Hospitals

Morning Read: Why are hospitals so noisy?

Highlights of the important and the interesting from the world of healthcare: Why are hospitals so noisy? There are no doubt countless reasons, but various studies indicate hospital noise is a problem for both patients and workers–raising stress that impedes healing and making for an unhealthy work environment. “Noise levels in hospitals are twice what […]

Highlights of the important and the interesting from the world of healthcare:

Why are hospitals so noisy? There are no doubt countless reasons, but various studies indicate hospital noise is a problem for both patients and workers–raising stress that impedes healing and making for an unhealthy work environment. “Noise levels in hospitals are twice what they were a few decades ago,” one consultant told the Boston Globe. “They’re approaching the level of harm, and they’re definitely at the level of stress.” To combat the problem hospitals are exploring new building materials, experimenting with “quiet times,” using soft rubber wheels on carts and simply asking staff to cut the volume.

Cash for weight loss: When everything else fails, throw cash at the problem. While that may or may not be among America’s founding philosophies, it’s an option being explored by a number of employers weary of soaring health costs. At least a third of U.S. companies offer financial incentives, or are planning to introduce them, to get their employees to lose weight or get healthier in other ways. Alas, the programs are “probably a waste of time,” says one Yale  policy expert.

Indian biotech booming: Fiscal 2010 revenues for India’s biotech industry jumped 52 percent to $4 billion. “We offer huge cost advantages with high value of services,” one Indian biotech backer says.

Dirty hospital secrets: MSN posts a list of “10 things your hospital won’t tell you.” Making the cut are many of the usual suspects like medical errors, hospital-acquired infections and billing problems. Another bit of advice: “Try to book surgeries first thing in the morning and preferably early in the week, when doctors are at their best and before schedules get backed up.”

Falling dollar bad for Pharma: As the euro weakens against the dollar, Big Pharma firms that do lots of sales in Europe will take a hit when some overseas sales are converted back into dollars. Pfizer’s CFO blames the strengthening dollar in part for the company’s 16 percent tumble in stock price this year.

Still waiting on medical-loss ratio: A group of state insurance regulators that’s helping the federal government define medical-loss ratio was unable to meet its June 1 deadline to deliver its recommendations.  Insurers will fight hard to throw everything they possibly can into the category of medical expenses, so this key health reform provision for holding insurers accountable bears watching.

Photo from flickr user gemsling

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