Author Archives: mtomlinson

Action Coalitions at Work: Hawaii

Oct 15, 2011, 1:00 PM, Posted by mtomlinson

The Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action has released videos highlighting the goals and the ongoing work of some of its Action Coalitions—state-based collaborations that will help advance the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine’s Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health report. Watch the video of Dale Allison, PhD, APRN, and Mark Forman, MPH, JD, discussing the work of the Hawaii Action Coalition, led by the Hawaii State Center for Nursing and the Hawaii Medical Service Association Foundation.

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF Human Capital Blog. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors.

Hospital Employment Rising, But Changing

Oct 12, 2011, 3:00 PM, Posted by mtomlinson

The Bureau of Labor Statistics national employment numbers for September show continued expansion in the health care industry, with an additional 44,000 health care jobs. That includes 26,000 in ambulatory health care services and 13,300 in hospitals.

A survey released by health care staffing company Merritt Hawkins & Associates [registration required] suggests that hospital employment may continue to rise, in part because new physicians increasingly prefer working in a hospital to solo private practice. The survey finds that 32 percent of final-year medical residents say they would like to be employed by a hospital, up 10 percent since the 2008 survey.

Part of the reason for the growing trend may be that physicians report feeling unprepared to handle the business side of medicine (48 percent). “The days of new doctors hanging out a shingle in an independent solo practice are over,” Merritt Hawkins founder James Merritt said in a news release. “Most new doctors prefer to be employed and let a hospital or medical group handle the business end of medical practice.”

Those medical students who do want to work in their own practices, once they graduate, say that partnering with another physician is their preferred approach. Fully 28 percent of the surveyed students opted for such a partnership, while only 1 percent said they would prefer to work in a solo practice.

What do you think? Is working in a hospital more desirable than private practice? Register below to leave a comment.

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF Human Capital Blog. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors.

Action Coalitions at Work

Oct 3, 2011, 3:00 PM, Posted by mtomlinson

The Institute of Medicine’s Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health report was released on October 5, 2010. The year since has seen significant progress as nurses and other health leaders around the country work to advance its vision for change. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) recently announced 21 new state-based collaborations, called Action Coalitions, that will help advance the report’s recommendations. They join 15 Action Coalitions already in place, working in concert with the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action to improve health care for all Americans by strengthening nurse leadership and the nursing workforce.

The Campaign for Action has released videos highlighting the goals and the ongoing work of some of these Action Coalitions. This blog will feature all of them in coming days. Watch the first video, which features a leader from Virginia discussing the imperative for change in her state and what the state Action Coalition is doing to implement the Future of Nursing report recommendations.

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF Human Capital Blog. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors.

The Promise and Peril of Social Media

Sep 28, 2011, 12:00 PM, Posted by mtomlinson

A study released earlier this month finds that doctors are increasingly using social media to interact with other doctors, through online physician communities. More than 65 percent of physicians use social media for professional purposes, according to the study conducted by QuantiaMD and the Care Continuum Alliance.

But doctors are still hesitant to use social media to interact with patients, the study reports. Although nearly 90 percent of the physicians surveyed use at least one site for personal use, three-quarters of the physicians who say a patient tried to “friend” them on Facebook declined or ignored the request.

Only 11 percent of physicians reported that they were familiar with one or more online patient communities. “While a group of 60 - 80 percent of physicians see the potential for a wide range of physician-patient online interactions, this level of interest is notably lower than for physician-physician interactions,” the study says.

Many professional health care organizations have taken note of these trends and issued guidelines on appropriate social media use.

The American Medical Association adopted a social media policy last year that, among other recommendations, suggests separating personal and professional content, using privacy settings, and being conscious of patient confidentiality and privacy.

The Principles for Social Networking and the Nurse: Guidance for the Registered Nurse, released by the American Nurses Association (ANA), also emphasizes patient confidentiality, and professional and ethical standards. The organization recently hosted a day-long Facebook discussion and Twitter chat on social media issues, and will host a social media webinar in October.

"The principles are informed by professional foundational documents including the Code of Ethics for Nurses and standards of practice,” ANA President Karen A. Daley, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN, said. “Nurses and nursing students have an obligation to understand the nature, benefits and potential consequences of participating in social networking.”

What do you think? What should health care professionals consider when using social media? Should they use it to interact with patients? Register below to leave a comment.

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF Human Capital Blog. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors.

Fulfilling Dr. King's Vision for Health Care

Aug 24, 2011, 2:54 PM, Posted by mtomlinson

“Two generations ago Dr. King issued a stinging indictment of the inequalities of the health of Americans,” Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) President and CEO Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D., M.B.A., said yesterday at the Martin Luther King, Jr., Health Equality Summit in Washington, D.C. “He said, ‘Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health is the most shocking and the most inhumane.’ He was spot-on then—and it’s still spot on today.”

Lavizzo-Mourey was a keynote speaker at the annual two-day summit, hosted by The Institute for the Advancement of Multicultural & Minority Medicine. The summit is part of a week-long series of events leading up to the August 28 dedication of the new memorial honoring Dr. King on the national mall in Washington, D.C.

Lavizzo-Mourey recounted her family’s relationship with the civil rights leader, and her meeting with him as a young girl—a meeting that made a lasting impression. “My thin connection to that slice of history has influenced the narrative of my entire life,” she said.

Urging the hundreds of leaders present to act on Dr. King’s call, Lavizzo-Mourey said: “America cannot reconcile the differences that divide us without also reconciling the inequality and injustice that’s embedded so deeply in the health and health care of our people.”

