A new study by Columbia University's School of Nursing and the World Health Organization just published some disconcerting information about hand hygiene in U.S. health care facilities.
One in five health care facilities in the United States does not make hand sanitizer available everywhere it's needed. Additionally, staff might not be receiving adequate hand-washing training, as only half of the hospitals studied had funds budgeted for such training.
The researchers also found that one in ten of the facilities had reported that those at the top of the organization, such as the CEO, medical director or director of nursing, failed to make any sort of clear commitment to improvements in this area. Said study co-leader Laurie Conway, "The tone for compliance with infection control guidelines is set at the highest levels of management, and our study also found that executives aren't always doing what they can to send a clear message that preventing infections is a priority."
And preventing infections should indeed be a priority, as health care-associated infections kill around 100,000 people each year and cost about $33 billion to treat. By placing an emphasis on something as simple as washing hands or using hand sanitizer at every necessary moment, hospitals can save lives and save money.
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Sunday, February 23, 2014
In the February issue of Today’s Dietitian, Jessica Jones, MS, RD gave 9 helpful tips for clients with celiac disease who are looking for budget-friendly, gluten-free options. According to Jones, celiac disease and nonceliac gluten sensitivity now affect 3 million Americans, with gluten-free product sales expected to reach $5 billion by the year 2015. However, the gluten-free aisle of the grocery store may not always be the place to search for the best deals.
Here are some tips, courtesy of Jones, to making a gluten-free lifestyle easier on patients’ budgets:
· Choose naturally gluten-free foods – fruits and veggies, nuts, beans, and eggs are all examples of foods that are naturally free of gluten
· Don an apron – it is cheaper for clients to make their own gluten-free foods, such as cookies, than to purchase them at the grocery store
· Buy in bulk – using coupons to buy gluten-free products in larger quantities may be cheaper than purchasing them only when needed
· Make gluten free a family affair – making gluten-free meals for the entire family rather than just one person saves from purchasing both gluten-free and regular products
· Find deals on the Internet – patients may be able to find better deals on websites, such as Amazon, than in the grocery store
For the rest of Jones’ tips for budget-friendly, gluten-free shopping, check out the full article at: http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/020314p14.shtml
Jones, J. (2014). Are clients on a budget? Here’s a money-saving guide to eating gluten free. Today’s Dietitian: The Magazine for Nutrition Professionals, 16(2), 14-15.
Monday, February 17, 2014
Orthorexia is a fairly new eating disorder that has recently been getting more attention in the media. This disorder affects people who fear eating anything not pure enough for what they perceive as “healthful.” Someone with orthorexia is so consumed with eating a healthy diet that is completely “clean,” that their food choices become very limited. Trying to only eat foods they think are healthy or pure causes them stress and anxiety. Those with orthorexia may also make up lies about having allergies in order to fend off questions from others when people ask about why they are avoiding certain foods. At first many people with orthorexia start cutting out processed foods or they only eat organic, but then they keep increasing the types of foods they want to cut out and their diet becomes very limited. Even though it may good to cut out certain foods like processed foods, those with orthorexia take things too far, and their health may be compromised. Malnutrition and brittle bones are two issues that may arise if someone has this condition. Social isolation may also be another problem that those with orthorexia face. Our culture has become obsessed with talking about how to eat “clean” and what types of foods or food groups should be avoided. This causes some people to fear certain foods and develop orthorexia. Unlike anorexia and bulimia, those with orthorexia are not as concerned about losing weight or worrying about how much they weight. They are more concerned about the value and wholesomeness of the foods they are eating. Those with obsessive compulsive disorders or people who strive for perfection seem to be more likely to develop orthorexia. Orthorexia was first named in 1996, but it has not yet been accepted as a formal diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. Some professionals classify it as an eating disorder, but others see it as a type of OCD. No statistics tells us how common it is, but health professionals say that it is becoming more and more common.
Link to article:
The leading cause of preventable death in the United States is cigarette smoking, accounting for one in five deaths annually. Smokers are aware the health dangers of smoking, however there are two major barriers to successfully quitting. First is the addition to nicotine, and second is the fear of gaining weight.
People who successfully quit smoking gained 2.5 lbs one month after quitting, 5 lbs at 2 months, and gained up to 10.3 lbs at one year. Weight gain has lead people to resume smoking despite the health benefits of quitting. The attempt to limit weight gain contributed to their limited the success of smoking cessation.
Personalized weight management programs that incorporate goals and personalized energy prescriptions may significantly reduce weight gain while continuing to not smoke. Dietetics professionals should be part of the team approach in clinical setting to facilitate behavior changes in smokers especially those with weight concerns.
Cunningham E. Is weight gain inevitable after smoking cessation? J Am Diet Assoc. 2013;113(1)180.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Some leading hospitals are turning to tablets (iPads and iPad-like devices) as a way to improve access to patient health records for providers. These devices are seen as a way to make greater use of an electronic medical record’s (EMR) capabilities. Hospitals are piloting the use of tablets with a few sectors of its workforce. Clinicians can use tablets to look up patient information on their way to a patient who is crashing and better know how to treat the patient upon arriving. Other hospital staff can use tablets on their rounds and data that is entered is synced with the hospital’s full EMR.
Hospitals are turning to mobile devices as a cost-effective extension of the EMRs, which make them more usable and friendly. This allows clinicians and other hospital staff to pay more attention to their patients and make more eye contact with the patients. As health reform forces hospitals and other providers to become more accountable for the care they provide, tablets may help clinicians and other hospital staff to zero in and focus on high-risk patients.
Pittman, D. (2014, Feb. 10). Hospitals use tablets as extension of EHRs. MedPage Today. Retrieved from: http://www.medpagetoday.com/Practice Management/Information Technology /44239.
Monday, February 3, 2014
Scientists have found diseases like bulimia and binge eating disorder place people at risk for diabetes and previous research has shown that depression is also a risk factor for diabetes. A study surveyed 52,000 people in their homes in 19 different countries including Brazil, China, South America, and the U.S and administered standardized psychiatric tests. The results showed that individuals with diabetes were more likely to have depression, bulimia, binge-eating disorder, and a lesser known illness called intermittent explosive disorder.
There were 2,580 adults of those surveyed that reported having adult-onset type II diabetes. Researchers only included participants whose diabetes began after age 21 and the average age the illness began was around age 50. Of the participants with diabetes, 11% had major depression, 4% had either bulimia, binge-eating disorder or intermittent explosive disorder. The majority of these mental disorders typically begin before the diabetes and this is significant because risk factors precede the disease they are associated with.Firth, S. (2014, Jan. 30). Study: Bulimics 4 times more likely to get diabetes. U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved from: http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2014/01/30/study-bulimics-4-times-more-likely-to-get-diabetes.
Sunday, February 2, 2014
New research published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine and featured in TIME Magazine has found simply following a Mediterranean diet may be enough to prevent Type 2 diabetes. The Mediterranean diet, a diet focused on consuming fish, nuts, whole grains, olive oil, and minimal red meats, is often a recommended way of eating for everyone. The 4 year study, which did not focus on physical activity or calorie restrictions, studied the effect a Mediterranean diet had on 3500 elderly adults at risk for heart disease. They did not have diabetes. The participants were assigned to one of three diet groups: Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil group, Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts group, and low fat diet control group. (Sifferlin, 2014)
Researchers found that of the 3500 participants, 273 developed diabetes with 101 being participants of the low fat diet control group. Of the Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts group, 92 participants developed diabetes, while 80 participants in the Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil group developed diabetes. Additionally, there was not a significant difference of weight loss between the groups. (Sifferlin, 2014)
The research illustrates the impact diet can have on a disease, such as Type 2 diabetes. While it is certainly necessary to incorporate daily physical activity to live a healthy lifestyle, diet may be a larger factor in disease prevention.
Sifferlin, Alexandra. "How the Mediterranean Diet Alone Can Fight Diabetes." TIME Magazine 6 Jan. 2014. Web. <http://healthland.time.com/2014/01/06/how-the-mediterranean-diet-alone-can-fight-diabetes/>.