Continuous Chest Compression CPR: Mayo Clinic Presentation

Doctors at Mayo Clinic recommend a modified CPR method which is not mouth to mouth and it saves more lives. According to Dr. Bobrow the goal is to generate blood flow to the heart and to the brain. When a person collapses there is still enough oxygen in the heart to keep them alive for 10 minutes; but only if that blood gets into the brain. Continous chest compression can circulate the oxygen and it keeps the blood flowing to the brain. Click Here to watch how.

What Does a Healthy Future Look Like?

What will we have done to our bodies, networks, and environments to improve our collective wellness? The following is a list of ideas collected by IFTF when they asked the world:

1. The Fecanator! Synthetic bacteria designed to help humans life on less food and produce less waste.

2. Thermo/visual gamma wave feedback monitor to help deepen meditation practices.

3. An easier-to-use operating system to help fight senior loneliness.

4. Heart Helper glove that squeezes hands to assist the heart in moving blood around.

5. A network of local fitness specialists that compete for your needs.

6. Condoms for Africa that incorporate features of traditional amulets.

7. A plan for expanding the practice of daily hugs to improve well-being.

8. Safer hospitals infected with good bacteria to out-compete the bad ones that often breed in hospitals.

9. A social, smart phone application to collect data and analyze personal health trends.

10. A videogame-style display to help people manage stress and maintain a healthy life.

11. Reversible Fertility Vaccine based on synthetic bacteria living in the reproductive system.

12. Paleo Approved Label to facilitate the practice of ancestral eating.

13. Simple adoption of bowing instead of shaking hands to reduce flu spread.

14. Software that can create 3-D cell-organ models from MRI data.

15. Healthy homes that include smart refrigerators, toilet analysis, and glucose meters.

Source: IFTF

Benchmarks of Successful Wellness Programs

What does it take to become one of America’s healthiest companies? How can companies with both large and small employers link health and well-being to business outcomes?

Achieving Well Workplace status requires making the switch from activity-centered to results-oriented programming which takes hard work and extreme attention to detail. Results-oriented programs are those programs which are carefully researched, thoughtfully designed, and diligently executed. These programs are focused on impacting the organization’s bottom line through improved employee health.

According to recent benchmarking studies, there are a number of common elements inherent in successful health promotion initiatives that can attain measurable results. Companies with successful wellness programs have:

  • the strong support of the senior level leadership that can be measured
  • an integrated diverse and well-functioning Wellness team
  • a process for collecting data to drive the Wellness initiative
  • an annual operating plan that serves as the communication vehicle as to what the program will accomplish
  • appropriate health promotion interventions for their employees
  • supportive health-promoting environment and policies to support participation
  • a carefully planned evaluation strategy that would evaluate the outcome of the above benchmarks and holds them accountable

Source: Absolute Advantage

Patient’s Bill of Rights

The Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued regulations to implement a new Patient’s Bill of Rights under the Affordable Care Act – which will help children (and eventually all Americans) with pre-existing conditions gain coverage and keep it; protect all Americans’ choice of doctors; eliminate the need for a referral to see an ob-gyn or seeking emergency care; and end lifetime limits on the care consumers may receive.

The new rules also ensure that if you like your current health care plan, you can keep it; youth up to the age of 26 can stay on their parents health care plan; tax credits for small businesses that have been struggling to provide care to their employees; and $250 checks to tens of thousands of seniors who have reached the ‘donut hole’ — a term used to describe the gap in Medicare Part D prescription coverage.

Source: HHS and HealthReform.Gov; June, 22nd 2010

Smoking Major Cause of Newborn Death

Although the number of women who smoke during pregnancy has declined, smoking is still a major cause of newborn deaths, premature births, and babies born underweight. A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention maintains that infant lives could be saved if more mothers quit smoking before pregnancy. The study was published in the July issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, and analyzed data from 3.3 million births during 2002. The study suggests that 23-34 percent of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome cases were directly linked to mother’s smoking. Smoking mothers are also responsible for about $232 million in health care costs each year. 

Source:  icyou.com

Benefits Of Wellness Programs

A study by researchers with Emory University Rollins School of Public Health concludes that at least one large-scale work site wellness program actually fostered meaningful changes, including a drop in employee absenteeism.

To measure the benefits of wellness programs, researchers put in place at 12 Dow Chemical work sites between 2006 and 2007. At five of the sites, employees received intensive interventions; four site received moderate interventions, and three sites implemented the company’s standard programs.

