In a story penned this morning by The Dallas Morning News reporter Karen Robinson-Jacobs, a composite index of more than 20 factors in America’s Health Rankings revealed Texas ranked 34th in overall health, down from 31st in 2014.
Released by the United Health Foundation, the report showed Texas had one of the largest declines among U.S. states for 2015.
You can read the full story here.
By Kristin Jenkins, President, DFWHC Foundation
On November 12, the DFW Hospital Council Foundation hosted the educational seminar “Opioid Safety.” During the presentation, team members of the Foundation shared adverse drug event information for the region based on data from its Information and Quality Services Center. We were pleased with the attendance as every health system in North Texas had representatives at the meeting.
In the DFW area in 2014, the average incidence of adverse drug events was 2.04 percent from small and large bowel procedures, and knee and hip replacements. This amounted to 464 cases of patient harm out of 22,755 encounters. The length of stay for these adverse drug event cases was 6.97 days longer than those without. This amounted to 3,234 excess days of care.
As one can tell from these numbers, adverse drug events are dangerous and expensive. Oftentimes there is an overuse of opioid pain medications in these procedural admissions. During the conference, nursing and physician experts presented solutions to the issues that contribute to these events. The solutions were practical and affordable.
Over the coming year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Joint Commission and the mainstream press are focusing on opioid errors and abuse within our hospitals and community. Join us in adopting best practices to decrease such uses and abuses. These drugs are meant to relieve pain, but can be dangerously “over-prescribed” and ingested.
If you would like to participate in our Opioid Safety Program, please reach out to our Director of Patient Safety and Quality, Patti Taylor, at email@example.com. She can also provide you with information to facilitate your own quality improvement efforts. Thank you for working with us to improve our community’s health.
By Dr. Sushma Sharma, Director of Public and Population Health Research, DFWHC Foundation
Starting today, New York City officially became the first U.S. city to successfully enforce chain restaurants to add a warning icon next to high-sodium items on menus. The New York City Board of Health voted unanimously September 9 to be the first city to make sure chains put salt shaker symbols next to the food to highlight dishes with more than the recommended daily limit of 2,300 mg of sodium, or approximately one teaspoon.
This is the new symbol:
Signs at registers will define the icon with “indicates sodium (salt) content of this item is higher than the total daily recommended limit (2300 mg). High sodium intake can increase blood pressure and risk of heart disease and stroke.”
Chains with more than 15 locations nationwide — which currently accounts for one-third of New York City’s restaurant traffic — will be subject to the city rule. This is another important initiative along with the calorie labeling rule which was implemented in New York in 2008.
“Along with sodium being directly linked to raising blood pressure, there is credible information that it can damage the inner lining of the blood vessel, damage the kidney, the small vessels of the eye and the small vessels of the brain,” said Dr. Howard Weintraub of NYU Langone Medical Center.
Rebecca Blake, senior director of clinical nutrition at Mount Sinai Beth Israel, says consumers need information about how to lower sodium intake. “We owe it to the consumers to explain what a chronically high sodium diet may lead to, especially in combination with obesity.”
Dr. Mary T. Bassett, the city’s health commissioner, said in September that she hoped other cities would adopt similar rules in an effort to combat heart disease, which she noted is “the leading cause of death in the U.S.”
Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death for Texas residents. The average American takes in about 3,400 mg of salt daily, with only about one in 10 in the U.S. adhering to the one teaspoon measurement, according to the AP.
The DFW Hospital Council Foundation would like to congratulate everyone in New York for supporting this initiative and starting a new era of “Nutritional Warnings.”
The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Dallas-Fort Worth District Office will hold its annual briefing on the Affordable Care Act during a series of free seminars December 1 in Arlington, December 3 in Dallas and December 8 in Mesquite.
The seminars will provide an overview and educate small business owners on the Affordable Healthcare Act. Representatives will also be available to answer all questions. Representatives of the Health & Human Services and Internal Revenue Service will also be present to discuss options available to business owners as well as individuals. There will also be “Navigators” on site to assist with registration.
The December 1, Arlington Seminar will be from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Arlington City Hall Council Chamber located at 101 W. Abram Street. You can register to attend here.
The December 3, Dallas Seminar will be from 8:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. at the Bill J. Priest Center located at 1402 Corinth Street. You can register here.
The December 8, Mesquite Seminar is from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at Eastfield College on 3737 Motley Drive in Room G101 and G102. You can register here.
For more information, please contact Ahmad Goree at 817-684-5539 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Fall edition of the DFW Hospital Council’s Interlocutor is now available. Click the graphic below for a recap of last month’s Annual Awards Luncheon, detail on the updated “Healthy North Texas” website and a story on the growing food deserts within Dallas. Hard copies will be mailed to membership next week. You can also read the issue here.