Healthcare Blog

Archive for the ‘Speaker Blogs’ Category

WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE BUT WHAT THE HECK TO DRINK?!

Posted by capcityspeakers on June 7, 2017

By Dr. Brad Nieder

20161027 Google image labeled for reuse water-bottle-pollution
There’s an apocryphal story of a woman who attended her first Weight Watchers follow-up meeting and said, “I’m having trouble with the 68 bottles of water a day.”  Poor lady.  She had heard the instructor wrong at the previous meeting. Six to eight bottles.  That’s the range she was told (which, by the way, is apocryphal in and of itself).

It’s been over ten years since Lewis Black thoroughly and hilariously (and with an abundance of expletives!) covered the topic of bottled water.  Yet we’re still unnecessarily buying it, paying a lot of money and using a lot of energy to package, transport and refrigerate it.  And then we’re polluting the planet even more when the bottles wind up in landfills or the ocean.

20161027 google image ice cubes labeled for reuse 2045290249_4ccfd06b2e_z

It’s crazy, especially when you consider that tap water is safe to drink in almost all parts of the country.

Yet it seems there are more varieties of bottled water than ever: mineral water, spring water, distilled water, purified, vitamin-infused, ionized …

Soon they’ll sell us expensive ice by calling it “frozen concentrated water.”

Or maybe they’ll sell us condensed water.  Just add … water!  (Half-filled bottles you simply fill up at the tap!?)

Instead of coffee houses we’ll have water houses where you can order a tall half reverse-osmosis-filtered vitamin E-infused sparkling Aquafina and half distilled Artesian kiwi-infused Deep Rock with 3 squirts of O2 and a double shot of Fiji with an Evian magnesium mineral boost all over Dasani ice cubes … nonfat … no whip.

20161027 Google image labeled for reuse Fish_tank_(2)

One of the more ludicrous options is oxygenated water. Our lungs are great at obtaining oxygen, folks.  Our digestive tracts, not so much.  Unless you’ve developed gills in your stomach, I’d save the water for your pet fish.

And speaking of our pets, there’s actually water specifically formulated to appeal to our four-legged friends.  “But Dr. Brad,” you may say, “my dog drinks out of the toilet!”  Indeed.  Yet people buy this stuff.

20161027 Google image labeled for reuse Toilet_double_flush_01

Come to think of it, maybe all this nonsense started with toilet water (“eau de toilette”) … for which we pay good money to spray on ourselves!  “If they’ll do that,” said the marketers, “let’s sell them a bunch of bogus waters to drink, too!”

So, unless you’re in Flint, MI, feel free to go straight to the tap for your 68 (or six to eight) glasses a day. Otherwise you’re just flushing away your money in the water closet.

Posted in Brad Nieder, Speaker Blogs | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

LMAO—Literally!

Posted by capcityspeakers on May 16, 2017

by Karyn Buxman

Does this blog post make my butt look big?

The “Average American” (I’m still trying to find that person!) gains about one and a half pounds of fat a year between ages 25-60. Bummer! Not only does this lead to a number of health issues—it’s costly, it’s depressing, and it’s definitely not helping our self-esteem. If you’re like me, you are searching for ways to laugh your, ummm, your butt off—literally.

A 15-minute laugh burns 10-40 calories. Okay, so that’s not as much as an hour of spinning might get you. But how consistently are you spinning? Or running? Or swimming? Or shaking those hips at Zumba?!

15 minutes of laughter doesn’t require any coordination. Or a membership fee. You don’t have to leave the comfort of your home. Or your room. Or your chair. (You can do it in a house. You can do it with a mouse. You can do it in a boat. You can do it with a goat. You can do it here or there. You can do it anywhere!)

Over a year’s time, you can laugh off one to four pounds. (Hey, I see you over there rolling your eyes!) But think about the cumulative effect. In five years time, you can gradually lose 5-20 pounds. Or you can do nothing continue to watch the scale creep up, or best case scenario, hold your own.

As any dietician will tell you, it’s the small incremental changes over time that will yield the best long-term results. So start adding 15 minutes of laughter to your daily routine. Don’t turn this into a chore. You did this easily as a kid. And reap the benefits of laughing you’re a$$ off!

source: http://www.sharecare.com/question/how-much-weight-person-gain-lifetime

Posted in Karyn Buxman, Speaker Blogs | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Healthcare Economics: Why this stuff doesn’t work the way you think it does — and how to fix it

Posted by capcityspeakers on April 19, 2017

by Joe Flower

albatross-close-up

[This is a letter I sent to Gary Cohn, appointed by President Trump to head the National Economic Council and, among other things, come up with a plan for reforming healthcare. Formerly president of Goldman Sachs, Cohn may be a wizard at finance, but healthcare economics are wildly different and famously opaque.

