What you should care about in healthcare today, from the editors of Becker's Hospital Review

On the side of the light: Vanderbilt medical staff arranges private screening of 'Star Wars' for cancer patient

The force is strong in the Vanderbilt University Medical Center medical staff, who recently worked with a local move theater to coordinate a private screening of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," for a patient who has battled leukemia for nearly five years.

The patient, 22-year-old Natalie Seale, had been eagerly awaiting the release of the movie. After undergoing a bone marrow transplant to combat her T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia in June 2015, she was told she would be unable to be in large crowds due to her weakened immune system.

One of Ms. Seale's nurses at Nashville, Tenn.-based Vanderbilt's Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital — Sarah Neumann, RN — took it upon herself to call a local movie theater to see what they could do to help her patient experience seeing the movie on the big screen.

"Cancer ruthlessly robs our patients of many things we can't control, so as a nurse, I feel that it is important to help patients maintain as much normalcy in life as possible to provide them with much deserved hope and joy during such a difficult time," said Ms. Neumann, who may just be a Jedi knight. Not even a battalion of stormtroopers could stop her from going above and beyond for her patient.


Friday Feel Good: How one retired engineer and his buddy are making a difference at an Alabama hospital

A dose of feel-good to kick off the weekend.


Population health, public health, community health — What difference does the terminology make?

Since the term "population health" was coined by David Kindig, MD, PhD, and Greg Stoddart, PhD, in 2003, there has been so much discussion about what it means in regards to healthcare delivery that the buzzword has become something of a linguistic eyeroll.

"For many in the healthcare delivery sector, the term 'population health' represents either the holy grail of effective healthcare delivery or is regarded as nothing more than the latest flavor of the month," said Leonard H. Friedman, PhD, professor and director of the Department of Health Policy and Management MHA degree programs at Washington, D.C.-based George Washington University's Milken Institute School of Public Health.

Some thought leaders in the healthcare industry just can't seem to get passed the semantics of "population health." In April, Dr. Kindig addressed the issue by writing a blog to suggest a second definition for the term. In June, the Milken Institute conducted a survey of 37 healthcare leaders about what population health means. And every day, I run into the debate of how to use the term in my own writing as a healthcare reporter — begging the question, are more terms needed to differentiate between population health genres?


Friday feel good: Pediatric cancer patient finds unlikely friends in UCLA fraternity

A dose of feel good to kick of the weekend.


Friday feel good: Lightsabers, stormtroopers and a hospital room

A dose of feel-good to kick off the weekend.


Friday feel good: A real 'Fight Song' from Dana-Farber

A dose of feel good to kick off your weekend.


Friday feel good: 3 things to know about the LA physician who delivered a baby on a plane

A dose of feel good to kick off the weekend.

A Los Angeles physician on a flight from Taiwan after her honeymoon delivered a baby on the plane, according to an ABC7 report.


NICU nurse gets surprise of a lifetime from former patients

Renee Hendrix, a nurse in Marietta, Ga.-based WellStar Kennestone Hospital's neonatal intensive care unit, agreed to be part of a Kleenex commercial for National Neonatal Nurses Day, but ended up getting something much more rewarding.


How one comment on The View sparked a nurse-led revolt nationwide

Nurses across the nation are up in arms over comments made about their profession by the women on The View.


The innovation paradox: Those who most need it can't get it

Access to care and access to Internet are becoming more synonymous. Depending on where you live, that's a concern.

When the Apple Watch was released, much hype surrounded the potential capabilities and functions of this new device. Those in healthcare were eager to see what this new wearable could contribute to the industry and how a smartwatch might affect patient care. Heart rate monitor, glucose tracking, a built-in pedometer — the opportunities seemed endless and promised a healthier population.

Until we look at who is buying and using the Apple Watch: by and large, people who are already healthy and don't need to monitor their heart rates day in and day.

Herein lies the paradox of consumer-focused innovation: While the healthcare industry is bullish on developing new technologies and offerings that are meant to improve healthcare quality and wellness, those using such offerings don't really need them. And, the ones who do are often unable to access them.

A recent Wired article discussed this idea in the context of telemedicine. "The rural communities that could benefit most from [telemedicine] also have the least access to fast and reliable Internet — an obvious prerequisite," reads the article.

Hospitals and health systems are increasingly adopting telemedicine, offering remote video consultations for patients at home or connecting with specialists from academic medical centers for bedside care support. Patients are also open to the idea of receiving care this way: 74 percent of U.S. consumers would use telehealth services, according to a 2015 American Hospital Association survey.

But like the Wired article suggests, these offerings are moot if individuals don't have a broadband connection.


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