In 2009, the 18-bed emergency department (ED) at Medical Center of Lewisville (MCL) was underperforming on nearly every standard. The average time of ED from patient arrival to discharge exceeded 200 minutes. The ED was clogged. Hall beds were a daily occurrence. Patient satisfaction and staff morale were low. In 2010, the HCA’s hospital leadership established a goal of reducing turnaround time by about one-third to 130 minutes or less. The facility recruited a multi-disciplinary team to tackle the problem. There were a number of innovative changes: Roving admission nurses hastened patient admissions and discharges. A “bed czar” managed the… Full Story
Addison-based Concentra, the nation’s largest operator of urgent-care and occupational health clinics, has opened a Lewisville location at 2403 South Stemmons Freeway. The 8,300 square foot location is the second center in Denton County and one of the company’s largest centers. The center has 12 patient exam rooms, a physical therapy area and digital x-ray technology. Concentra has 310 clinics, which is more than twice as many as any other competitor, in 40 states. It was purchased by Humana in 2010. For additional details on Concentra, see this recent D Healthcare Daily profile.
Preventable hospital stays reflect the hospital discharge rate for ambulatory care-sensitive conditions per 1,000 Medicare enrollees, according to County Health Rankings & Roadmaps. Hospitalization for diagnoses that could be treated with outpatient services suggests quality of care provided in the outpatient setting was less than ideal. The measure may also represent the county’s tendency to overuse the hospital as a primary source of care. Denton County’s rate of preventable stays per 1,000 Medicare enrollees is 80, which exceeds the Texas rate of 73. Tarrant, Collin and Dallas counties are below the state rate at 67, 66 and 60, respectively.
Violent crimes are offenses that involve face-to-face confrontation between the victim and the perpetrator, including homicide, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault, according to County Health Rankings & Roadmaps. High levels of violent crime compromise physical safety and psychological well-being. Crime rates can also deter residents from pursuing healthy behaviors such as exercising out-of-doors. Increased stress levels also may contribute to the obesity rate, even after controlling for diet and physical activity levels. The Dallas County rate of 618 per 100,000 residents far exceeds that of Texas. The Tarrant County rate of 501 is slightly below the state rate of 503.… Full Story
Poor family support, minimal contact with others, and limited involvement in community life are associated with increased disease and disability, as well as premature death. Social support networks have been identified as powerful predictors of health behaviors, suggesting that individuals without a strong social network are less likely to participate in healthy lifestyle choices. Those who say they have family and friends they can count on to help them in times of trouble are more likely to be satisfied with their personal health. Collin County and Denton County residents have high levels of social support. Tarrant County scores better than… Full Story
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections that individuals can get from having sex with someone who has the infection. The causes of STDs are bacteria, parasite,s and viruses. There are more than 20 types of STDs, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, genital herpes, HIV/AIDS, HPV, syphilis and trichomoniasis. Most STDs affect both men and women, but in many cases the health problems they cause can be more severe for women. If a pregnant woman has an STD, it can cause serious health problems for the baby. Correct usage of latex condoms greatly reduces, but does not completely eliminate, the risk of catching… Full Story
Full expansion of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in Texas would cut the uninsured rate in the four-county Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area by more than half, according to an estimate by two Rice University demographers. A recent U.S. Census Bureau survey found that 23 percent of Texans lacked health insurance in 2011, which represents the nation’s leading uninsured rate. Demographers Steve Murdock and Michael Cline assert that about 3 million out of 5.9 million uninsured Texans would have insurance in 2014 if the state embraced health reform. Locally, that would mean more than 600,000 in Dallas, Tarrant, Collin and Denton… Full Story
Over the last few months I have received a number of questions related to the new University of North Texas System College of Pharmacy. I was able to deflect a few questions but realized it was time I got up to speed on this initiative. I had the chance to visit with Myron K. Jacobson, Ph.D., dean of the College of Pharmacy and a Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences. I have to admit that I half expected the program to be designed for training up those pharmacists at Kroger or Tom Thumb. Although that, of course, is true, I quickly learned… Full Story
Air pollution is a deeply underappreciated risk to health. More than half of the U.S. population lives in areas where either the ozone or particle pollution—or both—is often dangerous to breathe. Ozone is the primary ingredient of smog. Unlike the beneficial ozone layer in the upper atmosphere that shields the sun’s ultraviolet radiation, ground-level ozone attacks lung tissue by reacting chemically with it. Ozone is formed when nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) come in contact with heat and sunlight. NOx are emitted by power plans, motor vehicles and other sources of high-heat combustion. VOCs sources include motor… Full Story
An important health measure is premature death, or years of potential life lost. The standard age for this measure in the developed world is 75 years, meaning most people would live to be that age if not for extenuating circumstances. There is considerable debate about the causes of premature death. Some blame shortcomings in the U.S. health-care system. Others point to destructive health behaviors. Still others cite the effects of poverty. Nearly one-quarter of American women and one-third of American men die before age 75 of causes that potentially could have been prevented by timely and effective health care, according… Full Story