Tag Archives: Health
Any vacation trip is a risk—regardless of how tame the destination might seem.
Most people know that travel to exotic or underdeveloped countries should come with a battery of vaccinations, but this year health officials warn of outbreaks in more-conventional vacation spots.
Specifically, Europe has the measles.
NPR’s Goats and Soda blog writes :
The [measles] — which kills almost 400 kids each day worldwide — is hitting Europe hard this year.
Romania is fighting a large outbreak with more than 3,400 cases, including 17 deaths. And Italy is seeing a big surge in cases, with at least 400 already in 2017, the World Health Organization reported last week.
The outbreak is only going to get worse.
“Preliminary information for February indicates that the number of new infections is sharply rising,” WHO wrote.
The spike in cases of the deadly disease is linked to a drop in vaccinations worldwide.
NPR reports :
“Over the past five years, measles vaccine coverage around the world has stagnated at around 78 percent,” [ Dr. Seth Berkley , who leads the nonprofit Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance] says. “That in combination with the European outbreak is worrisome.”
For the measles, it’s not enough to have 78 percent of a population vaccinated. You need about 90 to 95 percent to stop outbreaks, Berkeley says.
Because measles is one of the most contagious diseases on Earth. One sick person spreads it to 18 others, on average. The virus literally floats around in clouds through the air, seeking out the unvaccinated.
“You don’t even need to be in the same room with a sick person to catch measles,” Berkley says. “If you were to leave a doctor’s office and someone came an hour later, that person could catch measles just from the virus left in the air.”
Travel vaccines are nothing new for communicators who have been working to inform the public about health risks associated with overseas adventuring. However, recent declines in public trust in vaccines are a worrisome trend for public health professionals.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has done research into why travelers decline their vaccinations. The CDC tweeted its findings:
Recent study shows the most common reason for declining travel vaccines isn’t cost or fear, but lack of concern. https://t.co/f5FjieXYdw
— CDC Travel Health (@CDCtravel) April 10, 2017
The results point to a messaging problem, as the study suggests that most people who refuse vaccines are simply unconvinced of the danger of infection.
The CDC suggests that clinicians should be ready with facts to combat apathy when working one on one with patients.
Clinicians, get the facts on travel vaccines. 25% or more travelers refuse – be ready for your next consultation. https://t.co/f5Fjiffz54
— CDC Travel Health (@CDCtravel) April 10, 2017
These reports come amid continued anxiety surrounding the Zika virus and its effects on travelers to tropical climes. The CDC continues to warn pregnant women not to travel to areas where Zika has been reported.
Pregnant women should not travel to areas with #Zika. #VitalSigns https://t.co/PANnigVUOI pic.twitter.com/8ysHNByMm9
— CDC (@CDCgov) April 16, 2017
It has also published a map with Zika outbreak areas.
Beyond just Zika, the CDC curates a comprehensive directory of every travel destination and its associated risks.
There are other concerns for global travelers beyond viruses and vaccinations. Travelers can be vulnerable to a wide variety of health issues, from blood clots to food poisoning.
Travel guru Rick Steves shares these basic tips on his website :
Take precautions on the flight. Long flights are dehydrating. Eat lightly, stay hydrated, and have no coffee or alcohol and only minimal sugar until the flight’s almost over. Avoid the slight chance of getting a blood clot in your leg during long flights by taking short walks hourly.
Eat nutritiously. The longer your trip, the more you’ll be affected by an inadequate diet. Budget travelers often eat more carbohydrates and less protein to stretch their travel dollars. Protein helps you resist infection and rebuilds muscles.
Use good judgment when eating out (and outside Europe). Avoid unhealthy-looking restaurants. Meat should be well cooked (unless, of course, you’re eating sushi, carpaccio, etc.) and, in some places, avoided altogether. Have “well done” written on a piece of paper in the pertinent language and use it when ordering.
Keep clean. Wash your hands often, keep your nails clean, and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Hand sanitizers, such as Purell, can be helpful. However, since they target bacteria, not viruses, they should be used as an adjunct to, rather than a replacement for, hand washing with soap and warm water.
