What do you look for in a partner?

By OBHG Marketing on July 10th, 2017

Sorry, if you’re here for relationship advice, you’re in the wrong place. We’re talking business relationships here. But there are several things that all relationships – business or personal – must have to be successful.

Recently, Becker’s Healthcare and Bank of America Merrill Lynch spoke with three hospital and health system chief financial officers (CFOs) and a healthcare strategy expert about clinical and nonclinical partnerships. From this, they developed the Partnership Playbook for Hospital CFOs: A Guide to Collaborative Relationships that Enhance Operational and Clinical Effectiveness. Inevitably, organizations will face the fact that they are not equipped to provide all ancillary services in-house and will look to form partnerships with external experts. According to the participants in this study, healthcare organizations form partnerships, versus mergers, for many reasons including: to achieve economies of scale; to expand service lines; to diversify revenues; and to expand market presence.

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Mindful of Her Blessings

By Kristine Hartvigsen on July 7th, 2017

Being an Ob Hospitalist Group (OBHG) clinician at Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital allowed Dr. Nahille Natour to follow dual passions — practicing OB medicine and coaching physicians struggling with burnout. 

“One of the great things about being a physician with OBHG is taking care of patients. Period,” she said. “Every day in private practice there was some financial issue that needed to be dealt with. I don’t have to do any of that. So I get to do what I do without those types of distractions.”

With the extra personal time afforded by her position with OBHG, Dr. Natour studied to become a Certified Physician Development Coach and develop a part-time business — Inspiring Balance — through which she speaks about burnout at conferences and counsels others who may have found themselves in a burnout-induced career rut.

Even with her side business, Dr. Natour still finds ample time to make bead jewelry (a hobby) and explore outdoor greenspaces.

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Newborn Group B Strep Infection is Highly Preventable

By Kristine Hartvigsen on July 6th, 2017

Group B Streptococcus infection does not discriminate. It can devastate the lives of celebrities, high-level government officials, and ordinary citizens of any educational or socioeconomic status.

About 22 years ago, it brought tragedy to ex-FBI Director James Comey and his wife, Patrice Failor. Their precious newborn, Collin, died just 9 days after being born with Group B Streptococcus (GBS) infection.

Patrice Failor later publicly campaigned for more widespread testing of pregnant women for GBS so those infected might be treated so they do not pass along the infection to their newborns during delivery.

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Why Discouraging Maternal Obesity is Not Fat-Shaming

By Kristine Hartvigsen on June 30th, 2017

Patient education has come pretty far in recent years. Most U.S. women today understand that being pregnant does not mean “eating for two.” In fact, invoking one’s maternal license to belly up to the smorgasbord can be detrimental to the health of both mother and baby.

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), obesity is the most common healthcare problem among women in their reproductive years. An estimated 60% are overweight, and 35% are obese (generally defined at having a Body Mass Index [BMI] of 30 or greater).

ACOG recommends that women try to address obesity before they get pregnant, because even a modest weight loss of 10-20 pounds can have a profound impact on their later risk for pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, fetal macrosomia, venous thromboembolism (VTE), miscarriage, premature birth, birth defects, cognitive deficits, and stillbirth. Their babies similarly carry a higher risk for such things as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), adult obesity, diabetes, adult heart disease, and neurodevelopmental delays.

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‘Ilioinguinal’ Doesn’t Mean You Speak Multiple Languages

By Kristine Hartvigsen on June 27th, 2017

It is difficult to pronounce, but its proper function can mean the difference between an easy or a troublesome recovery from cesarean section. The ilioinguinal nerve is one of three inside the belly wall that can be irritated, compressed, or damaged during a C-section. The others are the iliohypogastric nerve and the genitofemoral nerve.

What does this alphabet soup mean for women recovering from C-sections? Nothing. Or everything. It just depends.

Nerve injuries after C-sections are very rare. An estimated 1-3% of women experience persistent nerve pain after having a C-section.

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What is Shoulder Dystocia?

By Kristine Hartvigsen on June 23rd, 2017

Anything out of the ordinary that occurs during childbirth can be frightening. One uncommon occurrence is shoulder dystocia, which occurs when a baby’s head emerges from the birth canal but the baby’s trunk ceases to progress because the baby’s shoulder is lodged behind the pubic symphysis, or the joint between the left and right pubic bones through which the baby must pass to enter the birth canal.

Shoulder dystocia is a time-sensitive medical emergency, because if the situation is not resolved within 4-6 minutes, the baby can sustain neurologic injury, partial paralysis, or even death from lack of oxygen (hypoxia). The incidence of shoulder dystocia is relatively rare — between 0.2% and 3% of births.

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A Simple Sugar May Help Shorten Duration of Induced Labor

By Kristine Hartvigsen on June 21st, 2017

Delivering a baby is perhaps the most amazing physical feat a woman ever will achieve in her lifetime. Not unlike many sports, labor is intense and will test a woman’s pain threshold and endurance.

For decades, elite athletes have hydrated themselves with various performance drinks, such as Gatorade™, which contain salt, sugar, and water. The efficacy of sports drinks may have inspired Canadian researchers to apply the concept to childbirth.

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Involved Fathers May Help Reduce Infant Mortality

By Kristine Hartvigsen on June 18th, 2017

There’s a hilarious “I Love Lucy” episode when Lucy is going into labor, and it’s time to go to the hospital. Despite intricate planning and rehearsal, when the moment arrives, what ensues is lots of panic and fumbling with Ricky, Ethel, and Fred all forgetting their roles and actually leaving Lucy behind in their rush to get out of the apartment.

Every pregnant woman needs support, and the importance of a father’s role during pregnancy and labor too often can be overlooked. Having the father around to provide support during pregnancy and labor is not just “something nice” to have. There is sound evidence that a father’s early and ongoing involvement positively impacts the health of both mother and baby and even reduces infant mortality.

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In Pregnancy, Sniffling May Not Be Just Emotional

By Kristine Hartvigsen on June 16th, 2017

Pregnant women have been known to tear up and reach for the tissue box when watching a moving Hallmark commercial or even reading a gloomy novel. This often is attributed to mood swings brought on by fluctuating hormones.

There are similar symptoms —also likely influenced by pregnancy hormones — that have nothing to do with internet videos of rescued puppies and everything to do with, well, basic nasal inflammation.

Rhinitis of pregnancy is fairly common, affecting more than 30% of pregnant women. It usually begins during the first trimester of pregnancy but can occur at any point in pregnancy. Symptoms include sneezing, coughing, congestion, runny nose, and postnasal drip, which also can cause sore throat. Rhinitis of pregnancy typically dissipates within two weeks of giving birth.

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The Right Tool Makes All the Difference

By OBHG Marketing on June 14th, 2017

Hospitals, just like other businesses, must operate efficiently and generate revenue to remain solvent and competitive. While their primary concern is providing quality care to their patients, it’s also unavoidable that administrators must monitor the bottom line. One would not be possible without the other.

As many hospitals create 24/7 Obstetric Emergency Departments (OBEDs) licensed under their existing Emergency Departments (EDs), a changing dynamic has emerged that directly impacts their revenue. The severity of a patient’s condition in the ED is calculated using what is called an “acuity scoring tool.” Accordingly, new OBEDS are using the ED’s tool to calculate acuity among obstetric patients, but the two are completely different.

An ED’s scoring tool is calibrated on the high end of the trauma scale. Obstetric patients rarely rise to the acuity level of, say, a gunshot wound. So using the same measurement tool for both the ED and the OBED is neither accurate nor recommended. Recent findings by Ob Hospitalist Group actually quantify the difference in terms of facility fee revenue.

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