WILL THESE 7 TURN HEALTH CARE UPSIDE DOWN NEXT YEAR? Be on the lookout for the seven health care organizations that this week’s as movers and shakers in 2016. Among the organizations on the list is Danville, Penn.’s Geisinger Health System, whose CEO David Feinberg wants to truly live out the mission of concentrating on community health, taking the health system out to the community and making the hospital building obsolete.
KILLING GERMS: DID DORA KNOW BEST? on “the bleach edict” of Brian Koll, M.D., Mount Sinai Health System’s chief of infection prevention, which stated that bleach must be used to clean most surfaces throughout the New York City hospital system. Koll says his inspiration of using bleach to control antibiotic-resistant germs comes from his grandmother Dora, but the science behind it shows that bleach is one of the few cleaners that takes care of the common Clostridium difficile bug. Thanks, grandma Dora.
THE ECONOMIC CASE FOR PRIVATE ROOMS. Cornell University researchers suggest in the that single-patient rooms “can play an important role in preventing cross-transmission and reducing nosocomial infections in intensive care units.” The case study investigated whether cost savings from reductions in nosocomial infections justify the additional construction and operation costs of single-bed rooms in ICUs. The researchers conclude that the cost of building and maintaining single-patient rooms, compared with open-bay rooms, would be outweighed by the savings from reducing nosocomial infections.
WHITE, MIDDLE-CLASS AMERICANS ARE MORE MORTAL THAN THEY THOUGHT. Mortality rates are rising for middle-aged white, non-hispanic, Americans, particularly due to increases in the death rates from suicide, drug and alcohol poisonings (overdoses), chronic liver diseases and cirrhosis. Princeton University researchers reported in the that the increase reversed decades of decreases in mortality and was confined to white non-hispanics. The study points to “self-reported declines in health, mental health, and ability to conduct activities of daily living, and increases in chronic pain and inability to work, as well as clinically measured deteriorations in liver function,” as signs of growing distress among middle-aged whites. “Although the epidemic of pain, suicide, and drug overdoses preceded the financial crisis, ties to economic insecurity are possible,” the study states.
MORE OF US USE MEDICATIONS. A of data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey shows that from 2011 to 2012, 59 percent of U.S. adults used prescription drugs, compared with 51 percent in 1999-2000. The data also show that Americans using five or more prescription drugs — a practice called polypharmacy — nearly doubled, from 8.2 percent to 15 percent in the same time periods. “It is important to document patterns of prescription drug use to inform both clinical practice and research, while also identifying population subgroups with the potential for underuse, misuse, and polypharmacy,” the study said.
AND WE WANT PRICE CONTROLS ON THOSE MEDS. A new Harris poll shows Americans favor regulation of drug makers and medical device manufacturers, to the tune of 73 percent of those polled. In a 2014 Harris poll, only 64 percent favored such price controls, said. “Most people want to see a lot of different actions taken to contain health care costs, including government price controls of providers, drugs and devices, and two controversial actions which are currently prohibited — allowing the importation of drugs from other countries and allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices,” said Humphrey Taylor, chairman emeritus of The Harris Poll.