61 Days Challenge. No Soda Pop. No Fried Food. Have you taken the challenge? Learn more here: dmc.org/61days
Guest Post By Kate Stanton
How far do we have to look back to find a time when the idea of robots in hospitals was something out of the Jetson’s? Not very. The cornerstone of the robotics revolution is robotic surgery. You will be hard pressed to find an institution near you that is not practicing robotic surgery in some form. However, robots are designed for more than just surgical purposes. There are some that are aiding in the improvement of our overall healthcare system. The benefits of robotic technology and its use within our hospitals and clinics can be tremendous. Here are just a few of the ways that we are already benefiting from robotics.
1.New technology is putting the tools in experts’ hands to take them to the next level.
The thought behind the work of the companies developing robotic surgical systems is not to remove the physician from the equation, but rather to build on the capabilities of such experts. Robotic systems can do this by extending the physicians dexterity and enhancing precision to improve the quality of patient care. In a demonstration meant to highlight the capabilities of the da Vinci Surgical System, a physician at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, WA made a miniature paper airplane with the system which he then threw.
With the CorPath System, developed by Corindus Vascular Robotics, physicians can even perform minimally invasive coronary angioplasties with robotic precision. The system, which can move stents in the heart one millimeter at a time while enabling enhanced physician control during the procedure, has the potential to improve procedure outcomes.
Other companies have also developed robotic surgical systems designed to increase precision during procedures to improve patient care and reduce risks.
2.Robots are making doctors’ visits more enjoyable…or rather, bearable.
Believe it or not, there are people developing robots for the purpose of easing the nerves that come along with certain doctor’s appointments. The French company Aldebaran Robotics has created a humanoid robot that is has been used to distract children while receiving vaccinations to reduce their pain. In a New York Times interview, Sophie Egan, a contributor for the Well Blog, describes how children in a University of Calgary study experienced far less pain when interacting with the robot. Not only did the presence of the robot help the children, the parents experienced less stress as a result. The robot can even do Tai Chi!
3. Making access to high-quality healthcare obtainable at all corners of the globe.
While there are areas of the United States where you could throw a stone in any direction and hit a world class hospital, many
Americans do not have timely access to the emergency medical care they may need. Outside the United States, access to care is an even more pervasive issue.
Robots have begun to play an important role in ensuring that individuals can be seen, no matter where they are. Telepresence robots such as the RP-VITA, developed by In Touch Health and iRobot, have the technology and capability to one day put the world’s best doctors in front of patients thousands of miles away. Increased access to higher quality healthcare could have tremendous positive impacts on the overall health of our planet.
4.Getting patients back on their feet.
As human beings, we long for independence in many ways. However for some, even performing everyday activities can be a difficult task. In 2011, Toyota announced several robotic devices designed to aid patients in rehabilitation and improved mobilization. The Walk Assist Robot which was designed for paralysis patients (or those with difficulty walking due to other causes) utilizes the technology built in Toyota’s automobile line alongside their robotics expertise. The robot aims to provide a more natural movement for the patient while allowing them to go through their daily activities. Other robots in the Toyota Partner Robot Family are designed for transporting patients and advanced rehabilitation.
Robotic technology and robotic surgery have grown exponentially in recent years. In terms of robotic surgery, it is still the skill of doctors, nurses, and technicians that make these procedures safe and effective for patients. As adoption of robotics in our healthcare system continues to grow, we can expect an equal growth in the applications and abilities of such advancements. This is only the beginning of the revolution…
About the guest author: Kate Stanton is a Boston-based Marketing Communications Specialist for Corindus Vascular Robotics. For the latest news on the CorPath System you can follow Corindus on Twitter at @CorindusInc
Dear DRH Family and Community,
The holidays are coming: the excitement is building. Already, Halloween has passed and we’re thinking about Thanksgiving guests and menus. The December holidays–Kwanzaa, Christmas and Chanukah–are around the corner. We find ourselves working to create lasting memories for our family, friends and colleagues. Even without the holidays to give us a boost, there is a lot of stress in our lives. The holidays can accelerate the pace at which we experience it.
Stress comes from both good news and bad news, and all stress takes a toll on our bodies. Add to that the eating that often goes hand in hand with stress, and the holidays represent a serious challenge for us all.
That’s why I’m asking you to join with the DMC and hundreds of school children in the area who are taking the “61-Day Pledge.” The pledge, in a nutshell, is that we won’t drink sugary soda pop or fried foods from October 31 through December 31. Instead of sodas, we’ll drink water, tea and smoothies made from fruits and vegetables. Instead of fried foods, we’ll eat more fruits and vegetables.
The holidays are when most of us put on ten pounds–or more. We could avoid the stress of losing weight in January if we practiced a little more caution up front. Limiting our sugary drinks and fried foods alone would make a difference worth considering.
- There are 17-19 teaspoons of sugar in a 20-ounce regular soda.
- Over the course of a year, the average adult can consumer the equivalent of 30 pounds of added weight simply by drinking one regular soda pop per day.
- Artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, found in diet sodas, actually increase cravings.
- Soda pop contains phosphoric acid, which weakens bones and rots teeth.
- The dyes in soda have been linked to impaired brain function, hyperactive behavior, difficulty focusing and a lack of impulse control.
- Eating fried foods increases your risk of breast, lung, pancreatic and head and neck cancers.
- When cooking oil is heated to frying temperatures, cancer-causing chemicals are formed and released into your foods.
- Fried food clogs the arteries, leading to an increased risk of heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure.
While you’re shopping for your holiday table, consider these stress-relieving foods:
- whole-grain rice or pasta
- green vegetables
- dried apricots
If you also include fruits and vegetables, your table will not only be more colorful and appetizing, it will be full of healthy foods, making your guests healthier for having joined you.
Take the 61-Day Challenge, visit http://www.dmc.org/61Days. See what it does for your holiday season.
Iris A. Taylor, PhD, RN
President, DMC Detroit Receiving Hospital
This morning Detroit Medical Center CEO Joe Mullany was a guest on Paul W. Smith’s WJR Radio show. He spoke about the fact that Detroit Medical Center hospitals DMC Harper/Hutzel, DMC Huron Valley-Sinai, DMC Detroit Receiving and DMC Sinai-Grace were honored with an “A” grade in the Fall 2013 update to the Hospital Safety Score, which rates how well hospitals protect patients from accidents, errors, injuries and infections.
Listen to Joe’s interview by clicking below:
By Laura Ramus, PT, ATC
DMC Sports Medicine
Endurance exercise, like running a marathon is characterized by one simple requirement – the necessity to sustain repeated muscle contraction. This criterion is fulfilled through two basic functions – the ability to consume enough oxygen and adequately fueling your body.
During aerobic exercise, such as running a marathon— your body initially uses carbohydrates as fuel. The preferred carbohydrate is in the form of complex carbohydrates or complex sugars.
Before Your Run
- Eat carbs - Whether you’re engaging in aerobic or anaerobic activity, foods rich in complex carbohydrates, such as whole-grain pasta, rice, and bread, and fruits and vegetables, are the best sources of energy.
- Have a small meal an hour beforehand About 30 to 60 minutes before your workout, eat a small, easily digested meal composed of complex carbs. You will train longer and harder and you won’t experience low blood sugar jitters and dizziness.
- Drop that candy Also, avoid simple sugars, such as candy, high-fructose corn syrup and table sugar up to 60 minutes before working out because they can lead to low blood sugar levels during exercise. This negatively affects the circulating energy supply.
- Hydrate your body Most people don’t drink enough water when they exercise. Water is an essential nutrient that is critical for optimal physical performance, resistance to injury, and maintenance of normal body temperature.
- Drink large quantities of water (20 ounces) one or two hours before exercising to hyperhydrate your body and allow enough time for adequate hydration and urination.
After your Run
- Keep drinking - Drink three to six ounces of water every 15 to 30 minutes during exercise.
- Get an extra boost During prolonged periods of intense exercise (1½ hours or more at an intensity of over 50% of heart rate reserve), sports drinks can also be useful. Most sports drinks are composed of simple carbohydrates (sugars) and electrolytes. Drinks containing up to 10% carbohydrates enter the bloodstream quickly enough to deliver glucose to active muscles, which can help to improve endurance. However, drinks that exceed 10% carbohydrates, such as fruit juices and sodas, can cause cramps, nausea and diarrhea. Avoid these during exercise.
By following these simple guidelines, you’ll find that your performance, energy level and results will vastly improve.
From time to time I will share this space with some of the physicians of DMC Detroit Receiving Hospital so that you can hear about some of the fine work they do. I’ve invited Dr. Jenny Atas, a senior emergency physician at Receiving, to share her insights about the healthcare coalitions she supervises in southeast Michigan. Dr. Atas has a number of titles that involve mass disaster emergency mobilization. She is the elected head of the first responders who staff our ambulances, the medical director of the disaster preparedness group of 122 agencies united under the title “Region 2 South” and medical director of DEMCA, the Detroit East Medical Control Authority. She is executive director for medical operations at the Joe Louis Arena, Comerica Park, the Detroit Free Press annual marathon and all special events coverage for the DMC. She was recently asked to serve on two federal committees involved with public health emergency preparedness:
- Invited Subject Matter Expert, EMS Stakeholders, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Healthcare Preparedness Activity (CDC-HPA), Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (DOT-NHTSA), Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE).
- Public Health and Medical Advisory Group for Radiation Injury, for Assistant Secretary of Preparedness and Response
Emergency Healthcare Coalitions Offer Year-Round Benefits
I am the medical director of Region 2 South, the southeastern section of Michigan that represents 37 hospitals and 85 EMS agencies that respond to emergencies and other public health crises. The healthcare coalition represented by Region 2 South and others were created after 9-11 by the Office of Public Health Preparedness from Michigan Department of Community Health to create a unified, integrated response to public health threats and emergencies. While the regions perform regular drills and create processes for sharing resources during emergencies, the healthcare coalitions have proven invaluable for public health (non-terrorist related) emergencies.
Last fall, an outbreak of meningitis from tainted steroids affected hundreds of people throughout the country. However, due to the volume of patients near Ann Arbor, St. Joseph Mercy Healthcare System became the focus of support from Region 2 South’s healthcare coalition. The hospital required additional beds and nurses, which the coalition provided. Due to the seriousness of the event and the great threat to public health, the coalition was activated to support the one system that was rapidly becoming the national expert on the outbreak and its treatment.
There are significant return on investment that can be derived from healthcare coalitions that benefit the entire community. Large-scale tornadoes could trigger an equivalent response. No single healthcare system can afford to form and maintain such a response. Region 2 South is incorporated as a nonprofit organization, allowing the coalition to purchase supplies in bulk and at a government rate for all 37 hospitals.
Through continuous drills and process improvements, the coalitions have developed:
- Better coordination of care for the benefit of all;
- Support systems for information dissemination;
- Caches of equipment for emergency use;
- A portable self-sustaining 100- bed mobile emergency field hospital, complete with negative pressure isolation, lab and x-ray capabilities and self-sustaining oxygen supply; and
- An enhanced state of preparation.
Currently, the healthcare coalitions are funded through 2017 by the hospital preparedness program under the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). These valuable partnerships provide the infrastructure for helping the entire community during any kind of public emergency.
I look forward to your comments.
Jenny Atas, MD