How Hospital Scores Are Generated: An Overview

by Erica Mitchell | February 26 2020

Have you ever wondered how hospital scores are created? As we have explored in previous posts, there are a number of organizations and companies that publish hospital scores and ranks for the consumer, in an effort to help individuals make educated choices about their healthcare while also making medical facilities more transparent about their successes and challenges (to varying degrees of success). But where do these scores come from?

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American Medical Hero: Dr. Ruth E. Moore

by Erica Mitchell | February 21 2020

The first African-American to join the American Society for Microbiology was a woman. The first African-American to receive a PhD in Microbiology was a woman. And that woman, who overcame obstacles not only related to race but also gender, was Dr. Ruth E. Moore. We take a moment today to recognize this important scientist, whose contributions to the field as a researcher, professor, and leader have inspired generations of microbiologists.

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Hospital Scores: We Compare The Top 3 Ratings Websites

by Erica Mitchell | February 20 2020

Consumers have a difficult time navigating the data that is available to help them make decisions about safe hospital choices. Today we are going to explore 3 popular hospital ranking sites and see how they compare in the same scenario. We are going to put ourselves in the place of a prospective patient undergoing surgery trying to find a hospital in Richmond, Virginia with the lowest infection rates. Let’s see which hospital stands out, and whether all 3 sites agree!

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Emmett W. Chappelle: Father of Bioluminescence

by Erica Mitchell | February 17 2020

In a Baltimore, MD laboratory in the 1970s, a researcher made a discovery that would revolutionize our ability to detect the presence of microscopic organisms. From this one discovery, this scientist would invent ways to test soil on Mars for evidence of life as well as evaluate bacteria for antibiotic susceptibility. This one tenacious biochemist would go on to invent uses of bioluminescence that would affect almost every industry, from space exploration to food production to medicine. This man was Emmett W. Chappelle.

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Professional Profile: Sorrel King, Josie King Foundation

by Erica Mitchell | February 12 2020

In the field of patient safety, you find an army of hospital administrators, consultants, manufacturers, healthcare workers, and evaluators. Out in front, pushing into new territory while leading the way, you will find a solitary figure, a mother, the standard-bearer. Her flag is perhaps the most powerful weapon in the fight against medical errors and hospital-acquired infections: Her daughter's story.

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Dr. Jane Hinton: Co-Developer of Mueller-Hinton Agar

by Erica Mitchell | February 7 2020

Pasteurization. Gram stains. Petri dishes. Bunsen burners. The science world is replete with processes or equipment named for their esteemed inventors. One such invention, Mueller-Hinton agar, is a growth medium critical to susceptibility testing of antibiotics. In today's post, we'll look at one half of the scientific team who co-developed this important medium, Dr. Jane Hinton.

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10 Resources for Patient Safety

by Erica Mitchell | February 5 2020

Building on your new skills as an empowered patient, today's post provides links to some of the excellent resources from leading health care organizations. 

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5 Facts About the Novel Coronavirus You Want to Know

by Erica Mitchell | January 31 2020

Reports of the spread of the novel coronavirus from China show a continued spread of the illness. The many news articles available cover the story as it unfolds, but there might be some basics that remain unanswered. In today's post, we'll answer five questions that will give you needed context to understand the virus and its spread.

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The Empowered Patient, Part 5: Rally Your Support System

by Erica Mitchell | January 29 2020

Empowered_Patient-01Today wraps up our series on becoming an empowered patient or patient advocate. We hope 2020 brings you all nothing but health and happiness, but should you face a medical challenge, I hope these suggestions help you or your loved one walk a smoother path to healing.

Step 5: Rally Your Support System!

You don't have to go through being a patient by yourself. Share your experiences with family, close friends, and trusted advisers. There are many ways to bring folks together to help you, including social media, websites, phone trees, and even email lists. One of your friends or family members may step forward to undertake the responsibility of keeping everyone updated, or you may choose your own way to do so. Whatever you choose, do not hesitate to ask for help.

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Coronavirus Outbreak: What Global and Hospital Outbreaks Have In Common

by Erica Mitchell | January 23 2020

News about a new coronavirus in Asia has hit the headlines this week, with numbers quickly climbing and efforts at containment escalating. As the general public learns of the steps taking by health organizations and governments to prevent transmission and treat affected patients, it is a good time to point out that these steps are the same taken by community hospitals in their efforts to control infections. While on a much smaller scale, these steps in infection control and prevention mirror the global approach and come down to 5 basic steps.

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