By Stephen Cattaneo, MD, Medical Director, Thoracic Oncology
In recent years, e-cigarettes have increased in popularity. They are often advertised as a “healthier” and cheaper alternative to cigarette smoking. While this may be true, without large scale research studies it is difficult to determine the real impact of e-cigarettes both now and in the future. Furthermore, by targeting teenagers and young adults, there is the concern that e-cigarettes will reverse the progress made in smoking prevention as well as normalize smoking behaviors. >>More
News and Updates
By Stephen Cattaneo, MD, Medical Director, Thoracic Oncology
Barry Meisenberg, MD, chair for quality improvement and healthcare systems research, recently submitted a letter to the editor to the New York Times regarding “Treatment Cost Could Influence Doctors’ Advice” article (April 18, 2014). His letter was published in the April 27, 2014 New York Times–continuing the dialogue on Choosing Wisely. Read his letter here.
Less than two years after opening, the Weight Loss & Metabolic Surgery Program at Anne Arundel Medical Center (AAMC) recently became a Level 1 Facility, nationally accredited by the American College of Surgeons for providing high quality care and excellent outcomes. The Level 1 designation also means AAMC is a high volume center performing more weight loss operations than the average bariatric surgery center in the U.S. In the first year of AAMC’s program, led by renowned bariatric surgeon Alex Gandsas, MD, nearly 300 surgeries were performed including sleeve gastrectomy, gastric bypass, and gastric lapband surgery. The program started in July 2012, and since then, more than 450 weight loss surgeries have been performed. >>More
By Henry Sobel, MD, Chair, Women’s and Children’s Services
The FDA recently issued an advisory strongly discouraging the use of uterine power morcellators. Read the MedPage article with the advisory and ACOG comment here. The FDA’s specific recommendation to physicians is highlighted. Leading hospitals around the country are taking either of two approaches: banning use of the morcellator or having its use restricted to within bags in the abdomen to protect against the risk of spread of potentially malignant tissue. This controversy was the subject of our February Women and Children’s M&M Conference.
Since that discussion efforts have been made to assure that we have the necessary high quality surgical bags, and we do. The use of the power morcellator, the incidence of leiomyosarcoma, and the impact of surgical technique on survival are each of some small increment. Balanced against that risk is the benefit of the decreased morbidity of the minimally invasive techniques allowed by the use of morcellation. More informed high level conversation is coming from national medical thought leaders, including ACOG.
With that expectation, having seen different responses at other hospitals, and having gotten differing opinions within our service, at this time I see the prudent action to be the more conservative one of requiring the use of collection bags to isolate the tissue from spread within the abdomen at time of morcellation.
Further, the FDA’s discussion points (highlighted in yellow within the attachment) should be considered as imperatives in any pre-operative discussion where morcellation may be a possibility. And that should be documented.
Due to the small number of patients impacted by this controversy, the potential for stirring up fear and worry and the fact that we are simply responding to published recommendations, I do not view this as something justifying increased local publicity. It is a subject you should be familiar with, expect questions about and be able to discuss in an informed manner. If contacted by a reporter, the best response is to refer them to the AAMC PR department for comment.
Your comments are welcome. Thank you.
Once again, we would like to introduce an opportunity to inform patients and visitors at Anne Arundel Medical Center about your practice and services. We strive to provide our patients with essential information during their admission, but also want to make them aware of community resources available to them as they prepare for discharge. AAMC is in the process of updating its patient information guide that accomplishes both.
Our guide serves as a resource by providing valuable information (patient rights, billing, HIPAA and discharge information, etc.) to the many patients cared for each year at AAMC and to the thousands of family members, visitors and guests. Every patient who is admitted receives a copy of the guide. Copies are also available in our waiting areas and lounges for family members and other visitors. Additionally, the patient guide is available to view on our website, askAAMC.org, at no additional charge. It is a complete, digital version of our printed patient guide, including your advertisement. When a viewer clicks on your web address they are immediately linked to your website.
The guide includes advertisements for services that may be of interest to our patients, offering a targeted marketing opportunity for you to communicate directly with these individuals. All ads are full color and are available in various sizes. A design team is on hand to help with the ad at no additional charge to you and all advertising will be set up on an annual basis.
Kimp Grant, representative with PatientPoint® Hospital Solutions (formerly Healthy Advice), publisher of our patient information guide, will coordinate this project. We hope that you will join other physicians in this excellent opportunity to market your practice and services.
Advertising will be limited to a first come, first served basis. For additional information, please contact Kimp Grant at 410.733.3753 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any questions regarding the distribution of this publication, please feel free to contact Kelly Swan, Communication Strategy Manager, at 443.481.4716.
The year was 1997 when Edward Zebovitz, DDS, first learned about the crucial need for medical and dental care in developing regions of the world such as the Philippines, Caribbean, East Africa, and Bangladesh.
“A colleague of my father’s was doing mission trips, and I knew I had to get involved,” says the oral and maxillofacial surgeon with a practice based in Bowie. The non-profit organization Surgeons for Smiles was born.
Seventeen years later, Dr. Zebovitz and his team of surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, and support staff have completed their 34th mission trip. This time they went to Sorsogon, a province on the island of Luzon in the Philippines where genetic facial deformities like cleft lip and cleft palate are common. The team performed 50 cleft lip and palate surgeries on children in just five days.
“The conditions are horrible,” Dr. Zebovitz says of the places he travels. “People’s basic needs, like shelter and food, aren’t always met. It is very sad to see.” They rely on donations to fund the missions. Whatever is not donated, Dr. Zebovitz personally finances.
This spring, Dr. Zebovitz, who is married to OB-GYN Coryse Brathwaite, MD, and has four children ages 18, 20, 21, and 22, will go on another trip. This time, they will go to East Africa. “I hope to one day retire to Surgeons for Smiles,” says Dr. Zebovitz. Learn more at SurgeonsforSmiles.org.
Fit testing clinics will occur Friday, April 4th through Thursday, April 17th in order to facilitate access to testing, which takes about 15 minutes to complete. Find the schedule here.
OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) requires healthcare workers to be fit tested ANNUALLY for N95 respirators used in Airborne Isolation /negative pressure rooms. Fit testing includes selection of the correct size of N95 respirator and learning how to achieve the proper seal for your protection. You are only allowed to wear the N95 respirator brand/size that you have been fit tested to wear.
Be advised that fit testing is required if you/ your staff:
- Work in the Emergency Department, or are physically seeing patients within the Emergency Department.
- Enter into patient rooms with a patient in Airborne isolation (negative pressure room). Negative pressure rooms are found throughout the hospital: patient rooms, ED, PACU, Dialysis and Endoscopy. This applies to anyone wearing a N95 respirator for patient care, regardless of location.
Fit testing applies to Medical Staff members with privileges, nurses, PCTs and other technicians, rehabilitation personnel, respiratory therapists, phlebotomists, Environmental Services personnel and many others. All Emergency department medical staff, intensivists, hospitalists, pulmonologists, infectious disease physicians, thoracic surgeons, and/or any medical staff member meeting the description above is expected to be fit tested during these clinics.
Fit testing is an annual requirement. Those already fit tested in calendar year 2014 do not have to be re- tested. Those unable to fit into a N95 respirator properly during last year’s session (e.g., extensive facial hair, lack of fit, etc.) will still need to be re-evaluated this year. Please do not chew gum, eat, drink (except water) for at least 20 minutes before testing; this may alter the results of the test.
Your participation in fit testing is required for OSHA compliance and is for the personal safety of you and your staff. Please make sure fit testing is complete by April 17, 2014.
Questions? Contact Anne Van Waes, Director, Quality and Regulatory Affairs, avanwaes@AAHS.org.