Needlestick injury is a serious problem among healthcare workers.
It is estimated that 800,000 needlesticks occur each year in the US, with about 2% of these likely to be contaminated with HIV. The risk of infection with Hepatitis B (HBV) or Hepatitis C (HCV) from a needlestick injury is far greater than the risk of contracting HIV however (2% – 40% for HBV and 3% – 10% for HCV). This is due in part to the fact that the prevalence of HIV in the general population is lower than that of Hepatitis B or C. It is also due to the fact that a greater exposure to viral load is required to contract HIV than either HBV or HCV. While these are by no means the only infections that can be transmitted via a needlestick, they are among the most serious and all have the potential to cause death.
As one would expect, nurses and phlebotomists have the greatest incidence of needlestick injury.
Since the passing of the Bloodborne Pathogens Standard in 1991 and its revision in 2000, much more emphasis has been placed on preventing these types of injuries in the healthcare setting. Employers have the responsibility of protecting their employees and are required by law to institute policies and provide equipment that aids in this goal.
The term “Big Data” means the access to, and more importantly, analysis of huge sets of data created by medical providers and devices while treating patients. The end goal is to use the huge sets of data to gain insights into patient care and the human body with statistical analysis. Companies like SAS, Oracle, Microsoft, IBM and Dell all make technologies that allow massive sets of data to be managed and analyzed for insights to improve health.
If you are like most people, you probably don’t even notice if a candidate smiles spontaneously. During interviews, most of us are so consumed with the candidate’s skills, and finding out if they can do the job, that we often over look important aspects that in many cases may be more important.
The funny thing is that you can teach people most any skill, but you can’t teach them to smile. And for people in the service industry, smiling is probably the most important skill of all.
While researching a talk, I came across this little story that Tom Peters told in one of his presentations.
I once said to a Starbucks regional manager, “I’m stunned that almost all of your store people, from the U.S. to Saudi Arabia, always sport a smile. What’s your secret?”
She smiled as she answered: “We hire people who smile!”
And to keep them smiling?
“We promote the ones who smile the most.”
Could it be that simple?
The fine folks at Intuit have now put their free Webinar, “Meaningful Use: Gearing Up For Stage 2″ online for replay for anyone who didn’t attend the live version last week. In the program, speaker Elizabeth Woodcock (superb!) of Woodcock and Associates talks about the steps that a practice can take now to prepare to take advantage of CMS Meaningful Use payments in the future.
“In the meantime, I would argue, patients are clamoring for improved access to their physicians’ offices. I would recommend taking this momentum that we have related to meaningful use – where we’ve seen patient engagement, and the new proposed rules that are really focused on patient action – and we use this momentum to turn this challenge into an opportunity for the practice. Self-service technology, like a portal, can be the key to turning your challenge into this opportunity.”
The program is an excellent listen, and is a great way to get you thinking about Stage 2 for those who have not yet started!
Listen to the recording here.
Anyone who has read my writing for any period of time knows that I am a big proponent of No Statements!
Patient statements are a waste of time and resources. Think of what your life might be like without statements:
No monthly expense to generate or send statements via electronic service or printing and stuffing.
- No need to sort them out of the mail, open them, post them, copy or scan them, and deposit them.
- No returned checks.
- When three or more statements don’t zero-balance the account, no need to prepare the accounts to be sent to third-party collections and write them off.
- No need to dismiss the patient from the practice.
- No need to post any collections payments and adjustment to the accounts.
- No need to deal with the patient when they want to return to the practice and you have to deal with it.
But what takes the place of statements?
In the movie “A Few Good Men”, there is a famous scene between a marine colonel on trial for war crimes (played by Jack Nicholson) and a navy officer prosecuting the case (played by Tom Cruise). Tom Cruise says to Jack Nicholson “I want the truth!” Nicholson proceeds to say ” You can’t handle the truth!”
Learning “mindful meditation and communication” skills may sound to some doctors like a luxury for which they don’t have time, but new research from the University of Rochester confirms it may be well worth the investment for physicians and their patients.
The study, published in Academic Medicine, is a follow-up to a paper the researchers published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2009. For the initial study, Howard Beckman, M.D., clinical professor of Medicine and Family Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center, and colleagues enrolled 70 physicians in a mindfulness training program that involved eight weekly sessions, followed by 10 monthly sessions. They found that participants were better equipped to handle psychological distress, fend off burnout and improve their well-being. For the follow-up, the team interviewed 20 of the physicians about their experience with the training.
Highlights from their feedback and the rest of the article can be read at FiercePracticeManagement here.
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