Dave Solomon’s State House Dome: Anonymity for injured health workers sought

Dave Solomon’s State House Dome: Anonymity for injured health workers sought

SEVERAL HEALTH care workers at state-run facilities like New Hampshire Hospital and the Sununu Center have been injured by patients this year, and Executive Councilor Joe Kenney doesn’t like the fact that their names and injuries are made public.
Kenney raised the issue with Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeffrey Meyers on Wednesday, as the council considered another request for continued pay and benefits to a health care worker injured at a state-run institution, the Sununu Youth Services Center.
Chris Sununu would have to sign the change into law. “I’m not so sure that if I’m injured at a state facility, I want everyone to know, so please work with the Legislature,” he said.
The Department of Transportation is holding hearings throughout the state on the 10-year transportation plan, setting out priorities from 2019-2028, and Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess wants to know why the second largest city in the state is not included in a schedule of 19 hearings from Sept. 11 to Oct. 26.
The hearings are traditionally hosted by the executive councilor for the district in which the meeting is held, and in the case of Nashua, that would be Republican David Wheeler of Milford. Donchess, a Democrat, recently wrote to Wheeler, asking him to schedule a session in Nashua.
Wheeler says a Sept. 11 hearing in Merrimack could have accommodated Nashua officials.
Donchess says he was expecting a hearing in Nashua, as has traditionally been the case.
Democratic Councilor Andru Volinsky raised the matter at Wednesday’s council breakfast, and said he would host a Nashua hearing with DOT officials if Wheeler does not.

Helping health care workers care for themselves

Helping health care workers care for themselves

Stephen Symon, a manager at WorkSafeBC specializing in health care and social services, said that while there are occupations that are more hazardous, like manual tree fallers, health care assistants frequently have musculoskeletal injuries while moving and lifting clients.
“I think for most of them, it starts with team and community in their workplace,” said Symon, which includes positive relationships between HCAs and management, families, and residents.
WorkSafeBC believes that if health care workers are healthy themselves, they can provide better, safer care to residents.
“The tendency of health care workers is to make their own health their last priority.
To give everything until there’s nothing left to give, and to think that’s somehow honourable.
I think health authorities have to start encouraging people to value themselves.” Causton said that there were around 150 attendees in Victoria and 250 in Vancouver, with long waiting lists, so “the people who do this work are hungry for education and eager to do the learning.” Causton wanted to emphasize the importance of setting boundaries as a frontline worker.
Often times, she said, front-line workers become a surrogate family member, because they see the same patient and their family for years.
They also blur the line between life and work, checking in on residents on their days off instead of replenishing and renewing in their own life.
Anna Morris, who currently works at Oak Bay Lodge, has been a health care assistant for 19 years.
Morris herself has also been kicked in the back and had her wrist injured by a resident while on the job.

Unlikely Partners in Pain App Study

Unlikely Partners in Pain App Study

Purdue Pharma and a Pennsylvania-based healthcare provider have announced the enrollment of their first patient in a joint study of wearable health technology. As many as 240 people will eventually be enrolled in the two-year study, which is designed to see if “wearables” can help manage chronic pain.
Geisinger patients enrolled in the study will get an Apple Watch and iPhone equipped with pain apps that will measure their physical activity, self-reported pain, disability, sleep quality, depression, medication use and heart rate.
Patients who report pain will be prompted to try non-pharmaceutical alternative therapies, such as stretching, mindfulness and thermotherapy.
“The goal of this technology is to improve patient function and quality of life while reducing the need for analgesic medications.
The proposed multi-level integrated platform will facilitate and accelerate the speed of communication between the patient and healthcare providers, thereby allowing quicker patient access to appropriate care,” said John Han, MD, director of Pain Medicine at Geisinger.
The study comes as Purdue fights a seemingly endless series of court battles with state and local governments over its marketing of OxyContin over a decade ago. Critics contend the overprescribing and abuse of OxyContin helped launch the overdose crisis.
A recent study by Geisinger found that opioids are ineffective in treating chronic pain and increase the risk of overdose and death.

PNN Survey Shows Strong Support for CVS Boycott

PNN Survey Shows Strong Support for CVS Boycott

There is widespread support for a boycott against CVS because of its plan to impose strict limits on the supply and dosage of opioid pain medication, according to a PNN survey of over 2,500 pain patients, caretakers and healthcare providers.
CVS will also limit the dose of opioid prescriptions – for both acute and chronic pain — to no more than 90mg morphine equivalent units (MME).
“It is no one’s business how I prescribe but mine and the patient,” one doctor wrote.
I would also encourage others to boycott,” a healthcare provider wrote.
I will never fill another prescription at CVS pharmacy,” one patient wrote.
Many chronic pain patients are worried the 7-day limit on opioids applies to them (it does not) and others believe a pharmacist doesn’t have the legal right to refuse to fill a doctor’s prescription (they do).
“Corporate self-interest is impetus for this policy.

NY Workplace Safety And Health Advocates Demand Workers’ Comp Board Withdraw Proposed Cuts To Protections And Benefits

Albany, NY (WorkersCompensation.com) – Health and safety advocates and medical professionals from across New York State gathered for a press conference in Albany today before submitting testimony to the Assembly Committee on Labor to demand the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board withdraw its proposed guidelines.
If the company doctor then decides that that worker did not “fully cooperate” with the exam, the doctor can recommend a suspension of benefits and care.
Additional occupational safety and health professionals, advocates, and doctors who were unable to attend submitted the following comments to the Assembly’s Labor Committee, whose hearing immediately followed the press conference.
Germain Harnden, Executive Director of the Western New York Council on Occupational Safety and Health: “Workers are increasingly under attack with proposals to cut safety and health regulations that have provided protections from unsafe working conditions, and now threatening a guarantee that provides injured workers compensation when they are injured on the job. The proposed changes by the NYS Workers Comp Board will have a huge impact on whether or not injured workers will continue to receive the proper medical care without having to see a company assigned doctor, and whether workers will receive injury payments for legitimate impairments that have been compensated for under the workers’ comp system for years.
This is because the methods by which percentage loss of function will be calculated under the proposed guidelines are far different from the methods in today’s Standard. But our concern is that in many cases, the clinical methods required under the Proposed WCB guidelines rely on less complete clinical information than under the 2012 standard and are not supported by the medical literature.