Patient Participation in Shared Decision-Making Means Improving Self-Advocacy Skills
According to USA Today and books such as The Empowered Patient (E. Cohen, Ballantine Books), physicians are seeing more patients get involved in medical decision-making. While some professionals feel this is entirely appropriate, others are on the fence. For example, Dr. David Metz, Associate Chief of Gastroenterology at Penn, explains, “On the doctoring side, it's not that easy,” especially if someone walks in and says, “'I'm recording this discussion.’” Alternatively, Ms. Cohen states in the interview about her book, “I watch people advocate for their spouse and children over a long illness.” The CNN senior medical correspondent says “that takes a lot of energy and a lot of love." Improving shared decision-making can mean increasing people’s confidence in knowing what to ask about patient care, surgeries, diagnostics, and prescription drugs. One way to improve self-advocacy is as old as Shakespeare – rehearsing – specifically rehearsing the words you’ll say when you speak up. See the full story at http://www.usatoday.com.
CDC Urges Healthcare Practitioners to Bolster Patients’ Abilities to Use Antibiotics Appropriately
The overuse and misuse of antibiotics in acute upper respiratory infections (ARIs) continue to aid the creation of superbugs--bacteria resistant to antibiotics. The report in the September 3 issue of Nursing News reminds professionals that the majority of ARIs are caused by viruses, not bacteria. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warn that people infected with superbugs are more likely to have longer, more expensive hospital stays and are more likely to die from their infections. Yet, physicians continue to prescribe antibiotics as their “go to” drugs, and patients continue to push for antibiotic prescriptions. Theresa Capriotti, DO, MSN, CRNP of Villanova University College of Nursing, states that patients are “leaving (healthcare settings) with a prescription that, in up to 50 percent of the cases, they didn’t need because their illness was viral.” To give the right advice about ARIs and antibiotics, the CDC added new content to its website entitled, Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work (http://www.cdc.gov). On November 8, the CDC and Medscape will launch a five-minute video containing five practical tips to help patients accept avoiding antibiotics for ARIs. For more details, see http://www.nursezone.com.
To Reveal or Not to Reveal…Workers Struggle with Invisible Disabilities
A lead story on Workplace.com, Disability: Disclose vs. Privacy, concerns workers who manage “invisible disabilities.” Todd Henneman defines invisible disabilities as “chronic health conditions that are not immediately obvious, such as diabetes and cancer, sensory impairments such as reduced vision, mental illness such as bipolar disorder and depression, and learning disabilities.”Avoiding discrimination by fellow employees, supervisors, and insurance companies keeps scores of Americans from disclosing their disabilities. Not only are the disabilities invisible, the numbers of people who have them are invisible. Henneman illustrates this point by using U.S. Census data stating “more than 18 percent of Americans report some level of disability.” The company Ernst & Young stakes a leadership position by producing a 17-page handbook that provides definitions and discusses the pros and cons of disclosure. The article presents risks to not disclosing, from the employer perspective, and offers counterpoints from a legal advocacy director in Illinois. The discussion can be accessed at http://www.workforce.com.
Healthcare-Associated Infections See a Decline
In an article posted September 1 on www.medpagetoday.com, a study by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) found the number of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) dropped significantly from 2004 to 2007. After a high of 2.3 infections per 1000 hospital stays in 2004 and 2005, the study found that only 2.03 infections were reported in 2007, or .02% of all hospital stays. In every subgroup studied, divided by age, geography, and type of payer, the AHRQ reported that the rates of infection dropped across the board. The report itself did not offer an explanation for the notable decline, but other experts attribute the drop to better adherence to guidelines for the treatment and prevention of HAIs. For more information, see the article at http://www.medpagetoday.com, or the report at http://www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov.
Nailing It - What Tales Fingernails Can Tell
A free slide show available through WebMD can help you learn how to read nails. Although rarely the first symptoms to be displayed, the health of nails and nail beds can provide many surprising revelations about a person's overall health status and risks. In 12 slides, the program shows examples of color, texture, condition, and other telltale signs of the presence of health problems. Each slide is accompanied by a few sentences that carry the main message pertinent to the accompanying picture, which, as they say, "is worth a thousand words. For example, do you know why people with a dark line underneath the nail should go directly to have their physicians examine them? The answer to this question (in slide 9) and much more about the nail-body connection can be found at http://www.webmd.com.
Upcoming Case Management Week: October 10-16, 2010
A weeklong celebration of the influences and contributions of case management to the healthcare field is upcoming, the Case Management Society of America (CMSA) reports. October 10-16 has been designated National Case Management Week. Activities that take place during this time occur inside and outside the workplace, and typically include dinners, banquets, seminars and other events. The celebration is designed to allow family members, friends, and coworkers to show their appreciation for and honor the achievements of case managers. For more information about planning events during Case Management Week, or to promote the week itself, check out CMSA’s planning guide at http://www.cmsa.org
TCS employees enjoy entertainment and dinner at the company's annual staff retreat.