If concertgoers attending this weekend's 25th-anniversary Woodstock '94 festival in Saugerties, N.Y., become overheated, rowdy, stoned or psychotic, Benedictine Hospital will have remedies at hand.
The Kingston, N.Y.-based hospital began crafting a medical services plan for the festival last September. In June it signed a contract with promoters of Woodstock '94, whose headline acts include Aerosmith, Bob Dylan and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The contract provides an undisclosed sum to cover administrative costs. Many supplies and labor have been donated.
With 17 medical tents, 179 on-site beds, 5,000 physicians and nurses, 1,200 volunteers, 15 ambulances, three helicopters, 250 pairs of crutches and 92,500 Band-Aids, 222-bed Benedictine is prepared for any mishap or medical emergency. Members of the medical planning team expect to treat heat stroke, broken bones and lacerations. They're also ready to deliver babies, treat drug overdoses and provide mental health crisis intervention.
Having studied medical services at Pope John Paul II's August 1993 Denver visit and the 1986 centennial celebration of the Statue of Liberty, Benedictine is staffed and equipped to treat 35,000 concertgoers. Woodstock '94 is expected to draw 250,000 aging hippies and young hipsters.
Easy dialing.Within the next two months, residents of Covington, La., won't have to look up the telephone number of St. Tammany Parish Hospital. They can just dial 611.
Pretty easy, huh? That's the idea behind the much-ballyhooed "N11" numbers that are now available to businesses and other organizations in many parts of the country.
"The potential of this service for hospitals is almost unlimited," said Greg Frost, a partner with the Baton Rouge law firm of Roedel Parsons Hill & Koch. Mr. Frost said he believes St. Tammany may be the first hospital in the country to be awarded an "N11" number.
The hospital's assistant administrator, Barry Mousa, was reading the newspaper recently when he noticed that the Louisiana Public Service Commission was taking applications for the three-digit numbers.
He sent in an application for St. Tammany, and in mid-July received approval for the number 611.
However, many other details remain sketchy. "Even South Central Bell didn't know what kind of equipment we would be needing," Mr. Mousa said. That cost could range from $18,000 to $30,000, he estimates. In addition, the charge for the service also hasn't been determined.
St. Tammany now has several phone numbers, which it likely will combine into the 611 number.
Home help.With the murder trial of O.J. Simpson shedding new light on the issue of domestic violence, the Home and Health Care is touting home healthcare as a viable intervention tool for domestic abuse.
Consider the following facts: In Massachusetts, ambulance services run $350 per visit; emergency room treatments for abuse cases average from $1,000 to $3,000; and a hospital room costs approximately $800 per day.
However, much of those costs could be reduced or avoided through the use of home healthcare, the association said.
The association doesn't really have much information to back up that point because no studies have been done, a spokeswoman said. However, the association believes home healthcare can be utilized to stop domestic violence before it starts. "In many instances, the presence of home health staff helps to curtail abuse if possibilities for it exist, and can serve as a means for identifying abusive situations," a news release stated. And several individual home health agencies in Massachusetts are beginning to offer such programs, the association said.
Taking names.The Minneapolis-based health system now known as Allina keeps changing its name, but its former monikers apparently are worth repeating.
The former HealthSpan Health Systems Corp. was even more formerly a consolidation of Health One Corp. and LifeSpan. The Health One name was plucked from the inactive list last January by a newly formed system based in Denver. And last week a new system in Providence, R.I., decided it really liked the name LifeSpan to describe the cradle-to-grave orientation envisioned for its budding network.
In both cases, the seller reaps a "substantial" sum for the rights to the name, said Linda Daley of HealthSpan-cum-Allina's legal department. So does that mean a third name is available on the street now that HealthSpan and Medica, a Minneapolis HMO, officially merged last month into Allina Health System?
No such luck. The organization still plans to use the HealthSpan name to identify various healthcare services, Ms. Daley said. And anyway, it never owned the name outright-it paid a licensing fee to someone else to use it.
Wasted.A recent effort to publicize environmentally friendly medical waste containers seemed to generate quite a bit of waste on its own.
Sage Products, of Crystal Lake, Ill., recently introduced a line of sharps containers made from 25% recycled infectious medical waste. Outliers' request for information yielded the following: one large envelope, one folder, one photograph, one color slide, one six-minute videotape, one eight-page color brochure, 19 pages of paper, and samples of plastic waste in various stages of processing. The latter came neatly packaged in plastic. There also were six faxed pages and one initial contact letter. Only the brochure was marked "printed on recycled paper." The material was sent from Ketchum Public Relations' Chicago office.
Fortunately, air quality got a break. Initially, Sage Products invited reporters to a news conference at its suburban Chicago headquarters, but ended up holding the conference by phone.
Quotable."Go tell Harry and Louise to go to hell."-Rep. Major R. Owens (D-N.Y.), ranking member of the House Education and Labor Committee, urging New York healthcare workers at a recent rally to reject the insurance industry's attempt to control healthcare reform.
Mr. Owens was referring to the Health Insurance Association of America's series of television ads attacking health alliances, premium caps and community rating through the fictional characters Harry and Louise.