December 2013
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December 2013 posts

Quality & outcomes in cardiac surgery

Do all cardiac surgery programs have the same quality outcomes? This is an important question all consumers must ask themselves if they or their loved ones must undergo an operation on their heart. Heart surgery has become increasingly common in recent years. Earlier awareness on the part of physicians and patients, advanced diagnostic testing and an increasing aging population with the inherent prevalence of heart disease has led to this surge in cases. Additionally, cardiac surgical teams are now operating on patients with multiple medical problems and doing more complex operations. Even with these factors, outcomes for patients continue to be optimal at centers of excellence.

But for today’s consumer, how does one choose where to have heart surgery? There are numerous choices both locally and nationally for all metropolitan areas. The consumer must ask: how do I know I am going to get the best of care? Should I go to a center with a “national” reputation? Is it just the doctor that makes the difference or does it involve the entire team caring for me: cardiologists, cardiac anesthesiologists, physician assistants, ICU nursing and intensivists (doctors specialized in the care of the ICU patient), OR staff, etc.? All of these questions must be asked before considering such an important operation at any hospital by any surgical team.

One of the best yardsticks for outcomes to help patients choosing where to have their surgery is ...

Swedish Issaquah Named ‘Top Hospital’

Swedish Issaquah One of Only 90 Hospitals in The Nation to Receive The Quality Care Designation From The Leapfrog Group

 

SEATTLE — In its first year of eligibility Swedish Medical Center’s Issaquah campus has earned the distinction as  one of the ‘Top Hospitals’ in the nation at providing the highest quality of patient care, according to The Leapfrog Group’s annual survey of more than 1,300 hospitals. The designation, which was awarded to only two hospitals in Washington state, was announced by The Leapfrog Group yesterday at its annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

Swedish Issaquah, which opened in 2012, is one of only 55 urban hospitals named as a ‘Top Hospital’ by Leapfrog, which also recognized 22 top rural hospitals and 13 top children’s hospitals. Widely cited as the nation’s most competitive hospital quality award, the Top Hospitals designation recognizes hospitals that deliver the highest quality care by preventing medical errors, reducing mortality for high-risk procedures and reducing readmissions for patients being treated for conditions like pneumonia and heart attack. Top Hospitals have lower infection rates, higher survival rates for high-risk procedures, decreased length of stay and fewer readmissions.

Piper's first birthday honors Swedish Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Listening to Stephanie Baily talk about her daughter, Piper, turning one year old, you can’t help but hear the pride and gratitude in her voice. Piper was born seven weeks early due to complications with Stephanie’s pregnancy and spent 25 days in the Swedish NICU before she could go home.

Because of the excellent care they received at Swedish, Stephanie and her husband Jonathan wanted to do something special to honor their daughter’s first birthday. They also wanted to give back to the place that helped Piper during those first and fragile weeks of life. So they asked family and friends, in lieu of gifts of toys and clothes, to make a donation to the Swedish NICU.to the Swedish Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

“Swedish has such a special place in our hearts. We wanted to show our appreciation for those who helped us, and to help make things better for the next babies and parents,” said Stephanie. “It’s so important that parents know they can trust their child to the care of a nurse or doctor, especially here in the NICU. I had such a hard time leaving Piper and going home without her, but the little things the nurses did made me realize they were treating her as if she was part of their family. They let me call any time, 24/7, answered all our questions, and accepted all our emotions. They were always nice and reassuring, which is so important to a first-time parent.”

Stephanie explained that every morning she would come to the hospital and find Piper...

MS in the Pacific Northwest on 12/9

All are invited to attend the presentation, “Multiple Sclerosis in the Pacific Northwest,” on Monday, Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. in Kirkland. I'll discuss multiple sclerosis as a disease, trends, changes in its distribution around the world, and how it uniquely impacts our region. The presentation is free and is open to all ages. Click here for more information.

Infant and Child Development is not about ‘stuff’

When we are bombarded by information and products, how are we as new parents supposed to decipher what is in the best interest of our child when it comes to their development? 

Parents can quickly become bombarded with information about everything they need to do to optimize the first months of their child’s very impressionable life. A new, overwhelmed, sleep deprived parent can find everything from music for math skills, swaddling positioners for longer sleep, bottles for better speech development, and even multiple equipment options to speed up a child’s progression for walking.  Today there are so many items available for purchase that if a person wanted to, they could  go through an entire day never having to hold, cuddle, snuggle, whisper, sing, gaze, laugh, or touch their baby…..and that is exactly the point.  When it comes right down to it, the best things that we can provide for our babies development has nothing to do with the “stuff”!

Here’s what advertisements for most baby products don’t tell you:

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