Tidbits from the American Association of Healthcare Journalists' Meeting

I’m just back from Denver after attending a fabulous conference for the Association of Health Care Journalists.
The highlight of the conference was an all-day field trip to National Jewish Health and the University of Colorado Hospital. I thought I’d share some things I learned and saw.
  • Asthma is increasingly being viewed as a syndrome, not a single disease. Genotyping patients reveals different genetic fingerprints that physicians at National Jewish are now using to personalize treatment.
  • Most effective treatment for intransient psoriasis? A bath followed by moisturizer. Then the patient is wrapped in wet towels and, on their face, gauze, to lock in moisture. After two hours, it’s time for another bath. This is repeated four times a day. National Jewish reports that 90 percent of patients emerge with clear skin after three to four days of this treatment. (Tip of the day: Never use Vaseline on the skin. It doesn't allow any oxygen to reach the skin.)
  • One in four patients sent to National Jewish for severe asthma doesn't even have asthma!
  • The University of Colorado has opened a new emergency department in January. As part of the process, it completely revamped the traditional ER.
    Gone is the sign-in-and-wait model, in which patients waited for up to four hours. Instead, patients are triaged immediately by a nurse practitioner or physician assistant (blood pressure, temperature, brief medical history, etc), upon entry with an average wait of 10 minutes or less (even before they take your insurance!). Then you’re discharged, immediately sent for a more in-depth evaluation, or admitted through the ER.
    Since moving to the new system in January, the ER has seen its patient satisfaction scores skyrocket and has not had to close to emergencies once (they spent 10,000 hours on diversion in 2013).
Freelance? Small Business? Then You Need This Course

Forgive just a bit of self promotion. After years of speaking on the business of freelancing to the American Medical Writers Association, I’ve decided to pull together what I’ve learned in 14 years of running my own business and offer a six-week webinar to share that information: The Business of Freelancing: Getting to Six Figures.
The course will cover everything from business plans, budgets, and choosing a business model, to marketing, social media, contracts, client management, and even finding work/life balance.  I’m targeting it to anyone who is freelancing (not just writers or editors) and anyone who sees freelancing in their future.
The 1.5-hour webinars are slated for May 7, May 14, May 21, May 28, June 11, and June 18 (all Wednesdays) from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Eastern.
The cost? About $40 a session—or $249 total. Each webinar will be available on demand, so you can download it, watch when it’s convenient for you, and return to it over and over as your business needs change.
Plus, there’s a money-back guarantee. If you’re not completely satisfied, I’ll refund your money within 30 days. You also get a 30 percent discount on one-to-one coaching and access to a private LinkedIn group to continue the discussion.
Interested? Click here for more information and to register.

From the Home Office

Lots of travel and talking coming up:
  • Participating on a panel about nontraditional careers for scientists at the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology’s annual meeting.
  • Teaching a three-week course on the U.S. healthcare system and healthcare reform at the College of William & Mary.
  • Speaking on writing needs assessments and on healthcare reform to the Texas Medical Association’s CME providers in Austin, Texas.
  • Speaking on healthcare reform at the American Society of Abdominal Surgeons annual meeting in Tampa, Florida.
Need a speaker? Some training? You know where to find me!
Check out my blog for an inside look at our healthcare system via my aunt’s shoulder surgery, and a slight rant about the failure of 26 states (including my own Virginia) to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
Happy spring! Lord knows we need it after such a horrendous winter (even in southeastern Virginia).


Evolving Trends Impacting the Basics of e-Learning, by Joseph Kim, MD. Click here to learn more. 

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