Practice safe sex. Sexually transmitted diseases are widespread. Obviously, the best way to prevent acquiring an STD is to avoid exposure. Condoms (readily available at pharmacies and from restroom vending machines) are fairly effective in preventing transmission. HIV is also a risk, especially among prostitutes.
Get enough sleep. Know how much sleep you need to stay healthy (generally 7–8 hours per night).
Additionally, On Call International put out an infographic on travel health risks.
Communicators, how are you warning of the inherent health risks of overseas travel?
America spends $ 3.8 trillion on health care. Do you know what’s driving and shaping the significant changes we can expect in the industry this year?
Legacy-DNA, a health care marketing agency, has created an infographic featuring 17 trends that health care communicators should pay attention to. For example:
The progress of virtual health: Video consultations will reach 5.4 million by 2020.
The explosion of 3D printing: Researchers and surgeons experiment with prosthetics and small implants.
The growing attention of consumers: By 2018, people are expected to spend $ 6.5 billion on fitness and wellness.
How will you connect your PR, marketing and branding initiatives with these trends? Take a look at the infographic to see 14 other trends unfolding this year:
(View a larger image)
This article was first published in March 2016.
No magic pill will keep you healthy.
Brushing and flossing, proper handwashing and eating balanced meals contribute to your physical health, as do a number of other practices that you may or may not be incorporating into your schedule.
An infographic by Readers.com focuses on several key elements of our daily lives and their roles in maintaining overall health. Keep your patients focused on these areas:
Rachel Seifert, the top attorney at Community Health Systems, is retiring at the end of March after spending almost two decades as the hospital company’s first and only general counsel. Separately, Allen Carroll, the longtime CEO of Bon Secours St.
Modern Healthcare Breaking News
Patient compliance is a challenging issue for the medical professional. Your desire to help your patients succeed is often derailed when they don’t do their part. Get a jump-start in January and use the New Year’s motivating force to your advantage!
Use these seven strategies to motivate patients to change, and help them meet their healthcare goals:
1. Set simple goals. You know where your patients need to be and the steps it will take to get there, so break their big goals into smaller ones and present them one at a time. For example, if you’re a physical therapist and know your patient’s end goal is to walk again, break that down into manageable goals that your patient can meet. It will be less overwhelming for your patient to reach a smaller milestone, and the progress will be a motivating factor in continuing their regimen at home.
2. Educate patients with handouts. Keep brochures on hand relating to a variety of health conditions. Then hand them out to patients, highlighting any important statistics or tips that relate directly to them. For example, seeing the mortality rate from heart disease might persuade your patient to maintain a better diet.
3. Make community connections. If you know of a community service your patient would benefit from, provide them the necessary info to get connected. For instance, if your patient needs help losing weight, a support group for overeaters might make a difference. Sometimes just a little extra support is all they need to stay motivated between appointments.
4. Host a workshop. Host a workshop that educates patients how to live with their chronic condition. For example, if you serve a large diabetic or cardiac patient base where diet is crucial to managing the diseases, offer a free workshop on how to read and interpret food labels and uncover the hidden dangers of certain foods.
5. Give homework. Make sure your patients know their success is largely in their own hands. Tell them exactly what they need to do at home, and let them know you’ll be checking their progress at the next appointment. Give your patients an exercise or diet journal to log their progress and hold them accountable to bring it to every visit.
6. Keep in touch. Make sure to schedule regular follow-ups with your patients and consider having a receptionist phone or email to check on them between appointments. Let them know they can call or email with any questions or concerns between appointments, too. The added attention will boost their motivation.
7. Eliminate obstacles. Does your patient have a cognitive or physical challenge impairing his/her ability to follow your medication or therapy regimen? For example, maybe he/she doesn’t understand medication dosing guidelines, can’t tolerate certain pill sizes or have difficulty opening medication bottles. Knowing of an impairment is the first step in removing it.
Practice Builders can help you motivate and educate your patients. Just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 855.898.2710 today for a free marketing consult. Whether you need brochures, webinars or blogs, we’ve got the tools you need to help your patients meet their health goals.
Management of Quorum Health Corp. is negotiating to sell five more of its money-losing hospitals to go along with two already under contract. Though divestitures are a priority, Quorum has expressed an interest in acquiring a hospital in Huntsville,…
Modern Healthcare Breaking News
Medical mumbo jumbo has no place in today’s consumer-based marketing practices.
Confused patients, family members and people in your community won’t stick around and try to decipher your message.
As communicators, we must translate highly complex verbiage into clear, concise, compelling—and jargon-free—words and images. Within the process, we often forget the “V” word: value.
Progressive marketing and PR pros are focusing on value when creating videos, blog posts, events and more.
[WHITE PAPER: How to communicate with a millennial workforce.]
At Bristol-Myers Squibb, one challenge for communicators is to help doctors understand new treatment options, such as immuno-oncology cancer regimens. When pharma can educate providers, they in turn can handily share information with patients. Invoking complex science to “show and tell” alternatives to the “long-accepted method of treating cancer with radiation and chemotherapy” is no easy task. Medical Marketing and Media reports:
“We spent a lot of time thinking about how people who aren’t from the pharma industry can relate to and understand how immuno-oncology works,” explains Carrie Fernandez, head of U.S. communications for Bristol-Myers Squibb. “For example, on our I-O discovery website, there’s a graphic comparing a garden to immuno-oncology. We’re trying to break it down in a way that people can get the a-ha moment in their head without having to understand a Kaplan–Meier curve.”
Fernandez notes Bristol-Myers Squibb is working with advocacy organizations including Stand Up to Cancer to reach and educate patients. Those partnerships go along with the digital campaign, Ready. Raise. Rise.
New drugs, such as immunotherapy and hepatitis-C treatments, are often criticized for being wildly expensive. However, Spectrum Science Communications president Jonathan Wilson says companies need to remind patients of the value first. “A drug may cost a lot of money in the short term, but you have to think about the value these medicines bring over a lifetime,” he explains.
Though Mylan and other drugmakers have recently come under fire for price gouging, a growing number of pharma companies continue to break down their wordsmithing and images and ramp up value propositions. According to FiercePharma.com:
Astellas’ corporate campaign is one of several in the industry currently that highlight the good work pharma companies do. Using employees is a tried-and-true approach for pharma companies to humanize what they do and create empathy. Pfizer’s current corporate effort, for instance, shows its scientists and others taking a drug from just an idea all the way through to a patient’s medicine cabinet. And Merck’s online and social campaign “Humans for Health” is a deep dive into its employees’ passions around their work.
The new 30-second commercial, part of Astellas’ ongoing run with CNN, shows Astellas scientists and others at work and play, talking about their focus to work together to improve people’s lives. It ends with the line, “Turning innovative science into value for patients.”
The post continues:
While that line has been part of Astellas’ vision for years, according to an Astellas spokesperson, it’s new wording for the corporate CNN campaign. Last year, the commercial featured Astellas’ CEO and also its chief medical officer in a longer one-minute ad that focused on innovation and the company’s responsibility to its patients.
The idea of patient value jives with current medical, political and cultural healthcare conversations in which value is a key theme. That’s in part because of the anticipated move to more outcomes-based healthcare where value is a core measurement. However, patient value has also gained traction, particularly in pharma, thanks to ongoing drug pricing criticism. Incorporating value into the pricing equation has become strategic.
Consider how communicators at Seattle Children’s Hospital have used video to explain the complex and emotionally charged issue of pediatric bioethics. The hospital explains the purpose of the four-minute clip on its YouTube channel:
This video describes the work of the Treuman Katz Center for Pediatric Bioethics and its impact on patients, families and providers who are dealing with challenging ethical questions.
Home healthcare agencies will see a 0.7% drop in Medicare reimbursement in 2017, the final year of cuts meant to recoup previous overpayments.
Modern Healthcare Breaking News
The operating margin at Mercy Health, the largest health system in Ohio, fell to a slim 0.9% in the first half of this year. Higher labor expenses and the residual effects from a divested insurer hurt the not-for-profit Mercy.
Modern Healthcare Breaking News