Employee absenteeism fell from 3.9 days in 2006 to 3.4 days in 2007, researchers found. Meanwhile, between 2006 and 2007, average absenteeism at moderate/intense sites was 1.5 days lower than at standard sites. Dow saved about $414.90 per employee per year.

Source: FierceHealthcare Nov. 2009

Improvement Map

The sheer volume of often conflicting demands placed upon hospitals — coupled with a deteriorating financial climate—can make the notion of improving care quality seem like an idealistic improbability at best, an impossibility at worst. Many healthcare executives are pretty skeptical that quality improvement is a realistic goal in current healthcare landscape.

In response to the current situation The Institute for Health Improvement (IHI) has designed an “improvement map” to help hospital leaders sift through myriad regulations, measurements, and demands to hone an essential set of processes and craft an organization-specific plan for quality improvement.

The Improvement Map™ is an interactive, web-based tool designed to bring together the best knowledge available on the key process improvements that lead to better patient care. It offers clear guidance helping hospitals set change agendas, establish priorities, organize work, and optimize resources.

View The Gap Analysis Chart

View The Introductory Video

Source: The Institute of Health Improvement

Healthcare Reform in California

The Affordable Care Act has many positive provisions, including new coverage for two million low-income Californians under Medi-Cal and other public coverage programs and for another two to three million who would be eligible for subsidies to purchase private coverage.

Also, people with health problems (“pre-existing conditions”) will not be denied the ability to purchase private coverage based on their health status. And it will be much less likely that a serious illness will be followed by bankruptcy.

However, the law has only a few elements to help reduce costs, and none of that will work as quickly as we need. If we are to avoid bankrupting our society, we must find ways to reduce costs while maintaining and improving the quality of care.

So what is to be done?

  • Change the way we pay for health care: paying health care providers to do more things with more expensive equipment will bankrupt California.
  • Squeeze out inefficiency in the system: improve the efficiencies through the proper use of modern information technology.
  • Give patients real power to choose: give patients, employers and payers more access to cost and quality information so they can understand the value of what they are buying
  • Innovate, innovate, and innovate some more: innovations should allow consumers to participate in their own care, promote use of cost-reducing technologies
  • Coordinate the hand-off: decisions on implementing reform must be made soon by the current Administration and Legislature. Today’s leaders should focus on establishing effective governance, defining private and public sector roles, and assuring that patients are well-served by new coverage systems. We need a durable foundation to allow a smooth hand-off to a new administration in 2011.

Source: Mark D. Smith, M.D., M.B.A. June 2010, California Healthcare Foundation

L.A. County Sees Gains From Mental Health Care Initiative

Nearly six years after California voters approved Proposition 63, Los Angeles County has seen a sharp decline in hospitalizations (67%), incarcerations (75%) and homeless (68%) rates among people with mental illnesses, according to county data. Countywide, the number of clients under the age of 18 hospitalized at psychiatric facilities due to mental health issues has dropped by 40%, according to LACDMH. The number of adults under the age of 60 hospitalized has dropped 44%, and the number of older adults has dropped 42%.  Hospitalization days dropped 16% for adults and 17% for older adults.

Proposition 63 levied a 1% tax on individuals with annual incomes higher than $1 million to raise funds for mental health initiatives. Officials said the extra funds have allowed Los Angeles County to contract with more private health care providers and mental health caseworkers.  County officials claim that the drops in jail and hospital days alone have saved $39.8 million overall

Hospital Association of Southern California” which represents most of the hospitals county wide.  LACDMH spokesperson Kathleen Piche said the programs have been effective in terms of diverting the mentally ill from ERs and into urgent care facilities or primary care physicians with extended office hours.

Source: California Healthline, June 4th 2010

Arizona Immigration Law and Medical Practice

According to Dr. Lucas Restrep, the new Arizona state immigration bill signed into law on April 23, 2010 will seriously obstruct, if not undermine, the practice of medicine in the state of Arizona. Arizona practitioners, hospitals, and medical associations need to ponder the extent of their liability under the new law and draft clear institutional policies to defend their patients and employees from potential harassment. As Dr. Resterp states this bill threatens one of the oldest traditions of medicine: physicians shall protect patients regardless of nationality or race. This legislation, if unchallenged, will force health care providers to choose between the dignity of their profession and the indignity of violating the law.

Source: New England Journal of Medicine