November 15, 2019

Nike's hot new product?

Shoes for nurses. Nike has finally heard our plea and created a new sneaker designed specifically for the footware needs of nurses; they call it the Nike Air Zoom Pulse. The shoes are laceless slip-ons, featuring a protective PU-coated top for protecting against spills, additional cushioning along the sole, and a novel "water-dispersive" traction pattern on the bottom. The best part? All profits from the shoes will go to the OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland, Oregon. The shoe will be available in eight colors, six of which were chosen by patients at Doernbecher. The shoe will go on sale on December 7, 2019. Guess which "nurse" product you're being gifted this year.

After two decades of research... an Ebola vaccine? —

Merck is hopeful. On Monday, Merck's vaccine, known as Ervebo, was granted marketing authorization, although it was already actively being used in the Democratic Republic of Congo under a research protocol. It has yet to be approved by the FDA and a number of African countries, though early studies have shown the vaccine has a 97.5% effectiveness rate against the Ebola virus and could drastically reduce the spread of the virus in years to come.

Getting up close and personal with —

Pigs. Each day, 20 people die waiting for organ transplants. Successful transplantation of pig skin to humans may be the first step in changing that. Pig skin, referred to as "Xeno-Skin," will be transplanted by surgeons at Mass General Hospital to a small group of burn victims in an attempt to speed up the healing process. It’s the first experiment approved by the FDA using living animal tissue in humans, a necessary step toward someday transferring entire organs grown in animals to people. And yes, the grafts are meant to be temporary and will be removed once patients’ own skin has grown back.

Who's supporting new mothers? —

Surprise: nurses. Since the Family Connect program launched in Durham in 2008, RNs have made nearly 20,000 visits to all area families with newborns. They check in at family homes three weeks after the mother and baby are released from the hospital to answer any questions new parents may have as well as provide any necessary referrals. The program acts as a "catch-all safety net" for acute and chronic issues or misunderstandings that may worsen over time, ultimately saving lives (and stressful hospital stays later on).

What's keeping EHRs from innovating? —

Customization. Right now, if a patient shows up at a hospital that is running Cerner, Epic, or Allscripts, their records will be proprietary to this hospital's system of choice. Accordingly, if this same patient is traveling and finds themselves at another hospital that uses a differet system, their health records may not be decipherable or even accessible. More recently, with the Affordable Care Act, common communication languages, such as FHIR, were enacted between these vendors. But why did it take an act of Congress to make this happen? While customization can benefit the operational efficiency of each system, there must be a common language between different ones to ensure that patients can receive the most appropriate care, customized to them (ironically), wherever they find themselves.

What did nurses do for World Kindness Day on Wednesday? —

Line the hospital corridor to congratulate a Marine. World Kindness 2019 was this past Wednesday, November 13th. Among the highlights: nurses and doctors line a hospital hallway to congratulate a Marine who missed his graduation from basic training due to an emergency surgery; a college class pooled together to purchase EnChroma glasses for their color-blind classmate; McDonald's patron gifts car to employee; high school football team shows up to 9-year-old's birthday party; and, local entrepreneurs pay the remaining tuition of 30 graduating college seniors to ensure they could walk with their class.

In fact, it turns out that kindness is contagious —

And can help you live longer. There is a new research facility at ULCA dedicated to the scientific research of kindness and its effects on one's health and those around them. Kindness has already been proven to help lower blood pressure, decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression, and alleviate stress. This team now seeks to produce hard science that explains the mechanisms of kindness and, hopefully, how we can make it easier to spread around the world.

Clockin' Out ✌️

"Don’t call a doctor to a room using the overhead intercom if you just need a signature on something. The entire unit will show up out of breath, look at you and the perfectly pink, smiling patient on the bed, and shake their heads in disbelief. (They never let me live that one down.)" - Casey Smith, Pediatric ER