We know that reality TV is all the rage these days, but how about some hospital reality?
If you want to take a look inside Johns Hopkins Hospital, one of the best and busiest hospitals in the U.S., then check out a new documentary series that began Aug. 30.
That's when ABC News aired the first episode in a six-part presentation dubbed "Hopkins 24/7." The 840-bed hospital in Baltimore opened its doors to journalists who taped events at the hospital 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for the three months ended in April.
ABC chose Johns Hopkins in part because the hospital is consistently ranked as one of the best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report magazine.
The debut one-hour episode focused on Edward Cornwell, M.D., the hospital's chief of trauma surgery, as he tries to save gunshot victims from Baltimore's gang wars. It also takes viewers inside a "morbidity and mortality" conference, where doctors critique each other's performance and discuss mistakes.
The final four installments will run Sept. 6, 13, 20 and 27.
Hospital bearings. Imagine this: A hurricane is barreling across the Atlantic Ocean and forecasters expect it to hit somewhere along the east coast of Florida, perhaps in Daytona Beach.
The area must be evacuated and residents want to know the names of alternate hospitals in a 30-mile area should they need one of them.
A) Search frantically in phone books for the names, addresses and phone numbers of facilities?
B) Go to the Web (before the storm knocks out power, of course) and search www.floridahealthstat.com, which has a facility mapping tool offered by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration?
C) Roam aimlessly around the streets hoping somehow to find a hospital?
The answer is "B."
The mapping tool--located on the site under FacilityStat--allows users to locate all hospitals and nursing homes within a 250-mile radius. All you need is an address. The state agency eventually hopes to add surgical centers and doctors to the site.
The agency even got a thank-you note from one satisfied consumer, says Beth Dye, an agency administrator.
A Tampa couple that was having a baby used the site's mapping tool to give their family in Jacksonville detailed directions to the hospital where they were delivering.
"They were just thrilled," Dye says.
Hospital barings. Touchette General Hospital in Centreville, Ill., is in the throes of a tough decision. Or perhaps we should say it's a question of cleanliness.
Executives at the 104-bed hospital are mulling whether they should accept money collected at a "topless charity car wash." The fund-raiser, which is sponsored annually by a local entertainment company and benefits a different group or organization each year, features dancers from a local nightclub doing the window washing--sans tops.
Touchette found out it was this year's selected charity just one week before the car wash; it did not try to stop the event. Not surprisingly there's been a little controversy, and so the hospital has yet to collect its cash.
"We are open to talking about accepting their money," Larry McCulley, corporate director of information at Touchette, said when Outliers contacted him.
The hospital's board plans to meet soon with the fund-raisers about whether to cash their check. McCulley wasn't sure how much money was raised but heard a figure in the $5,000 to $10,00 range.
And what might the hospital do if it decides to take the topless proceeds, we asked? "We're looking at designing a new labor and delivery room," McCulley said.
We think we heard him smiling.
Back-stabbing 101. What do Linda Tripp and Tonya Harding have to do with women's health? Not much, except that their scandalous behavior provides a marketing tool for Moses Cone Health System's Women's Hospital of Greensboro (N.C.). The health system topped its announcement of an upcoming seminar on "becoming sabotage-savvy in the new millennium" with references to the two women, infamous for their back-stabbing.
According to Judith Briles, who is an author and international speaker, the catty behavior that brought Tripp and Harding into the limelight is common among women in the workplace--particularly when two women are competing against each other.
Briles will lead a seminar on the subject at the hospital later this month. She says that men are more inclined to be "front-stabbers"--open and confrontational about their sabotage--while women are more likely to leave their victims unaware of who betrayed them or why. Briles says that women are more likely to personalize betrayal, while men will often blow it off.
The health system is paying Briles $12,000, bringing her from Colorado to Greensboro, even though the seminar isn't really health-related.
"We want the women in our community to view us in a positive light," explains spokesman Doug Allred, "so when they do need our services, they think of us."
Oops. In an Aug. 7 item, we incorrectly posted the date of a Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations publication advising hospitals not to publish birth announcements in local newspapers to reduce the threat of infant kidnapping. The correct date for that Joint Commission "Sentinel Event Alert" was April 1999.