Overcome Your Exercise Plateau

People often abandon their workouts when the results — getting stronger or slimmer — begin to dwindle. In most cases, reaching a plateau simply means you’re progressing toward fitness and ready for a new level of workout. If you’re stuck on a plateau, fitness specialists recommend enhancing your routine 4 ways using the FITT principles — Frequency, Intensity, Time and Type. This strategy can be adopted for cardio exercise and resistance training. Frequency — how often: Increase the number of your workouts or exercise days. Example: From 4 days to 6 days per week. Intensity — how hard: Increase the difficulty or level at which you exercise. Example: Increase heart rate maximum from 65% to 90% (following the proper exercise heart rate range for your age). Time — how long: Increase your minutes per workout. Get a minimum of 150 minutes per week. Type — activity: Change the type of activity (e.g., replace 2 cardio workouts with strength training or walking outdoors). …

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4 Rules for Medication Safety

Medication errors are all too common. Prescription drug use is widespread and increasingly risky for those taking multiple medicines. In addition, fake online pharmacies are illegally selling prescription drugs that often contain the wrong substances or harmful dosages. While drugs are lifesaving for hundreds of conditions, misuse of medicine in the U.S. has led to nearly 700,000 emergency visits and 100,000 hospitalizations per year. To lower your risk of getting sick from your medicine, keep a close watch on what you’re taking. 1. Know what each drug does. When your health care provider prescribes a new medicine, ask what it does and how it will help you. Learn how to use it and what to expect. Read and save the information for every prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medicine you use. Ask your provider or pharmacist about side effects. Many medicines and dietary supplements produce some degree of side effects, which your provider and pharmacist …

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How Hospitals Can Improve Relationships with Physicians

Medical practice is increasingly moving toward a physician employment model. According to a survey by the Physicians Foundation, 43.7 percent of responding physicians said they were employed by a hospital or medical group in 2012; in 2016, 57.9 percent said they were. As the health care working environment evolves, the relationships hospitals have with these employed physicians also need to shift.  “Prioritizing efforts that restore and improve the joy in practice is key for hospitals to gain a competitive advantage to successfully recruit and retain physicians,” says Shanna Kirshenblatt, an innovation consulting associate at Chicago-based Healthbox, a health care innovation platform. Here’s how hospitals can improve their relationships with physicians. Highlight Your Mission Health care is meaningful work, and that appeals to physicians, says Christian Nielson, principal consultant at DecisionWise, an employee engagement platform. A clear mission can help physicians connect the work they do with the impact they have …

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How to Boost Patient Engagement at Discharge and Help Prevent Readmissions

As the medical reimbursement model has changed, readmissions play a bigger role in a health care system’s bottom line. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, Medicare penalties assessed on hospitals for readmissions are expected to increase by about 25 percent to $528 million this year. And as health care organizations face pressure to focus on outcomes, reducing readmission rates has emerged as an important factor. “Readmissions can cost a hospital millions in any given year,” says Stephanie Sargent, vice president of product development and quality at SE Healthcare Quality Consulting, a consulting firm based in Charleston, South Carolina. “When you have a margin of 1 percent, that can make the difference between a good year and a bad year.” Here are some ways to boost patient engagement to help reduce readmissions. Build a Partnership The model for providing care has changed, Sargent says. “From the patient’s perspective, medicine has traditionally …

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How to Find Financial Savings During Hospital M&As

New research from the American Hospital Association indicates that hospital mergers result in “significant” cost savings and improvements in quality through increased efficiencies. The research found that annual operating expenses dropped 2.5 percent, a savings of $5.8 million, at acquired hospitals. These savings and efficiencies come from eliminating redundancies across the board, but in some cases redundancies are overlooked or, worse, kept on hand “just in case,” resulting in higher costs in the long run. So what should go? “The answer can range from personnel to optimization of service offerings when considering what should be cut or considered for change,” says Hogi Kurniawan, senior audit manager of Haskell & White, a CPA firm based in Orange County, California. “In terms of who should decide, this should be done at the upper-management level, an executive team made up of personnel from various departments including finance/accounting, IT, operations, HR and legal.” Here’s …

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