So I thought I would help him out. As things are going with the Republicans’ health plan on Capitol Hill, Trump may need a Plan B.]

Healthcare economics are weird, opaque, and convoluted. The business of healthcare is unlike any other business. The politicians and pundits arguing about how to fix healthcare in the United States don’t understand what they are trying to fix. Neither do you, probably, because almost no one does.

So let me help with this explainer. Here’s the promise: This will be non-partisan, factual, and some parts at least will be different from anything you have heard before. This is a version of a letter I sent to the White House economists charged with coming up the new, better replacement for the Affordable Care Act.

Subject: Your best eight minutes on healthcare economics.

  • Why healthcare economics are different.
  • What would work

Who I am: An independent healthcare author and analyst since Jimmy Carter’s administration, speaker, consultant across the industry at all levels, including insurers, hospitals, device manufacturers, employers, the Veterans Administration, the pharmaceutical industry, the World Health Organization, the Department of Defense, a real insider.

Core problem: The core problem in fixing healthcare is the actual cost of medical care.

  • Healthcare in the U.S. by any measure costs about twice what it should and is twice more than in most other countries.
  • Medical prices are completely disconnected from the cost of production.
  • Few medical providers even know the true cost of their products, their tests, therapies, and surgeries because they reverse-engineer their prices based on reimbursements
  • By a number of highly respected analyses at least one third of that (well over $1 trillion this year) is waste, paying for things that we don’t need and that don’t help and often hurt.
  • Solving just the federal part of this would completely wipe out the deficit.

Trying to “take care of everybody” will always be impossible politically and economically as long as healthcare costs twice what it should and wastes trillions of dollars.

Solvable: This is a solvable problem. If we manage to stop paying for waste, over $1 trillion per year in unneeded overtreatment will disappear. Prices will drop to something like a true market price. This will not happen overnight, but it could happen over five years with vigorous implementation.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Joe Flower, Speaker Blogs | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Don’t Just Sit There Listening –Solicit Input

Posted by capcityspeakers on March 7, 2017

by Suzanne Gordon

Soliciting Not Just Listening                                                questions

Want to be a better physician or nurse leader? Enhance patient safety? Effectively lead teams? One of the current consultant prescriptions is the recommendation that leaders spend more time listening than talking. Whether in the larger management literature or in the articles and books that specifically target health care, listening is portrayed as a key to leadership. Employees want their voices to be heard,” one management guru opined in a Forbes article entitled “6 ways Effective Listening Can Make You a Better Leader,” and to “know that they (their leaders) have their interests at heart because they really listen.”

To emphasize this point psychiatrist Mark Goulston titled his bestselling book Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone. Listening 1.1 has, in fact, advanced to listening 2.1 wherein one is exhorted not to “just listen” – i.e. passively and unresponsively — but to engage in “active listening.”

I am all for listening. Of course people have to listen to each other rather than silence, ignore, dismiss, or denigrate one another. When it comes to the implementation of genuine teamwork and patient safety within the hierarchical environment of health care, I don’t think listening is enough. As Amy Edmondson has written in her book Teaming, “Research shows that hierarchy, by its very nature, dramatically reduces speaking up by those lower in the pecking order. We are hard-wired, then socialized, to be acutely sensitive to power, and to work to avoid being seen as deficient in any way by those in power.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Speaker Blogs, Suzanne Gordon | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

3 must-do strategies for executive leaders to permanently improve employee engagement

Posted by capcityspeakers on January 17, 2017

by Vicki Hess

Every executive leader in healthcare has a vested interest in improving employee engagement – whether he or she acknowledges it or not.

Unfortunately, many senior leaders think HR should manage engagement or they are looking for a magic formula when it comes to sustained improvement. Of course one doesn’t exist.

First, the problem. Here’s what I typically hear in my conversations with hospitals and health systems across the country. Employee engagement survey results come in and senior leaders talk about how important engagement is with their manager group. They share their desire for front line leaders to create department level action plans to transform engagement.

The action plans are created and quite often recorded in online monitoring systems for “accountability”. Most leaders – at all levels – understand that engagement is a key lever for productivity, creativity, safety and patient satisfaction so these actions make sense. Too often, the actions center around what the organization and leader need to do to impact engagement and they leave off the personal responsibility of the employees – but that’s another article.

For a month or two, there’s a focus on improving engagement. Then a new priority comes along and the front line leader’s attention is drawn to a new concern. The front line leader’s “one-up” manager stops asking about engagement. It moves to the back burner and all of the sudden it’s 9 months later and time for a new survey and whole cycle starts again.

If you want to stop this vicious cycle, try these 3 strategies.

Have an Engagement Champion at the executive level
Ideally, everyone on the senior leadership team would feel completely committed to engagement, but I know that’s not always going to happen. To quote Peter Drucker, “Whenever anything is being accomplished, it is being done, I have learned, by a monomaniac with a mission.” This doesn’t mean that some leaders can let engagement slide off their dashboards; it does mean that you need a champion. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Speaker Blogs, Vicki Hess | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Nurses! Get Inspired & Connected on Planet Improv

Posted by capcityspeakers on December 22, 2016

by Beth Boynton, RN, MS

Things are cooking in the Medical Improv world.  Recent workshops at Rutgers Medical School and Bay State College and the first train-the-trainer book,  Medical Improv:  A New Way to Improve Communication Skills & 15 Activities You Can Teach STATis scheduled to be published early in 2017.

If you’d like spice up your holiday party,  try this super fun activity with your team described on Medline post: De-Stress and Improve Communication with Medical Improv!

Also, I’m VERY happy to announce five Medical Improv programs through Capitol City Speakers Bureau!  This one was designed for “Nurses’ Week, but if your team needs a boost sooner, please contact Capitol City at 1-800-397-3193.

Get Inspired and Connected on Planet Improv!

An Out of this untitled-design-40World Experience for Nurses Only! It is no secret that nurses face relentless high-stakes high-stress work with little time to come together for pure fun. On Planet Improv, nurse colleagues are guaranteed to have a great time together while building positive relationships. Join Medical Improv Practitioner Beth Boynton, RN, MS as she facilitates a variety of easy-to-do and playful activities that will leave nurses feeling engaged, connected, and inspired about their work. Whether staff actively participate or watch, this interactive workshop is always a one-of-a-kind and memorable experience!

(P.S. If you want to offer a similar workshop for ALL healthcare professionals I’m pretty sure Capitol City Speakers Bureau will be happy to help and so will I!)

Posted in Beth Boynton, R.N., MS, Speaker Blogs | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Patient Experience is Digital Too

Posted by capcityspeakers on December 12, 2016

by Kristin Baird

When we think of the patient experience, we often think of the many touchpoints during a face-to-face interaction. In today’s world, digital encounters are an important part of the overall experience as well.

This past week, my husband had a battery of tests in follow-up to a physical exam. He was a bit anxious about having the tests, and then having to wait for the results. He was both impressed and relieved to have prompt results delivered to his smartphone through the online portal. He could see the results and where he fell within the normal ranges. But what impressed him the most was that his physician also sent a personal note with a summary of her impressions and next steps – all in layman’s terms. Within 10 minutes of her note, he received a text from Walgreens that his new prescription was ready for pick up.

In this example, the digital experience included imparting information (test results) as well as reassurance and next steps provided through the personal email.

Rewind the clock a few years, and he’d still be waiting for the results that would be delivered via phone call or office visit. The waiting and wondering was stressful for patients and the follow up was often overwhelming for the providers and their staffs.

We are fortunate to be living in a world where we can use our smart phones for everything from ordering pizza to scheduling rides and appointments. In healthcare, smartphones have become the lifeline to information and engagement. My concern is that in some organizations, anything digital is technology that sits within the IT silo, rather than cross pollinating with the patient experience goals and strategies. Let’s make sure we’re talking to each other internally. We have great opportunities to continue making the patient experience more seamless, efficient and enjoyable.

Posted in Kristin Baird, Speaker Blogs | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Paying It Forward

Posted by capcityspeakers on December 1, 2016

by Chad Hymas

soldier

Most of us know what the above title means. And I’m hoping that we have all had the opportunity to do this. It is so simple to do that I think it would happen more often if we just thought about it.

I have a friend that works at a restaurant and he told me that every week, a widower comes in for dinner and, while there, he’ll look around for a family (usually a large family having dinner) and when he goes to pay his bill, he’ll ask the hostess if $75.00 will cover their bill. When she says yes, he leaves her enough to cover the tab and the tip. After he leaves, and has been gone for several minutes, she goes over and tells the family what had happened – that their bill has been taken care of. They are completely surprised!   And so very grateful.

He also left enough money for them to have dessert or take a couple of pies home!! They look around trying to find this person, but she told them he had left quite a while ago. All he asked is that they enjoy their dinner and that if they ever have a chance to help someone (in other words, pay it forward), they do.

I actually see this all the time – I see people at a grocery store tell the cashier as she gives her a hundred bill, to have that go for the groceries for the woman behind her, who has a few kids with her and a lot of groceries.

I see lot of this kind of generosity at the airport; especially people wanting to buy a cup of coffee or dinner for servicemen who have just been deployed. I had the opportunity to do this a few weeks ago and posted it on Facebook:

It never fails. I always run into these selfless people as I travel, especially through Atlanta. And it usually goes something like this:

ME: Sir/Gentlemen, I simply want to thank you for the freedom you grant me. May I shake your hand and buy you lunch/dinner?

SOLDIER: [Before speaking to me, they USUALLY ALWAYS drop to one knee, my level. I never ask them to. They just do it. Talk about respect. I’m not saying I deserve it, nor request it. I’m simply saying it is truly my honor to meet them and show my gratitude; and, as if it is ingrained in their DNA, they passionately demonstrate this type of love by flipping the scenario and treat me as though it is an honor for them to serve, meet and protect me. They don’t even know who I am! Names have not yet been exchanged. But I know who they are. They are heroes! Can you imagine what kind of a country we would have if we were all like this? Had this kind of selflessness towards others? This kind of compassion and unconditional love? This desire to serve and sacrifice?]

“Sir, it is our pleasure to serve you. We are fine. You don’t need to buy us dinner.”

ME: Please, I insist. I would love to break bread with you.

SOLDIER: “Ok sir, but know that this is not necessary.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Chad Hymas, Speaker Blogs | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Masterpiece Of A Moment

Posted by capcityspeakers on November 23, 2016

by Kathy Brown

We need to live One day at a time and make it a masterpiece. If you never want to be lonely, build bridges instead of walls. Being lonely takes its toll on your overall health both mentally and physically. Relationships help us multiply our joys and cut our sorrows in half when shared.

Our moments are all we have as we are not promised a tomorrow. Live fully in each moment making something better because you were fully present “in it.” Nobody can help everybody but everybody can help somebody.

Remember that great people are ordinary people with an extraordinary amount of commitment. They persevere when times get tough. Difficulties come not to obstruct but to instruct. Learn the lesson and move on.

Friends are God’s way of taking care of us. Nurture your relationships with those people who encourage, uplift, and inspire you to reach your full potential! Your moments become memories which can last a lifetime and then live on in those left to enjoy them.

Posted in Kathy Brown, Speaker Blogs | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Will You Wear Out? Or Rust Out?

Posted by capcityspeakers on November 9, 2016

by Barbara Bartlein, RN, MSW

After foot surgery last November, I was forced to sit for months while the bones in my left foot healed.  A relatively minor procedure, I was amazed how long it took me to recover and get moving again.  It seemed that everyday I was sitting around, I had new aches, pains and stiffness.  I mentioned this to the Dr. on a recent visit and he said, “You can either wear out or rust out. People that sit all the time rust out.”

I thought about what he said and it is really true.  The longer I sat around, the less I felt like doing. Because my foot would swell up whenever I tried to be active, it was an easy excuse to sit.  But I quickly realized that everything was starting to break down. Now my back and neck hurt, my legs were stiff and I had no energy.  Realizing that I was rusting, I forced myself to get up, get to the pool and start moving.

Now I try to do at least 10,000 steps per day and weight training twice per week.  I can tell that my stamina is coming back and I have dropped the 10 pounds I gained over the winter.  Talking with other folks a lot older than me, all say that the key is to be active.  Keep moving, and fight the rust.

Barbara Bartlein, RN, MSW, is the People Pro.  A workplace cutlure expert, she offers keynotes, seminars and consultation to increase teamwork and productivity.  For more information on her programs and services, please contact Capitol City Speakers Bureau.

Posted in Barbara Bartlein, Speaker Blogs | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »