Flu, Covid and Pumpkin Spice: Steps for Staying Healthy This Fall

Happy Autumn! This is a favorite time of the year for many. This fall, I think we are all looking forward to some change. In this newsletter, I hope to share some resources that will help you maintain good health. So grab your favorite fall beverage and read on!

Returning to Elective Appointments
During the pandemic, many of us have put off seeing the doctor for elective surgeries or care needs (i.e. anything that wasn’t urgent). How should we ease back into seeking this kind of care? This article from Kaiser Health News provides some practical guidance. And, if it feels uncomfortable to ask some of these questions of your hospital or doctor, please call us—we can get our hands on the information you need.

Double Double Toil and Trouble

Covid and Influenza are packing a double punch this fall.  With COVID-19 still all around us, we usher in the annual flu season, too. Please give serious consideration to rolling up your sleeve and getting immunized. Maybe you have never gotten a flu shot or you are certain to always get one. This year the argument for getting one is overwhelming. An informative article detailing all the benefits was recently published.

Don’t Leave Home Without It
In our last issue we wrote about the importance of having an emergency “Grab-n-Go” document that will support your health and well being if you have to go to the hospital alone. Check out this free app, Ruby, as a way you can store this information. There’s some set-up required, but it’s an easy tool to use.

Complete Healthcare Satisfaction Surveys

Lastly, have you ever received a follow up customer surveys after a hospital stay? Ever wondered what happened with the input you shared? Are you making a difference in the care you or others might receive?

It may have been awhile since you had healthcare delivered in person, but it seems satisfaction surveys are still everywhere. Often questions center around a facility’s amenities. 

  • Were you comfortable?
  • Did you find the surroundings conducive to your health and wellness?
  • Were you greeted promptly and in a friendly manner? 
  • Were all your issues resolved?

Obviously the amenities make a visit or hospitalization more pleasant, but does that detract from assessing the actual quality of care? Were you given the proper medicines at the correct time? Did the staff wash their hands before they came into the room? Were the orders for care followed precisely and the results monitored by the clinical team?

A recent Washington Post article calls attention to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The findings suggest that completed surveys might be more important than you think. Does the fact that some insurers pay more when hospitals have good customer ratings somehow factor in to what hospitals focus on? To read more, click here.

Highway to Heart
Recently, I contributed a chapter to a powerful book entitled Highway to Heart, Humor and Honesty in Healthcare. This book is a compilation tapping into over 30 individuals right on the front line of patient safety and advocacy. The book is a passion project for the anthology’s author and radio podcast host, Patricia Rullo. The book hit #1 and is a Best Seller on Amazon.com.

Likewise, you can listen to my podcast interview on Highway to Heart, Humor and Honesty in Healthcare. It is the source for my chapter in the book and serves as an excellent resource for staying safe in a healthcare setting. If you are feeling nervous or uncertain about an upcoming appointment, I highly recommend you give it a listen.

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