A comprehensive approach to chronic pain management is more effective than medical management alone.
You may be hearing more talk about standardization in medicine these days. What does it mean and why is it important to everyone? People who are not in the medical field may worry that standardization will result in their care being less personalized and more “cookie-cutter.” Nothing could be further from the truth.
For several years, medical providers, healthcare administrators, healthcare quality experts and others have been talking about improving medical care and health outcomes through increased use of data and standardization. The term “evidence based medicine” is used to indicate that medical recommendations and decisions are based, to the extent possible, on data – rather than just doing things because they have always been done that way.
Data can be obtained through clinical trials (where patients are randomized to various treatments and then the outcomes are compared), observation (where the outcomes of various treatments are analyzed to see which are more effective), or expert opinion (where experts in the field agree on best treatments based on experience or “best practices”).
Standardization means that patients will be offered treatment based on the best available knowledge. Those treatment recommendations are also influenced by the patient’s individual situation, so that care is personalized.
For breast cancer patients, this may be evident in various ways. We know that ...
Sleep is just as important to child development as a healthy diet and exercise, although it is one of the most commonly overlooked aspects of a child’s life.
As adults, most of us can mutter through on little sleep for a day or so before we get unbearably grumpy, but with kids, their bodies are growing and connecting neurons in the brain all the time. Sleep is absolutely critical for healthy development.
While they sleep their brains are processing and sorting everything they learned that day, and that’s not just the stuff they learned at school; their bodies are honing their fine motor skills and processing the social interactions of the day.
To make sure your child is getting the proper amount of quality sleep, here are some tips:
Our medical director for quality and patient safety, Mary Gregg, MD, MHA, blogged for the Washington State Medical Association about medication safety - what we as patients can do to help keep us safe:
Medications fight illnesses, prevent disease and help improve quality of life. But it’s important to take them safely and as directed.
As a cardiac surgeon, I’ve seen the consequences of not taking medications properly. I once had a heart attack patient come to the hospital. After a successful surgery inserting a stent to prevent blockage in his artery, he was discharged with a prescription for a medication to prevent clots. For one reason or another, the patient didn’t fill his prescription as instructed for several days and he ended up in the ER for emergency heart surgery.
Some easy simple steps to prevent medication errors:
It's a well known fact that animals can reduce stress, lower blood pressure and promote healing. The Swedish Edmonds Therapy Pups (STP) program, which began in early 2008, has expanded to include more than 10 teams of volunteer handlers and their Pet Partners®. Presently, the teams visit patients on surgery floors, but they can be stopped for a visit any time you see them in the halls. While their primary purpose is to see hospital patients, they often visit patients’ family and friends too – and our staff!
So what do handlers and their therapy pups do during a visit? I asked a few of our teams to share their stories. Also, make sure you watch the ‘dog cam’ below!
I am a nurse practitioner and one of my jobs is to help patients through their surgical experience with us. Here are some of the things you should know before surgery:
Surgery can be a very stressful event, and thinking about it may cause some anxiety. The best way to prepare for surgery is through education. Make sure that you have talked to all of your doctors so that you are making an informed decision about surgery. We will collaborate with your primary care physician and your cardiologist, but we encourage you to communicate with your entire medical team as well.
Learn about your surgery, what your hospital stay will be like, and what you can expect during recovery. The more relaxed and confident you are going into surgery, the better your chances of a successful and comfortable experience.
Multiple sclerosis is unique among neurological diseases in that there are currently eight treatments for this one condition that have received approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Five of these drugs require subcutaneous or intramuscular injection, two are administered intravenously, and fingolimod, the newest agent on the block, is given orally. None are considered curative, but these disease-modifying therapies (DMT) have led to a reduction in relapse rates and the progression of disability.
Despite this progress, each of the drugs comes with side effects, including flu-like symptoms with the interferons, lipoatrophy with glatiramer, progressive multifocal leukodystrophy (PML) with natalizumab, and congestive heart failure or leukemia with mitoxantrone. As the first oral agent for MS, fingolimod created great expectations prior to FDA approval. Its popularity, however, has been surprisingly limited, presumably due to the potential for unknown long-term risks. The occur rence of PML with natalizumab demonstrated to MS neurologists and patients the potential risks associated with new drugs.
Additional DMTs in the pipeline may increase MS-management effectiveness in coming years, although safety will continue to be a major consideration in the use of these drugs. For instance, oral cladribine was on the verge of FDA approval in early March when the agency referred the drug back for more safety studies. This drug is already used in intravenous form for the management of hairy cell leukemia, but it is being studied for use with remitting relapsing MS because of its apoptotic effects on lymphocytes. If cladribine is ultimately approved for use, the risk of infection and neoplasms may limit its use.
Other oral agents being studied include: