Tag - hospital

hospital, readmission

Hospital Readmissions

Until now, no one has identified illness recovery as a science. There is a large body of research on every type of illness, but not how to recover from it. This is particularly true in traditional western medicine, where the majority of medical practice is to seek answers. However, there is a growing number of practitioners starting to look at patients from a “functional” perspective. The Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM)  defines functional medicine as asking “the how and why illness occurs, and restores health by addressing the root causes of disease for each individual.” This holistic approach is taking root and large health care institutions such as Cleveland Clinic have opened new Functional Medicine departments. The science is coming from multiple centers and practitioners, but none speak to the general physiological process of recovery.  There is a landmark study on hospital readmissions that has not received the attention it deserves. Dr. Harlan Krumholz and researchers from Yale University published a study in 2013 that looked at over two million 30-day hospital readmission rates in people over the age of 65. 1 in 6 patients were readmitted within 30 days of discharge. The majority of people who were readmitted back to the hospital were readmitted for reasons other than the illness that put them there in the first place. For example, when someone was originally admitted for a heart condition, many times they were readmitted within 30 days for pneumonia. This raises a very big question, which still needs an answer: how do we combat hospital readmissions?  One of the key takeaways from this study was the notion that people are discharged from the hospital with something called Post-Hospital-Syndrome. Researchers cited that people experience a period of generalized risk for poor outcomes related to staying or leaving the hospital. While staying in the hospital, people are subjected to hospital-acquired infections, poor sleep, poor nutrition, and generalized weakness from lying in a hospital bed. This leads to an inability to regain strength at home. Being at home can also produce issues related to dehydration, nutrition, and nausea from prescribed medications. Patients often battle difficulty thinking clearly, drinking enough fluids to stay adequately hydrated, and loss of balance. These issues put patients at risk of falling, bring feelings of frustration, and unfortunately a trip back to the hospital.  Health care’s answer to “fixing” this problem has been to identify people who are high risk, and working to get their doctor’s follow up visit done a little quicker. Most recently, telemedicine has made its way into people’s homes, providing contact with a care provider via the internet. These are excellent approaches, but it still does not address the core reasons people fail to recover: poor nutrition, poor sleep, medication intolerance, poor physical condition, and poor mental condition.  Make People Better is addressing these core issues a few ways. First, at-home DNA testing can virtually eliminate adverse drug reactions, identify nutritional preferences, and encourage direct participation by the patient through shared decision-making.  Second, we have developed a Hydrobiotic called re:iimmune, sold over the counter at pharmacies and clinics, that delivers balanced electrolytes, pre and probiotics, zinc, ginger, and L-glutamine to support the body’s natural recovery processes, improve digestion, and decrease nausea.  The key takeaway for you is 1 out of 6 people in the United States will be readmitted to the hospital within the first 30 days of leaving. We do not want you to be the 1.
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Get to Know Your Pharmacist

pharmacist, ask your pharamcist about reiimmune, pharmacist recommendations

In this fast paced, instant gratification society, we often times don’t get to know the people we interact with on a daily basis beyond a cordial greeting. Perhaps you make light banter with your regular barista, and wave as you pass your neighbors car while pulling into your respective garages, but how well do you know the people you come in contact with regularly? I believe we all still make it a priority to get to know our doctors, being as they care for one of the things we hold most dearly- our health, but there is someone else who also plays a very critical role within our personal healthcare journey- our pharmacist.

 

These days, our pharmacy options are endless. In most city's there seems to be a pharmacy on the corner of every block. Whether you choose to visit your local pharmacy, a chain drugstore with a handy drive through, or the pharmacy nestled within your favorite grocery store; it’s important that you pick a pharmacy that works best for your routine, and a pharmacist that you trust. It’s crucial to use one pharmacy consistently in order for your pharmacist to stay up to date with your medication history, while also checking for crossed signals or possible contraindications.

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Getting to know your pharmacist, and letting them get to know you, are really important steps to take in your health care regime. If you have multiple doctors or specialists that you see, as most of us do, (General Physician, Dermatologist, Pulmonary Specialist, Cardiologist…the list goes on) then chances are, the one person coordinating your list of medications and proof reading the materials at the end of the day, is in fact your pharmacist.

Of course there are systems in place to keep our hospital records up to date so that each of your doctors are aware of all your medications, but systems aren’t always bullet proof, especially in an operation with as many moving parts as a hospital. For instance, if I spent 3 years writing a book, I wouldn't trust multiple people to analyze separate chapters for the books final approval, I would instead lean on the understanding of the one person reading the book in it's entirety to give me my final draft and complete analysis. How much more important is your health? It’s nice to know that the last person to put together your full compilation of medications is looking out for you, and knows exactly what to watch out for.

 

When you’re new to a pharmacy, or making steps towards getting to know your current pharmacist, here are some important things to share with them:

 

  • Any Known Allergies to Medications
  • Medical History
  • Any Nonprescription Medications you are taking
  • An Up to Date List of All Medications

 

Chances are, your pharmacist wants to get to know YOU! After handling the delicate issues that come with the job of distributing medications to customers all day long, I’m sure your pharmacist would welcome a warm smile and a friendly face. We hope you are encouraged to get to know your favorite pharmacist, and Get Better, better!

 

If you found this blog helpful, please feel free to share it on your favorite social media profile! 

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