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Hospitals must address underlying societal issues

August 14th, 2014

by Anthony Cirillo

Earlier this year I attended a World Health Care Congress session on employee health. The head of Comcast's human resources spoke. He offered a different perspective on addressing employees' health.

Comcast focuses less on specific programs to promote employee wellness (benefits, wellness centers) and more on the underlying triggers that cause bad health to manifest.

He cited something I hadn't heard of before. It was Eliza Corporation's Engagement Index. This tool examines life context issues while predicting how those issues impact health, spending and satisfaction--ultimately expanding the definition of health.

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Lessons from Uber car service: Take hassle out of healthcare

July 2nd, 2014

by Anthony Cirillo

I was in theDistrict of Columbia in April, and at a meeting the idle chitchat turned to a lively conversation about Uber. Ever heard of it? I hadn't.

Uber, through the Uber App, seamlessly connects riders to drivers. At its basic level, it is a cross between taxi and car service. Founded in 2009, it is in 70 cities today. And taxi companies are not too happy.

See, Uber takes the yucky out of the taxi experience and then enhances that experience with the mobile app. I was in New York City for my birthday. Having downloaded the app, I said to my wife, "Let's try this." All I can say is, "Wow."

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Do the right thing for better care delivery

May 30th, 2014

by Anthony Cirillo

"The real measures have to come from the heart not ROI."

That is the message that Cleveland Clinic President and CEO Toby Cosgrove, M.D., shared as he opened the Cleveland Clinic's 2014 Patient Experience Empathy and Innovation Summit on May 19. Despite all the metrics that have descended upon providers and the carrots and sticks that sometime spur interest in patient experience, it really comes down to measures from the heart or doing the right thing.

When I speak at various conferences and hospital leadership events, I dummy down my message about patient experience--simply, we over-complicate it. We need to step back, catch our breath and use common sense. Here are some nonhealthcare examples:

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Caring for the next generation of Alzheimer's patients

May 1st, 2014

by Anthony Cirillo

I attended a Health Affairs briefing for its April issue entitled "The Long Arm of Alzheimer's Disease." It was eye opening.

Many participants discussed a cure for the disease, but some presenters clearly understood that a cure could be a long time away--living with the disease is the bigger issue. When we look at people living with the disease, it's not just about patient care, but also their direct caregivers and other family members. It calls for new and perhaps unconventional partnerships.

For example, Laurie Ryan, the program director of Alzheimer's Disease Clinical Trials, National Institute of Aging, National Institutes of Health, discussed clinical trial recruitment and the need to find people who are "younger" and not manifesting the disease.

=> Read more!

The care experience needs empathy

April 2nd, 2014

by Anthony Cirillo

By now you have probably read about my saga.

  • Dec. 17: my wife's brother passes away; my sister is diagnosed with cancer
  • Dec. 31: my daughter has baby boy, Adam Joseph
  • Jan. 15: my sister passes away
  • Feb. 7: my son has baby girl, Skylar Olivia
  • Feb. 22: my mom moves into an independent living residence near me in North Carolina
  • Today: try to get back to a "normal" life

Part of settling mom into her new residence was arranging for her first visit with a new primary care physician. Here is a little bit about how it went: The physician looked over her records before coming into the room. At 92, mom has a litany of ailments and medications, but using a walker has been her only compromise in recent years. When the physician entered, he quickly dispensed with the clinical aspects of her care.

=> Read more!

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