Date: September 1, 2013
Curbing Postoperative Nausea
Nausea is a particularly unpleasant—and common—development following surgery, affecting a third of surgical patients in the United States every year. Eager to reduce this side effect, a work group at Suburban Hospital representing nursing, pharmacy and anesthesiology is meeting regularly to determine if adhering to guidelines from the American Society of PeriAnesthesia Nurses diminishes postoperative nausea and vomiting in the hospital’s PACU (post-anesthesia care unit). The society recommends screening patients before surgery; women, nonsmokers and patients receiving opiates, for instance, are especially vulnerable to developing nausea. After assessing a patient’s risk factors, the anesthesia care provider administers appropriate treatment that may incorporate anti-nausea drugs and/or regional blocks. Since the study launched last March, the incidence of postoperative nausea and vomiting has dropped from 26 percent to 11 percent, according to Karin Nevius, Suburban’s PACU clinical nurse educator.
Health Care Equality Leader
The Johns Hopkins Hospital has been named a 2013 LGBT Health Equality Leader by the Human Rights Campaign. The hospital met all of the organization’s core criteria for patient-centered care of members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered community. These criteria include nondiscrimination policies, equal visitation rights for LGBT patients and their visitors, nondiscrimination in employment, and training of the staff in LGBT patient-centered care. Since 2011, an LGBT affinity group at the hospital has been meeting regularly. For more information, go to hopkinsmedicine.org and navigate to Human Resources> Workforce Diversity> Diversity and Inclusion> Affinity Groups.
Latino Health Boost
Building on a decade of providing health services to the Latino community, Johns Hopkins Medicine has created a Center of Excellence for Latino Health. Based at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, the center emphasizes a family-focused, multidisciplinary approach to care that brings together experts from medicine, pediatrics, gynecology and obstetrics, and psychiatry. Tina Cheng, director of the center, is working with pediatrician Sarah Polk and infectious disease specialists Kathleen Page and Adriana Andrade to develop programs that address Hispanics’ needs across the spectrum of health care. The center will also enhance cultural awareness education and conduct professional training to reduce health care disparities common in this population.