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Increasing Dental Student Diversity Starts With Admission Committees

Aug 22, 2011, 1:03 PM, Posted by mtomlinson

Although the number of students applying to dental schools has risen in the last decade, the number of minority students has not risen proportionately. Simply increasing the applicant pool does not guarantee that diversity in the student body will increase, because underrepresented students often struggle to compete as the number of applicants increases and other students may have higher grade point averages and Dental Admission Test scores.

In 2005, the American Dental Education Association (ADEA), with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Pipeline, Professions, and Practice: Community-Based Dental Education program, created a workshop program to help dental schools foster admissions practices that increase diversity. To date, nearly half of all U.S. dental schools have hosted the ADEA Admissions Committee Workshop.

Now, to further the reach of these promising practices, with support from RWJF, ADEA has developed a web-based resource to generate discussion among admission committee members and to encourage a more diverse student body. Transforming Admissions: A Practical Guide to Fostering Student Diversity in Dental Students includes information on the importance of diversity in higher education and dentistry, tips and discussion topics for admission committees, and data and resources including PowerPoint slides from the ADEA Admissions Committee Workshop.

“We’ve seen from researchers, educators, policy-makers, and even courts that diversity provides a better educational experience for all students and leads to improved access to care,” ADEA President Leo E. Rouse, D.D.S., said in a statement. “This new tool for ADEA members will aid in admissions and accreditation, processes that are absolutely critical to academic dental institutions.”

Read more about the ADEA Transforming Admissions guide.

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF Human Capital Blog. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors.

21 New RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows

Aug 18, 2011, 4:00 PM, Posted by mtomlinson

The executive director of a community clinic in Indiana. The chief nursing officer at a medical center in Nebraska. The first chief nurse practitioner officer in the convenient care industry. The director of clinical informatics for a national managed care consortium.

They are among the 21 new Executive Nurse Fellows announced by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) as its 2011 cohort. The highly competitive program is designed to expand nurse leadership and position nurses to lead change in the United States health care system. The new Fellows join more than 200 nurse leaders who have participated in the program since it began in 1998.

"The RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows program has a storied history and a bright future," said Susan Hassmiller, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., who is RWJF's senior adviser for nursing. "At the Foundation, we are all very proud of this program which has supported some of the best and brightest nurse leaders in our country. I congratulate all 21 new fellows, who are joining the program at a pivotal moment as we work to transform the nursing profession to better meet the needs of patients in a reformed and fast-changing health care system. I know they will be strong partners in the Campaign for Action as we implement the recommendations from the Institute of Medicine's landmark nursing report and help nurses take their role as partners in providing quality care."

Executive Nurse Fellows hold senior leadership positions in health services, scientific and academic organizations, public health and community-based organizations or systems, and national professional, governmental and policy organizations. They continue in their current positions during their three-year fellowships, and each develops, plans and implements a new initiative to improve health care delivery in her or his community.

Read more about the program and see a list of the 2011 RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows.

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF Human Capital Blog. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors.

Does the Affordable Care Act Have a "Programmatic Blind Spot" About Reducing Health Disparities?

Aug 16, 2011, 5:00 PM, Posted by mtomlinson

The high-quality health care system that health reform aims to advance cannot be achieved unless “pervasive and persistent” disparities in health care are addressed, two experts associated with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Clinical Scholars program write in a commentary published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The piece, by Matthew M. Davis, M.D., M.A.P.P., co-director of the RWJF Clinical Scholars program at the University of Michigan, and Clinical Scholar Jennifer K. Walter, M.D., Ph.D., was published online on August 9 ahead of print publication.

Confronting disparities in sex, race/ethnicity, social class, insurance status and language is necessary for the highest-quality health care, they write. “If we don’t address disparities in health and health care, we will fundamentally limit how much health care quality will improve,” Davis said in a statement.

They cite the reduction in the number of deaths of disadvantaged children from measles a decade ago as an example of a success story. A collaborative effort on the part of policy, public health and clinician communities ensured that more children in predominantly minority communities were vaccinated, thus simultaneously reducing inequalities and saving lives.

Read a United Press International (UPI) story on the commentary.

Do you think the nation is doing enough to reduce health disparities? Register and leave a comment below to share your views.

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF Human Capital Blog. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors.

Mark Your Calendars: Webinar on Increasing the Number of Baccalaureate Prepared Nurses

Aug 11, 2011, 5:40 PM, Posted by mtomlinson

The Center to Champion Nursing in America (CCNA) will host a webinar on Thursday, August 18 from 3 to 4 pm ET to discuss the recommendation to increase the proportion of nurses with a baccalaureate degree to 80 percent by the year 2020 from the Institute of Medicine report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.

The webinar will share newly developed national and regional resource guides, report preliminary results of survey research on nursing education redesign and collaboration, and launch a learning collaborative on educational transformation in nursing.

Speakers will include Susan Reinhard, R.N., Ph.D., F.A.A.N., senior vice president and director of the AARP Public Policy Institute and CCNA chief strategist, and Susan Hassmiller, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., Robert Wood Johnson Foundation senior adviser for nursing.

An archived version of the webcast will be available after the event on the CCNA website.

Learn more and RSVP for the webinar.

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF Human Capital Blog. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors.

Learn About The Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action

Jul 22, 2011, 3:30 PM, Posted by mtomlinson

The following is a message from Susan Hassmiller, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., Robert Wood Johnson Foundation senior adviser for nursing, on The Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action. The Campaign for Action was launched in November 2010 following the release of the Institute of Medicine report “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health” to implement solutions to the challenges facing the nursing profession, and to build upon nurse-based approaches to improving quality and transforming the way Americans receive health care. Learn more about the Campaign for Action.

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF Human Capital Blog. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors.