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Clinical Trials Exclude Too Many Patients

Not long ago, I examined an otherwise healthy and active retiree in his 50s with newly diagnosed metastatic lung cancer. He had no heart disease, no kidney disease, no liver disease. He came to my practice at UT Southwestern Medical Center specifically for clinical trial options. Disappointingly, one detail in his medical history excluded him from all of our available trials. Four years earlier, he had been treated for stage 1 prostate cancer, a disease so prevalent and nonaggressive that the U.S. government no longer recommends routine screening for it. I couldn’t think of a single way in which the… Full Story

Medical City Healthcare Partners with Sarah Cannon

It seems that everyone has a connection to cancer. It doesn’t discriminate, no matter who you are or where you live. My connection is my own father, a gastroenterologist, who died when he was 52 and I was just 19. His cancer battle and his passing left an indelible impression that has helped shape the decisions I make as a healthcare executive committed to the care and improvement of human life. I’m very encouraged that cancer patients at Medical City Healthcare facilities have our lifesaving family of experts—and now, Sarah Cannon—on their side. Who is Sarah Cannon? Country music fans… Full Story

The Holy Grail of Healthcare: Patient Experience (And How Design Can Influence It)

As providers continue their shift toward value-based and patient-centered models of care, creating remarkable patient experiences has become an even stronger competitive differentiator. Today, patients have more care options than ever before, and with non-traditional providers coming out of the woodwork, healthcare systems are in need of new approaches to create patient experiences that are second to none. Designing healthcare environments to improve the patient experience is not a new concept; most modern healthcare spaces are designed for comfort, accessibility and quality, which are all important in supporting a patient’s experience and their outcomes. But since these considerations are now… Full Story

Improving Maternal Mortality Rates Will Take a Statewide, Collaborative Effort

A Texas Congressman asked me if the alarming maternal mortality statistics within our state were true. Maternal mortality—when a mother dies from pregnancy related to complications while pregnant or within 42 days of giving birth—apparently doubled in Texas between 2010 and 2012. While the complete accuracy of the data is debated, black mothers accounted for just 11 percent of Texas births, but 20 percent of maternal deaths from 2012 to 2015. In Texas, low-income women generally don’t have access to health insurance, birth control, substance abuse treatment, and prenatal care. Writers in the journal Birth state there could be statistical… Full Story

What Hospitals Should Require From Construction Firms

In North Texas and elsewhere, builders are moving away from being reactive, individual contributors. Instead, they’re seeking to become integrated, proactive partners with the other arms of the project—architects, subcontractors, and clients. That shift is even more in play when it comes to healthcare, and the changing relationship has placed an even greater emphasis on trust. North Texas’ healthcare community continues to see projects on the rise as systems set out to meet the needs of a growing population. But before a hospital takes the plunge and hires a general contractor, they should know about and expect the following four… Full Story

New Blood Pressure Guidelines Raise Awareness, Concerns

Do I have high blood pressure? It’s a question more people may be asking themselves after the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC) released new guidelines that expanded the range for what’s considered high. The change dropped the level at which a person is diagnosed with hypertension to 130/80 from 140/90, essentially adding about 30 million Americans to the ranks of those living with high blood pressure. (The top number reflects systolic blood pressure measured in arteries as the heart pumps blood, and the bottom indicates diastolic pressure when the heart is relaxed.) Some doctors… Full Story

Seven Strategies for Designing Healthcare Interiors for Clinician Productivity and Retention

Clinician efficiency and retention is a top priority for healthcare systems across the nation. With an estimated cost of up to $60,000 to replace a nurse, keeping staff engaged and productive benefits every aspect of healthcare – from patient care to the bottom line. As a former full-time pediatric nurse and now a healthcare interior designer at the Dallas office of Perkins+Will, I’ve learned firsthand several strategies to improve overall work experience through the design of healthcare spaces. Use a comprehensive, holistic design approach. Engaging the specific users of healthcare spaces in the design process is crucial to understanding the… Full Story

Why the Flu is Common, Deadly, and Underappreciated

Influenza doesn’t get the respect it deserves among infectious diseases, perhaps because we live through a flu season every year. Each winter, the flu is responsible for about 40,000 deaths across the United States, mostly among the elderly and very young. This season is rapidly developing into one of the most severe in recent years with the number of diagnosed flu cases running about twice last year’s level. Patients with respiratory symptoms have been crowding into emergency rooms and some schools have temporarily closed because a quarter of the students are ill. Influenza is highly contagious – easily transmitted through… Full Story

How Technology is Transforming Healthcare Design and Construction

The adoption of new technology is changing our daily routines, especially when it comes to health and wellness. While technology has been widely embraced in medical research and lab work, it’s only recently been fully integrated into the design and construction of medical facilities that focus on patient care. As healthcare providers try to increase efficiency without sacrificing the quality of care, patients are benefiting from spaces that are designed and constructed around their comfort and medical needs. Traditionally, medical facilities and hospitals have been constructed like a box, with pieces of technology incorporated ad hoc instead of being integrated… Full Story

Why More Men Are Becoming Nurses

Each month, dozens of members of a student organization here at The University of Texas at Arlington’s College of Nursing and Health Innovation gather to listen to a speaker, network with upperclassmen, or trade tips about getting jobs as registered nurses. But this group differs from other student organizations here at the college—it is all male. The Male Nursing Student Association was formed a couple of years ago. It is the brainchild of senior Brian Chitimira, a native of Grand Prairie. Chitimira, an aspiring nurse anesthetist, was inspired to form this organization when he walked into his first nursing class… Full Story