Watch out, baby boomers—millennials are on track this year to overtake you as America’s largest generation, according to recent research by the Pew Research Center. These young adults, who will range in age from 23 to 38 in 2019, are positioned to make healthcare decisions for themselves, their own growing families and their aging parents.
Topics: Patient Engagement
A recent study offers yet another push for hospitals to lower elective C-section rates. Research published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, has found a link between C-sections and an increased risk of food allergies.
C-sections are performed in nearly a third of U.S. births, and half of these surgeries are considered avoidable. Thus, the pressure to lower the rates of this procedure – and it's accompanying risks, which range from infection to excessive blood loss and even maternal death – is mounting from all sides. The Joint Commission, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the National Quality Forum and independent hospital rating firms (such as Leapfrog, which reports on them by hospital) all care about C-section rates. Even media organizations such as Parents.com are weighing in.
All of this puts hospitals in the delicate situation of discouraging elective C-sections, while keeping those patients who request the procedure – without fully understanding the risks – satisfied with their care. Yes, hospitals want to keep their expectant patients happy, but their biggest priority here is maternal and child safety.
So what can hospitals do to help lower C-section rates?
The Joint Commission this year announced a major change for hospitals and health systems seeking advanced, disease-specific, Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement Certification. Hospitals now need to comply with additional performance measures to try to address the top clinical concerns in healthcare today.
The new measures are associated with fewer post-op complications, readmissions and deaths and lower cost – emphasizing how critical it is for healthcare to move the needle in these areas. In addition to focusing on clinical metrics, the Joint Commission is emphasizing the need for patient-reported feedback – once again acknowledging that patients are key partners in reducing healthcare costs.
Lowering cost, improving post-surgical outcomes and driving patient-reported feedback are lofty goals for the Joint Commission to set for hospitals. But these goals are achievable if hospitals expand how they deliver orthopedic care to include reaching patients outside hospital walls.
As the mother of a toddler, recent news headlines about the dangers of baby walkers—and pediatricians’ repeated calls for a ban on them—caught me by surprise.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has long recommended against—and unsuccessfully sought a ban on—these walkers. This month, a study in the AAP journal Pediatrics has renewed calls for that ban.
Still, it was the first I’d heard of the academy’s warnings. And while I never used a walker with my child, I could not recall my doctors advising me not to. It made me wonder how many other new and expectant moms missed the warnings as well.
Mostly, it highlighted the need for pediatricians to more effectively communicate with new parents about parenting and child development—and not just during well-child visits in the doctor’s office, when the information provided is too easily forgotten later on.