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Circling the Dome

Easing the End

Tamiko Scian’s fears evaporated the moment she entered the evening-dimmed hospital room and saw the elderly man lying still on the bed, breathing quietly. “He looked at ease,” recalls Scian. “I walked in and whispered in his ear. I identified myself and told him I would be with him for a few hours.”

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woman holding patients hand at bedside

Tuning In to Tranquility

Through a bank of evergreens, snowy mountains stand watch over a lake. Moments later, Pacific waters lap at a crystal-white beach. In the background, piano and guitar music provide a gentle soundtrack.

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If the Worst Happens…

In the midst of the panic over the spread of Ebola virus disease in West Africa last fall, hospitals and health care systems around the country—including the Johns Hopkins Health System—quickly prepared to safely care for patients with the disease.

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diagram of biocontainment unit

Shooting for the Stars

In April, the government-approved survey of patients’ hospital experience—the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey—scrapped its complicated ranking method and replaced it with an easy-to-understand five-star rating system.

The Johns Hopkins Hospital earned four stars overall, based on the data posted on the HCAHPS website. “The good news is that we are just a percentage point or two away from earning five stars,” says Lisa Allen, chief patient experience officer for Johns Hopkins Medicine. She is leading implementation of a new and improved “language of caring” approach to patient-centered communication that “aims to build trust with patients, provide a healing environment, and offer a sense of hope or comfort.”

“When people are in the hospital, they are anxious and scared, and they need to feel listened to and cared for,” says Allen, who trained as a medical anthropologist. “If they do not, they become more anxious and may become more demanding. When you help them feel connected, you can resolve problems earlier or stop them before they even start.”    

500,000 Estimated Page Views

Estimated annual page views of the Wiki Journal Club, launched in 2011 by Johns Hopkins’ Tim Plante and two colleagues to discuss and evaluate clinical trials. Using the same software that powers Wikipedia, the journal club reviews an average of four to six new trials per month and now boasts more than 200.

Each entry includes links to the actual article, PubMed entry and PDF. “We also heavily link to the primary literature of criticisms, like letters to the editor, Cochrane reviews and guidelines,” says Plante, a Johns Hopkins general internal medicine fellow. In the years that followed the site launch, the trio created apps for Apple and Android, now ranking among the top medical apps for sale.

Sanjay Desai, director of the Osler Medical Residency Training Program, isn’t surprised that the Wiki Journal Club is so popular. “This adaption of a traditional journal club is great for the current learning environment,” he says. “Trainees need immediately applicable content, which is exactly what Wiki Journal Club provides.”

Getting Serious with Semper Fi

U.S. Marine Corps members are considered among the most physically fit, mentally tough service people around. So Johns Hopkins psychiatric epidemiologist Holly Wilcox wasn’t quite sure what to expect when she was invited to take part in an interactive, discussion-based suicide prevention training program for Marine leaders in Okinawa, Japan.

suicide rates