitalInfections.org):

“Health care consumers need to be aware that most U.S. hospitals are not consistently following basic infection control practices against C.-diff..  Patients are already having to remind doctors to wash their hands, but they shouldn’t have to bring bleach with them to make sure their rooms are clean. Hospitals need to make sure that rooms are properly disinfected and that staff are following strict infection control practices at all times.”

I’ve heard stories of C.-diff living on EKG (heart monitoring) leads for a month.  As the rest of the room around them was cleaned thoroughly the patients being admitted to the room kept getting reinfected.

Learn about this bacterium.  It’s on route to becoming the next superbug.


Keep Washing Those Hands!

November 5, 2008
Christine Moore (left) shows proper hand washing technique using alcohol-based hand rub.

Christine Moore (left) shows proper hand washing technique using alcohol-based hand rub.

Hand washing is still one of the best forms of defense against spreading infection.  Mt. Sinai hospital published this blurb on the importance of hand hygeine.

The following quote is not surprising and a little unsettling:

When it comes to hand hygiene, the survey shows that Mount Sinai staff feel they are doing a better job than they actually are. In fact, staff believe that 77 per cent of the time they wash their hands before contacting patients, while the 2008 Mount Sinai audit shows a 48 per cent compliance rate.

This pattern is actually typical in hospitals.  You can do your part as a patient.  REMIND the clincians to wash their hands before touching you.  It’s not disrespectful–it’s TEAMWORK!


Hospitals Get Low Marks From Patients

November 4, 2008

In the first ever National Survey on patient perspectives on hospital care, the hospitals in the US received less than glowing marks on the whole.  Where were some key areas that needed improvement? Pain management and discharge instructions. 

I was somewhat surprised that people were not pleased by how they received the discharge instructions.  Perhaps I’m more surprised that hospitals don’t do a better job of taking care of this.  After all, it’s the hospital’s way of sending the patient off on the right foot and hopefully keeping them from coming back.

Unfortunately, I’m not surprised at all that patients were upset with pain management techniques.  This seems to be a common thread in US Healthcare.

What grades would you give the hospitals you’ve been in?


Great Resource, Check this place out!

November 3, 2008

I was looking through some research and came across this site again.  Bookmark it and download their information.  Very worthwhile and excellent info for you and your loved ones.


The Family as Partner in Healthcare

October 30, 2008

This is a great way to start my new blog.  This article hits the nail right on the head.

Especially important is the fact that families are also partners in care, not just customers. According to Beverly Johnson, the president of the nonprofit institute for Family-Centered Care:

“Families are allies and partners for safety and quality.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself.