Innovation

Accidental Medication Exposure at Home Takes a Toll on Kids

Posted on Apr 24, 2019 in Eden Medical Center, Innovation, Scroll Images

CASTRO VALLEY, Calif. –You’ve heard the warnings: put medicines out of reach of children, read all labels, take only what is prescribed in the manner it is prescribed. Yet every year, nearly 60,000 kids under the age of 5 are accidentally exposed to medications, according to Consumer Reports.

So, what can be done?

Proper Disposal

Proper disposal of unwanted, unused or expired medicines is a great way to safeguard against unintentional exposure. But throwing unwanted medicines into the garbage, down the toilet, or other non-sanctioned means of disposal is not safe and poses both health and environmental hazards.

The safest way to dispose of medicines is to put them in special medication disposal kiosks where they are stored until they can be destroyed. Working with the Alameda County Med-Project, Eden Medical Center, part of the Sutter Health not-for-profit network of care, now offers medication disposal kiosks to the community. The kiosks are conveniently located in the hospital’s lobby, open to the public, and free of charge for anyone to drop off unwanted or expired medications.

Trauma registrar, Susan Choing, demonstrates how to use the new medication take-back kiosk at Eden Medical Center.

Says Eden’s trauma injury prevention specialist, Pam Stoker, “These kiosks are a symbol of our commitment to the safety and care of our community. By providing a location for safe disposal of medications, we are providing a means for people to proactively safeguard against accidental misuse of medications.”

Another option for safe disposal is to bring medications to the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day event on Saturday, April 27 at the Castro Valley Library from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. DEA officers will be on hand to collect unwanted or expired medicines as well as illegal drugs for safe disposal—no questions asked.

Safe Storage

Safe storage of medicine is key in protecting against unintentional exposure. According to a new research report, Medicine Safety: A Key Part of Child-Proofing Your Home, a disconnect exists between where people “store” their medications and where they “keep” their medications. Medications that are not frequently used are “stored” in a safe location like a medicine cabinet or closet, whereas daily use prescriptions or over the counter medicines are “kept” in more convenient, easy to reach locations like the nightstand or counter top. This disconnect creates a risk for unintentional poisoning. To keep others safe, maintain all medications out of sight away from locations that are easily accessible—no matter how frequently you use them.

Working Together to Prevent Unintentional Exposure

In Alameda County, several agencies have come together to outreach to the community for medication safety education and awareness. Safe Kids Alameda County is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing unintentional injury. They work to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the number one cause of death for children in the United States. Its members include Alameda County Emergency Medical Services, Alameda Health Systems, Sutter’s Eden Medical Center, UCSF-Benioff Children’s Hospital, Oakland, and many other local agencies. Work is also being done by the Alameda County Meds Coalition, which meets monthly at Supervisor Nate Miley’s office in Castro Valley. The Coalition brings together various agencies to work on topics of medication safety including legislation and ease of safe disposal of medications, safe prescribing, and education/awareness on medication safety.

To learn more about medication safety visit the SafeKids website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Real-Time Research: Using Insights to Help Healthcare Today and Tomorrow

Posted on Apr 20, 2019 in Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, California Pacific Medical Center, Innovation, Mills-Peninsula Health Services, Research, Scroll Images, Transformation

SAN FRANCISCO – New research shows that weight loss during the first 12 weeks of a year-long behavioral lifestyle program can predict which participants will achieve weight loss after completing the program. This revelation, along with several others, were shared by Sutter Health’s Center for Health Systems Research (CHSR) during the recent annual meeting of the Health Care Systems Research Network (HCSRN) in Portland.

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Robotic Germ Zapper Helps Bring Down Infectious Disease

Posted on Apr 18, 2019 in California Pacific Medical Center, Innovation, Quality, Scroll Images, Uncategorized

SAN FRANCISCO –A germ-zapping robot called LightStrike from Xenex is used at California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) hospitals to help curb the spread of infectious diseases. This mobile robotic device is used in intensive care units, medical surgery units, operating rooms and in rooms where patients suffering from Clostridioides difficile (also known as C. diff), Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and other microorganisms, were discharged. CPMC, part of Sutter Health’s integrated network of care in Northern California, now employs this mobile robotic technology at all campus locations—with a total of seven in operation.

The LightStrike robot emits 67 bright pulses of (UV) light per second that bounce into walls, floors, ceilings and hard-to-clean places where manual cleaning might miss. The UV light is absorbed by and fuses the DNA of microorganisms, causing the cell to break apart and dissolve, deactivating pathogens. A patient room can be disinfected in less than 15 minutes using this system.

The LightStrike robot is not a replacement for manual disinfecting and cleaning by staff. It is another tool used in the hospitals to enhance staffs’ efforts to combat infectious diseases and to create a safer, cleaner environment for patients and their families.

Internal data shows a decline in infectious diseases at CPMC due to an overarching effort associated with training, improved hand hygiene, and diligence in disinfecting patient rooms after discharge — which includes the use of the Xenex technology.

Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento and Sutter Roseville Medical Center –CPMC’s sister hospitals in the Valley — also use the Xenex germ-zapping robots to assist in their efforts to disinfect rooms. They have also seen similar declines in rates of infectious diseases.

 

Sutter’s Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program First in Area to Receive National Accreditation

Posted on Apr 12, 2019 in Cardiac, Innovation, Scroll Images, Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento, Sutter Medical Foundation, Uncategorized

The Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento Adult Congenital Heart Disease team includes ACHD Medical Director Pei-Hsiu Huang, M.D., right, and ACHD Clinic Coordinator Zilda Crist, left. They are shown with Chelsea Byrnes, who was born with a rare condition and was told she could never have children. She now has given birth twice at Sutter Medical Center, thanks to the advanced care of the ACHD team.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – In recognition of its expertise in serving adults with congenital heart disease (CHD), Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento earned accreditation from the Adult Congenital Heart Association (ACHA), a nationwide organization focused on connecting patients, family members and healthcare providers to form a community of support and a network of experts with knowledge of CHD.

Individuals with CHD, the most common birth defect diagnosed in one in 100 births, are living longer. There are 1.4 million adults in the U.S. living with one of many different types of congenital heart defects, ranging among simple, moderate and complex.

“We find that patients born with a heart defect who have graduated from the care of a pediatric cardiologist frequently do not continue their care with a cardiologist with specific expertise in treating adults with congenital heart disease, and sometimes do not have a cardiologist at all,” said Pei-Hsiu Huang, M.D., medical director of the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program and Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento. “As Sacramento’s first and only adult congenital heart disease program, we are excited to be recognized by the ACHA for providing ACHD patients, many of whom may not otherwise be seeing a cardiologist regularly, the best and most appropriate care.”

Pediatric Heart Surgeon Teimour Nasirov, M.D., left, is a member of the Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento ACHD team. In 2018, Dr. Nasirov repaired RJ Laffins’ atrial septal defect, which went undetected for 55 years. Laffins, right, is now winning cycling races thanks to his increased energy after the surgery.

The ACHA accreditation program aims to improve the quality of care ACHD patients receive by introducing standards for the infrastructure and the type of care ACHD programs provide. The Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program received accreditation by meeting ACHA’s criteria, which includes medical services and personnel requirements, and going through a rigorous accreditation process, both of which were developed over a number of years through a collaboration with doctors, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, and ACHD patients.

“There are now more adults than children in the U.S. with CHD,” said Mark Roeder, President and CEO of ACHA. “Accreditation will elevate the standard of care and have a positive impact on the futures of those living with this disease. Coordination of care is key, and this accreditation program will make care more streamlined for ACHD patients, improving their quality of life.”

There are now 27 ACHA ACHD Accredited programs throughout the United States. The only other programs in California outside the greater Sacramento area that have been accredited are at UCLA and Stanford.

The Sutter Heart & Vascular Institute at Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento provides comprehensive cardiovascular care throughout a patient’s life. Specialized multisciplinary teams combine the resources and clinical expertise including high-risk obstetrics services and pediatric cardiovascular program, the comprehensive adult cardiovascular program including the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program. Pediatric and adult heart disease specialists include board certified cardiologists, cardiovascular surgeons, cardiac anesthesiologists, obstetricians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners, nurses, registered dietitians, financial coordinators, pharmacists and genetic counselors.

About the Adult Congenital Heart Association

The Adult Congenital Heart Association (ACHA) is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life and extending the lives of adults with congenital heart disease (CHD). ACHA serves and supports the more than one million adults with CHD, their families and the medical community—working with them to address the unmet needs of the long-term survivors of congenital heart defects through education, outreach, advocacy, and promotion of ACHD research. For more information about ACHA, contact 888-921-ACHA or visit www.ACHAHeart.org.

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The ACHA ACHD Accreditation Program was partially funded by Actelion Pharmaceuticals U.S., Inc. ACHA and Actelion Pharmaceuticals have partnered together since 2007 to support the CHD community.

For more information about ACHA, or to schedule an interview with Mark Roeder, please contact Terri Schaefer at 215-849-1260 or tschaefer@achaheart.org.

Why and How Do We Age? New Study Launches at Sutter Health’s San Francisco Coordinating Center on Healthy Aging

Posted on Apr 9, 2019 in Affiliates, Innovation, Research, Scroll Images

SAN FRANCISCO – Until now, research on aging and how to preserve independence as we age has come almost entirely from mice, worms, and flies, or human studies of blood specimens. Researchers at Sutter Health’s San Francisco Coordinating Center (SFCC) are launching a breakthrough study—the Study of Muscle Mobility and Aging (SOMMA)—to understand the biology of human aging and how it influences people’s ability to remain independent. SOMMA is the first study of its kind in the U.S.

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Your Gifts Help Us Bring the Emergency Department to the Patient

Posted on Mar 20, 2019 in Expanding Access, Innovation, Mills-Peninsula Health Services, Quality, Research, Scroll Images

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S. and the leading cause of adult disability, affecting 800,000 people a year. Time is critical for people who experience a stroke—every minute saves 2 million brain cells.

 

Every minute counts when treating a patient who has had a stroke. Donor support for the Mobile Stroke Unit gives us the tools to help ensure that patients in our community not only survive, but also avoid the debilitating effects of a stroke. Through a research trial this project will also help to inform best practices in stroke treatment nationwide —impacting the care of thousands.

The Mills-Peninsula Hospital Foundation has launched a $2.4 million fundraising campaign to underwrite the cost of operating the Unit for the first 2 years, while a randomized controlled trial is conducted to gauge the effectiveness of the program compared to conventional care.

Invest in the Mobile Stroke Unit.

Preliminary studies have indicated that a Mobile Stroke Unit can reduce the time from ambulance dispatch to treatment to as little as 11 minutes. Sutter Health affiliated Mills-Peninsula Medical Center is the only hospital in Northern California and one of only two hospitals in the state to have a Mobile Stroke Unit.