The Latest on the Battle Against Antibiotic Resistance in Hospitals

Diseases such as pneumonia, diarrhea, and tuberculosis once posed a huge threat to ordinary Americans; according to the Centers for Disease Control, these three illnesses were responsible for a third of all deaths during the 20th century. Cancer and heart disease have since taken over as the top killers, but the threat of bacterial illness has by no means left. Today, experts fear the rise of superbugs — diseases resistant to antibiotics. These illnesses are of particular concern in hospitals, where close quarters and weak immune systems leave patients uniquely susceptible. Keep reading to learn where the medical community stands…

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When Doctors Get Sick: How They Navigate Medical Issues

Everybody needs a medical checkup from time to time — even highly-skilled doctors. While medical professionals can often spot symptoms that might escape those with less training, self-treatment is never recommended. Doctors face several obstacles in their quest for optimal personal health, as outlined below: Ceding Control Years of in-depth training may convince health care professionals that they know it all — and that they’re capable of working through medical problems without further assistance. In reality, however, many doctors specialize in a specific area of medicine (oncology or geriatrics, for example) and are therefore not qualified to treat all conditions….

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What American Doctors And Hospitals Can Learn From International Health Care Successes

The United States may be home to several of the world’s finest medical facilities, but it’s impossible to escape the fact that, in many ways, we lag behind other nations in terms of health care. Thankfully, success stories abound throughout the world. These triumphs grant hope that we too can improve outcomes. The following are just a few of the most promising developments in international health care: Rwanda’s Miraculous Health Care Transformation In just over two decades, Rwanda has transformed from a country torn apart by genocide to one of the world’s most remarkable health care success stories. This comes…

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The Dangers of Medical Record Hacking: What You Should Know

New threats emerge regularly in the health care community, but one of the greatest dangers looks little like you’d expect. It’s not an aggressive new form of cancer or an antibiotic-resistant illness: it’s the hacking of medical records. Healthcare data breaches have become increasingly common in recent years; a report from Protenus’ Breach Barometer suggests that the 477 reported healthcare breaches in 2017 impacted 5.579 million patient records. Experts believe that information obtained through medical hacks is actually more valuable than credit card data. Thankfully, medical providers finally appear to be rounding the corner on data security. Read more to…

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Your New Baby’s in the NICU — Tips for Being Vigilant and Ensuring Good Care for Your Infant

Few parents expect their newborns to end up in the NICU, and yet, estimates indicate that at least 10 percent of newborns find themselves there. Reasons for visiting the NICU can vary, but often involve premature birth, breathing irregularities, birth defects, or heart problems. This process is overwhelming, but your vigilance can ensure a positive outcome. Follow these tips to ensure quality care: Get Familiar With Your Child’s NICU Team Don’t be afraid to introduce yourselves to the professionals working in NICU. During this critical time, it’s imperative that you act as an advocate for your baby; you’ll be far…

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How to Partner with Your Pediatrician to Make Sure Your Children Get Great Care

Your pediatrician plays an invaluable role in keeping your kids healthy. Proactive care really does make a difference, but there is only so much your pediatrician can accomplish alone. Success in pediatrics relies upon a productive relationship between medical professionals and parents. Read on to learn how you can work with your pediatrician to minimize health risks and ensure your child receives exceptional care. Arrive Prepared Today’s pediatricians face an onslaught of concerned parents and sick children — and often, far too little time. It is therefore critical that you make the most of every moment with your pediatrician. Arrive…

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Opportunities and Risks of Robot-Assisted Surgery

Could robot-assisted surgery be the future of healthcare? Advocates certainly think so. According to proponents, the use of robotics in surgery would lead to greater precision than humans can demonstrate alone. Currently, robotics primarily play a role in minimally invasive procedures involving small incisions. Benefits of Robot-Assisted Surgery Currently, robotic systems allow physicians to perform complicated procedures with greater precision. In select situations, robotic systems are better capable of providing the delicate care and small incisions patients require. Additionally, the use of robotic systems can lead to fewer surgical site infections and other complications. Robot-Assisted Risks As with any surgery,…

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Signs That Your Doctor (or Surgeon) Hasn’t Gotten Enough Sleep

Sleep deprivation is a huge problem in the medical community. Doctors and surgeons spend nearly 1.5 times as long in the workplace as the average American. Their hard work is admirable, of course, but not when it forces them to forgo sleep. Experts believe that drowsy driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving, and yet, we don’t bat an eye at the idea of 24-hour medical shifts — just five hours of which, according to an Annals of Thoracic Medicine study, are spent sleeping for the vast majority of physicians. Unfortunately, it can be tough to pinpoint sleep-deprived doctors….

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Before Your Surgery: How to Make Sure Your Doctors and Hospital Prepare Properly

Surgery is in your near future and you’re feeling nervous. One mistake could cause years of suffering. Now is not the time for complacency; by paying attention to seemingly mundane details, you can ensure that hospital staff members are adequately prepared. Check Hospital Ratings and Lawsuit History How do Leapfrog and Consumer Reports (two of the most comprehensive providers of hospital ratings) grade the hospital you intend to visit? Specifically, what do they say about surgery? How likely are patients at your desired hospital to contract infections? Lawsuit history can also provide valuable insight into the preparedness of your surgical…

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Who Rates Hospitals for Safety, and What Standards Do They Use?

The 1999 Institute of Medicine report To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System revolutionized hospital safety ratings. This landmark report revealed that medical errors result in up to 98,000 deaths every year. This estimate suggests that more Americans die due to hospitals than in car crashes. Since the report’s publication, several organizations have doubled down their efforts to improve public awareness of hospital safety. The following are among the most important systems for rating and reviewing hospitals: Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades Every year, The Leapfrog Group consolidates a variety of medical stats (along with feedback from experts) to…

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