Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Hopping the Wellness Train
I’ve been feeling kind of medical minded these days. I guess that’s not so surprising since, individually, as a group and out of necessity we’ve been slowly shifting the paradigm from treating disease to the much more optimistic model of staying healthy to begin with. Hence the birth of wellness centers and integrative medicine, which makes use of the best practices from the west and east.
So again I draw your attention to two items from one of my daily resources for what the heck is going on in the world, the New York Times.
In yesterday’s paper, in the Science Times (my, how I love that section), Jane E. Brody’s column was about how we can cut unnecessary deaths during one routine hospital procedure: IV insertions. People die unnecessarily of infection all the time! A physician and researcher at Johns Hopkins named Dr. Peter Pronovost came up with a simple five-point checklist that, when used, not only reduced patient death by infection to zero but also saved billions of dollars in Michigan hospitals where the checklist was put into place. These are points about as elemental as they get: first point on the checklist? Wash your hands.
And if that’s not staggering enough, though Pronovost has proposed implementing the checklist universally in our country. . . yep, you guessed it, he’s gotten nothing but resistance. Spain, however, approached him and is going to implement it.
It should be mentioned that Brody got this story from my favorite doctor/author Atul Gawande. He and Pronovost recommend writing members of Congress and the Department of Health and Human Services.
Second item needs way less exposition. The story made the front page. Here’s the headline: High Mercury Levels Are Found in Tuna Sushi Sold in Manhattan.
Ugh. If it happens so rampantly there, please don’t be eating sushi in Kansas City.