Time for a new health care dress code?

Does what your doctor wear endanger your health?


There's a debate brewing over whether attire is leading to cross contamination from patient to patient and raising the infection levels in hospitals and physician offices. The idea of ditching flagrant garb — like neckties and the iconic white coats — was floated in an article titled "Healthcare Personnel Attire in Non-Operating-Room Settings" in the journal Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology (no, I didn't read the article, but I did read about it in the New York Times!).

So what to do about the biggest culprits — the neckties and white coats?

We can dispense with neckties (they should go anyway — and many clinicians have favored bow ties instead to lessen the risk of cross contamination!). But the white coats play a helpful role in identifying who does what in the health care setting.

In fact, who is in the room with you, the patient, is a big issue. These days, more and more health care workers are wearing scrubs, the pajama-like uniforms that were once reserved just for the Operating Room. In some places, even cleaning staff wear scrubs.

Uniforms are important, but proper identification and introduction of staff is the real critical element. When every staff member walks into a patient's room, they should introduce themselves and clearly state why they are there and what they will be doing — in terms the patient can understand!

If we expect patients to be partners in their care, they need to know who they are partnering with — and why!


Live healthy, prevent disease with @Prevently

One of the latest entries into the "make small changes and change your health" arena is Prevently.

Our goal is to prevent a disease before it ever happens by helping users live a healthier lifestyle.

We know this can be difficult. That's why we make sure it isn't.

Prevently is a new service that is built on four pillars:

  • Health articles and videos focused on prevention and wellness.
  • The sale of products and devices that promote and monitor health.
  • Regular telemedicine consultations with health care professionals.
  • An all-in-one online personal health record.

The last pillar is one of the most interesting. The online personal health record aggregates data (such as steps, sleep, BMI, blood pressure) from fitness devices and apps, such as Fitbit, Internet-enabled scales and Prevently's own app. 

These data have a direct connection to Prevently's telemedicine offering, which will be a subscription service that allows users to chat with a doctor about their health. The doctor has access to the user's Prevently health record and can even get notifications when the user's data show that something is off.

The marrying of real-time data and notification with education, awareness and coaching will be essential to achieving population health. It still requires an engaged and activated patient — and a strong support system of family and friends — to become a reality.

Prevently promises that physicians have reviewed all of their content and products. The site sources information from places like Harvard Medical School and has a team of advisor physicians review all of the health products and devices the site sells.

Prevently is a solid idea that shows promise as a platform for patient engagement and better health.

Source: MobiHealthNews