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The Monthly Pulse – Providers (Nov. 2021)

The Monthly Pulse
Industry News
Blood Management Guideline—Considered a “Moving Target”—Gets Long Overdue Update
The Story
The Society of Thoracic Surgeons has released new clinical practice guidelines for blood management, consisting of 23 new or updated recommendations.
What You Should Know
While previous recommendations focused on blood conservation, this term has been replaced with the broader concept of “patient blood management” in the new guidelines. The overarching goals of the updates are to manage anemia, minimize blood loss, and reduce the need for allogeneic blood transfusions, all of which put patient safety at the forefront of cardiac surgery.
Chewing Gum after Heart Surgery May Help Relieve Gut Problems
The Story
According to research presented by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, chewing gum can help improve digestion in patients after heart surgery.
What You Should Know
In a study, just 0.59% of patients who chewed sugarless gum after heart surgery developed the digestive complication postoperative ileus, compared to 3.43% of patients who did not chew gum. This suggests that the simple post-op protocol of gum chewing can stimulate the intestines, improving how patients feel after surgery, reducing the risk of complications, and potentially leading to earlier discharge.
Study Finds Decline in Referrals and Procedures for Common Cardiac Interventions After COVID-19
The Story
Healthcare data published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology showed a decline in procedures and referrals for common cardiac interventions following the onset of COVID-19.
What You Should Know
Although wait times weren’t any longer than pre-COVID times, patients awaiting common cardiac procedures faced a higher risk of dying in the interim, which could suggest patients delayed discussing evolving symptoms with their doctors. Referrals also declined, which may have been due to patient factors such as fears of COVID exposure as well as system factors such as hospital bed shortages. These issues suggest that moving outpatients on a waitlist should not be reliant on patients’ self-reporting of symptom changes.
Parental Leave During Surgical Residency
The Story
According to a report published in JAMA Surgery, less than 15% of residents surveyed had taken parental leave during clinical residency. The most common obstacle cited by those who did take leave was lack of universal policies across all Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) specialties.
What You Should Know
Because peak childbearing years overlap with medical training, many residents understandably want to grow their families during this time, but have concerns about derailed careers and leaving other residents to pick up their workload. In addition to establishing clear parental leave policies for all parents, healthcare organizations can turn to locums support to minimize the added workload when one resident takes a maternity or paternity leave, thus alleviating concerns for everyone involved.
Leadership Reflections
There have been significant challenges over the past two years for all of us working in the healthcare industry. Surveys are reporting a healthcare exodus with many indicating burnout and plans to leave current roles or healthcare altogether. As I reflect on the value brought by all who currently fill these roles, this news brings both sadness and concern.
I would like to offer both gratitude and a challenge:
Gratitude: Although you may be hearing a lot of this lately, I hope it doesn’t diminish my sincere thanks for the value you bring in caring for the health of our communities.
Challenge: Individuals facing burnout can experience emotional exhaustion, depersonalization or detachment from their role, and/or believing they are powerless to affect change. My challenge is for all of us to be on the lookout for colleagues who could use a word or note of gratitude, a specific offer of support, or just time spent together for fun or listening and encouragement. The bonus of this challenge is that when we offer gratitude and care for others, we reap the benefits of improved relationships and a greater sense of happiness and wellbeing.
Will you consider accepting this challenge? I would love to hear from you if you have a story to share about your experience.
Daryl Bert
Daryl Bert
Upcoming Events
32nd Annual Cardiovascular Interventions
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Tues., Nov 16 - Fri., Nov 19
Controversies & Advances in the Treatment of Cardiovascular Disease: The Twentieth in the Series
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Thurs., Dec 2 - Fri, Dec 3
STS 58th Annual Meeting
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Sat., Jan. 29 - Mon., Jan. 31
AAPA Executive Leadership Conference
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Tues., Nov. 16 - Thurs., Nov. 18