Radio Interview About My Cancer Journey

Last week, I did a radio interview about the purpose of my new book Surviving Cancer and Embracing Life: My Personal Journey.

 As with the book, the interview is uplifting and describes how I have gotten through my time with pancreatic cancer. The book is free by clicking here. 

You may access the full interview by clicking below. [Note: In the near future, I will be dividing the interview into much smaller clips. :-)]

 

Health Care and Rideshare Services

Will Uber Health and Lyft Concierge succeed among those going to medical providers?

In physically reaching our medical professionals, new options are emerging. And they will give us all more choices and better convenience.

As  Christine Diani reports for FreshMR:

“This year Uber and Lyft formally entered the healthcare market to offer rideshare services to nonemergency patients for transportation to scheduled doctor appointments. Patient no-shows are a prevalent problem in the U.S., with an estimated 3.6 million Americans reportedly missing their scheduled doctor appointments due to transportation issues each year. Rideshare services may particularly benefit older Americans, Medicaid patients, and those with chronic diseases to help keep appointments and get care. Uber and Lyft have identified a wide-open opportunity that could significantly improve their business and simultaneously reduce healthcare costs and improve quality care.”

Uber Health is partnering with healthcare organizations to provide transportation services for patients. Providers access the Uber Health dashboard to order and schedule rideshare services. And patients can use the services even if they don’t have access to a smartphone or Uber app. The healthcare providers can manage the ride scheduling and billing through Uber’s dashboard.”

“Lyft followed suit by offering a healthcare rideshare platform called Lyft Concierge. Lyft partners with Allscripts, the largest electronic health systems provider, to request Lyft rides for patients directly through an integrated platform. Lyft recently expanded its reach by partnering with Formativ Health to provide nonemergency rides for patients.”

However, as this chart shows, Uber and Lyft still have a long way go to win over patients.

Health Care and Ride Share Services

Best Practices to Improve Reporting of Patient Safety Concerns

University of Cambridge and Johns Hopkins Medicine looked at what prevented employees from raising patient safety concerns.

Too often, patient safety concerns about their care in medical facilities has gone unreported or under-reported. In response, there is new research about how to fix this.

As Johns Hopkins reports:

“In a case study published online last week in Academic Medicine, an international team of researchers led by the University of Cambridge and Johns Hopkins Medicine looked at what prevented employees from raising concerns. The study identifies measures to help health care organizations encourage their employees to speak up and recommends a systematic approach to promoting employee voice that appears to have already made a positive impact at Johns Hopkins.”

“It’s not enough just to say you’re committed to employee voice. Health care staff must genuinely feel comfortable speaking up if organizations are going to provide safe, high-quality care,” says Mary Dixon-Woods, D.Phil., M.Sc., a professor at the University of Cambridge, director of THIS Institute (The Healthcare Improvement Studies Institute) and the study’s lead author. “Even when reporting mechanisms are in place, employees may not report disruptive behaviors if they don’t feel safe in doing so and don’t think their concerns will be addressed.”

“Because health-care workers often are reluctant to raise concerns about co-workers and unsafe behaviors, leadership at Johns Hopkins Medicine sought to encourage employee voice in the organization by first identifying barriers. To address the issues raised in these interviews, Johns Hopkins leaders developed, implemented, and in some cases expanded a series of interventions from fall 2014 through summer 2016. These interventions included clear definitions of acceptable and unacceptable behavior, well-coordinated reporting mechanisms, leadership training on having difficult conversations, and consistent consequences for disruptive behaviors.”

 

Click the image to read more.
Best Practices to Improve Reporting of Patient Concerns
Credit: iStock

 

Are Walk-Ins and Virtual Visits for you?

Where do you visit a physician? Are you open to a walk-in clinic?

As patients, there are various ways for us to interact with physicians. Many of us even use multiple ways. Where do YOU fit?

According to Jessica Rudman, research director for financial services and health care at market research firm Maru/Matchbox:

Recently we asked 1,500 Americans about their knowledge of and experience with various settings for medical appointments and probed their interest in using retail walk-in clinics. Currently, retail walk-in clinics are used by a small minority. And the same is true for online video conferencing. Most just sit and wait in a traditional office, where research has shown that almost everyone waits between 10 and 30 minutes.”

“Health care is on the cusp of significant change. The old sit-in-the-waiting-room and hope to eventually be seen by a doctor is not sustainable. People are used to smoother transactions. It used to be that to pay a bill you had to send a check or pay at the bank. Nowadays everything is electronic and even tappable. Booking travel used to be visiting a travel agent. Today it is all online. Shopping used to involve fighting the crowds at the mall. Now it is answering the door with delivery from Amazon Prime. Times change.”

“The old paradigm of waiting to be seen is ripe for revolution. Virtual visits and retail walk-ins seem to be the wave of the future.”

Are Walk-Ins and Virtual Visits for you?

Reducing Muscle Loss and Building Strength – Part 2

Recently, Jane Brody wrote two important articles for the New York Times. Here are some further highlights. Today, Part 2. Yesterday, Part 1

Building Strength — Through Tai Chi

In this second article, Brody looks at the value of tai chi in building strength:

“Watching a group of people doing tai chi, an exercise often called ‘meditation in motion,’ it may be hard to imagine that its slow, gentle, choreographed movements could actually make people stronger. Not only stronger mentally, but stronger physically and healthier as well.”

“I certainly was surprised by its effects on strength, but good research — and there’s been a fair amount of it by now — doesn’t lie. If you’re not ready or not able to tackle strength-training with weights, resistance bands, or machines, tai chi may just be the activity that can help to increase your stamina and diminish your risk of injury that accompanies weak muscles and bones.”

Click the image to learn more — and to gain encouragement as to why you should try tai chi. [It’s now on my to-do list, too.]

Reducing Muscle Loss and Building Strength - Part 2
Image by Gracia Lam

 

Reducing Muscle Loss and Building Strength – Part 1

Recently, Jane Brody wrote two important articles for the New York Times. Here are some highlights. Today, Part 1.

Reducing Muscle Loss

According to Brody:

“My young friends at the Y say I’m in great shape. And I suppose I am compared to most 77-year-old women in America today. But I’ve noticed in recent years that I’m not as strong as I used to be. Loads I once carried rather easily are now difficult, and some are impossible.”

“Thanks to an admonition from a savvy physical therapist, Marilyn Moffat, a professor at New York University, I now know why. I, like many people past 50, have a condition called sarcopenia — a decline in skeletal muscle with age. It begins as early as age 40 and, without intervention, gets increasingly worse, with as much as half of muscle mass lost by age 70. (If you’re wondering, it’s replaced by fat and fibrous tissue, making muscles resemble a well-marbled steak.)”

Click the image for tips on reducing muscle loss.

Reducing Muscle Loss and Building Strength - Part 1
Image by Gracia Lam