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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

The Harvey ‘Weinstein Effect’ and the Healthcare Industry

After Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein was accused of widespread sexual harassment by a growing number of women beginning last fall, the phrase “Weinstein Effect” was coined to describe the increasing number of women speaking out to name and shame those who are alleged to be workplace sexual harassers. Additionally, the Weinstein Effect has ignited a firestorm of social media opposition to sexual harassment that is fueling the #MeToo campaign of empowerment for victims of sexual harassment and abuse. Since last fall, the #MeToo movement has expanded well beyond the glitz and glam of Hollywood and the entertainment industry as… Full Story

Regarding CHIP, Political Policy Should Not Be Public Health Policy

Lawmakers’ promises that they’ll soon renew the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) are of little comfort to millions of children in the U.S. It is Jan. 11, 2018, and 9 million children are still in limbo because Congress will not reauthorize the health Insurance program. The wait has been an agonizingly long one—more than 100 days and counting for this reauthorization. The U.S. House of Representatives passed the reauthorization in November, and yet the U.S. Senate failed to act. Can these senators not imagine the anguish many parents throughout the nation have experienced the past three months because Congress has… Full Story

CVS Acquisition of Aetna to Introduce Community ‘Health Hubs’

CVS Health’s proposed $69 billion acquisition of Aetna seeks to accelerate healthcare consumerization by turning corner drugstores into community “health hubs.” This innovative merger would combine the country’s third-largest health insurer, with 22 million customers, and the largest U.S. drugstore chain with 9,700 retail pharmacies, 1,100 MinuteClinics, 4,000 nurses, and one of the largest employer pharmacy benefits managers. The community health hubs would create an unprecedented, vertically integrated healthcare platform built around patients rather than physicians. Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini said that since all healthcare is local, this merger “brings us closer to the community, and creates a new front-door… Full Story

Telemedicine in the Workplace

Innovations in healthcare greatly improve the lives of your employees and help your company contain business costs. “Telemedicine” was one of the more popular benefit trends of 2017, because it provides employees with easy and affordable access to medical care. However, employers are often unaware of the legal risks associated with introducing such programs into the workplace, and the prudent employer is well-served by taking a careful look before leaping. What is “telemedicine”? Telemedicine most often refers to delivery of medical services by healthcare professionals through technology, rather than in person. These services are often provided through secure, site-to-site electronic communications… Full Story

A Commitment to Rural Healthcare

In the mid-1800’s, the western trail took thousands of longhorn cattle through what is now Abilene. Though the city has grown significantly since then, the area is still known as “Big Country” because of its wide-open landscape. But that location, 150 miles west of Dallas-Fort Worth, could have cost Abilene resident Barbara Swisher her life two years ago, when she suffered a massive stroke. Luckily, her hospital had forged a smart long-distance relationship with Medical City Healthcare to anticipate just such a medical crisis. Early in my career I had the good fortune to serve in leadership roles in rural… Full Story

Data and Design: Solving for Health and Retention

By Mary Dickinson and Breeze Glazer Data, especially that which proves positive operational outcomes as a result of design strategies, is a major driver of the health and wellness trend. Health systems have long used data to proactively address patient health while striving to reduce long-term costs. In recent years, “big data,” the use of large data sets analyzed computationally to reveal trends and associations, has prominently entered the discussion. As an example, a New York-based health system is now developing algorithms to predict when an inpatient may develop adverse conditions that require transfer to the ICU. However, an important… Full Story

Nursing Across State Lines: Becoming Stronger

For 17 years, healthcare consumers in Texas have enjoyed increased access to registered nurses, courtesy of an agreement known as the Nurse Licensure Compact, or NLC, a mutual recognition consortium of 25 states. NLC affords eligible nurses who live in Compact States the privilege of practicing in any of these states without having to produce evidence of their qualifications, such as original college transcripts and licensure examination scores. This mutual recognition, or reciprocity, agreement is subject to the laws of each member state, further protecting the interests of the public. With the adoption of the compact 20 years ago and… Full Story