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Patient Care Forum

February 14th is National Donor Day

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Did you know that almost 120,000 Americans are on lists waiting for an organ transplant and countless others are in desperate need of tissue, cornea, blood or platelets?  On Tuesday, February 14th, as you perform your daily lifesaving tasks as a nurse or other healthcare professional, think about those multitudes of individuals waiting for donation services.  Since 1998, The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has designated February 14th as National Donor Day. 

February is American Heart Month

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President Lyndon Johnson proclaimed February 1964 as the first annual American Heart Month.  This month our nation’s attention will turn towards recognizing the dangers of cardiovascular disease.  Heart disease and stroke account for more than 17 million deaths each year, and while significant progress has been made since the 1960’s, there is still much work to be done.  Researchers expect the death toll from cardiovascular disease to rise to more than 23.6 million within the next 10 to 15 years.

Mary Eliza Mahoney: A Healthcare Pioneer

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In 1976 President Gerald Ford determined that African American History should be recognized throughout the month of February.  Now in its 91st year, this national recognition will include a celebration of the contributions and successes achieved by African Americans throughout our nation’s history.  In 2016, we published a recognition of African Americans who made important contributions to the healthcare field.

Top Five Healthcare Industry Issues for 2017

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As we start a new year, it’s time once again to look at issues that will be facing our industry in the year ahead.  With a new president being inaugurated on Friday, January 20th, the healthcare industry will surely be facing a year of change and adaptation.  We will save the upheaval surrounding the controversial Affordable Care Act legislation for its own article.  What follows is an examination of the top issues that will be in the news throughout much of the next year.

The Importance of Donating Blood

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Since 1970, January has been designated as National Blood Donor Month.  The American Red Cross is urging all Americans to roll up their sleeve and donate blood and platelets this winter.  Since this is the time of year for making resolutions, why not add to your role as a life saver by resolving to donate blood regularly.  Unfortunately, blood and platelet levels are at an all-time low forcing the Red Cross to issue an emergency call for donations on January 4th, 2017. 

Physical Therapy ICD-10 Changes for 2017

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While the rest of us celebrate the incoming New Year, many Physical Therapy providers will admittedly be viewing the calendar change with some trepidation.  The reason for the unease are the new ICD-10 codes and guidelines that take effect on January 1, 2017.  Most providers have been fully immersed in coding over the previous 12 months as the grace period for ICD-10 flexibility ended on October 1st. 

2016: Healthcare News Year in Review

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As 2016 winds to a close and before we welcome in the New Year, 2017, it is an appropriate time to reflect on the news, advancements, and trends that occurred throughout the year.  From major stories about runaway viruses to technological advancements allowing physicians to monitor their patients remotely, it has been a busy year for all of us who are part of the healthcare industry.  Let’s review the year that was 2016.

Shingles All the Way

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“Dashing through the snow, in a one-horse open sleigh, o’er the fields we go, laughing all the way…” Chances are that you recognize these merry lyrics from one of our most iconic Christmas carols.  In fact, just humming the song can brighten up anyone’s day.  Sometimes the stresses of the holidays require something to lift out spirits. Unfortunately, for people who suffer from Shingles, it takes a little more than a cheerful song to ease the discomfort associated with the virus. 

How Safe Are Personal Health Records?

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Way back in 1996, when Congress passed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act or better known as HIPAA, consumers believed that they could rest easier knowing that their personal health information and medical records were going to be protected.  And the protective measures kept evolving with the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH), signed into law in February 2009.

Are You Ready for the “Super Moon”?

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“I see the bad moon arising, I see trouble on the way” ~ John Fogerty, 1969

The song, “Bad Moon Rising” was written in 1969, by John Fogerty, the leader of southern rockers Creedence Clearwater Revival.  Even though the song reached number two on the charts in September of 1969, it is fairly certain that those lyrics will be on the minds of ER Nurses all around the country on November 14th.  On this evening, the Moon’s orbit will bring it closest to Earth, since January 1948. 

Debunking the Myths of Working in Hospice Care

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The number of patients receiving Hospice Care services has grown steadily over the past twenty years.  Now, an almost $20 billion industry, hospice is expected to continue growing by 7.5% annually due to the aging U.S. population and patient preferences towards non-acute care settings.  Even with the rosy market projections, many healthcare professionals are reluctant to consider hospice care as a career path.  This reticence is mainly due to a number of myths about what hospice care is and isn’t.  Let’s dig a little deeper into this and determine if we can debunk some of the myths about working in hospice care.

What’s Next for Physical Therapy Patients?

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We’ve all read the news stories touting the benefits of physical therapy across the entire continuum of care.  Physical Therapy interventions are now being studied as a pain management alternative in the fight against opioid addiction, and even the burgeoning home health industry has found its way to PT providers.  These topics have been in industry news a lot lately, but there are many other emerging trends on the horizon for physical therapy that you may not have heard about yet; let’s take a look at just a few of them.

New Treatments and Technology in Physical Therapy

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A Physical Therapy practice is no different than any other health care provider when it comes to introducing new technologies and treatments.  Technology and research are opening up windows to new ideas and potential treatment options for everything from pain management to exercise therapy for elder citizens.  In honor of National Physical Therapy Month, let’s examine the introduction of newer therapies as viable treatment options.

3 Reasons Why You Should Celebrate Halloween at Work

Authored by Patrick Haire on

Halloween is rapidly approaching and children across the country are looking forward to trick or treating. Some of those children will be spending Halloween in a hospital receiving treatment. Luckily, patient care heroes like yourself can bring the fun to them. Here are 3 reasons you should get spooky at work this month.

ICD-10: One Year Later

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A little more than one year ago, we published an article about the health care industry’s readiness for ICD-10.  The International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) went live on October 1, 2015, after several years of being delayed.  Providers were given 12 months of flexibility in implementation because almost half weren’t on target to meet the implementation deadline.

Latest Trends in Physical Therapy

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As is the case with most healthcare careers, Physical Therapy is experiencing rapid growth and an increasingly diverse range of career opportunities.  With the month of October being an annual month of recognition for those in the Physical Therapy field, let’s take a look at a few of the trends that are driving the growth and opportunity.

What You Can Do to Promote Breast Cancer Awareness

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If you are a fan of the National Football League, throughout the month of October, you will see the players wearing a variety of pink accessories with their typical uniforms.  From gloves to socks, and even spikes, pink will be the color of the month.  Why are these modern day warriors decking themselves out with pink accessories?  It’s all in recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM), the annual campaign devoted to promoting awareness of the disease and raise funds for research, prevention, treatment, and a cure.

#ChoosePT is the Theme of National Physical Therapy Month 2016

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Each year for National PT Month the APTA decides on a public awareness campaign to highlight one aspect of physical therapy.  The theme of National PT Month for 2016 is #ChoosePT and was chosen to raise awareness of the role that physical therapy can play in combatting our nation’s serious opioid epidemic.