Saying Goodbye to 2012. December 28th 2012

Like alot of folks at this time of year, I am taking some time to look back on 2012 and 'close the books,' as it were, on the year.  As Oprah once commented, 'every January 1st we get another shot at doing things right.'  And so here we go….the countdown to 2013 begins.  I'd like…

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New Year’s Thoughts and Reminders December 31st 2012

Though it comes the same time every year, the New Year's holiday evokes anxiety in people who feel the need to "make resolutions" as they approach the new year.  I take a different approach.  Think of your resolution as a suggestion.  Don't put so much pressure on yourself. For those of us working in the world…

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HIPAA GONE WILD! February 2nd 2013

In the course of our work at Guardian Nurses, we often (ok, every day) have to deal with the federal healthcare privacy law called HIPAA.  Since we are working on behalf of patients, we need to get their written authorization that we can speak with their clinical providers and request records from facilities.  Patients easily…

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“Patient Centered Care? Absolutely! I’ll Get to That Right After My Meeting.” February 17th 2013

Through the years of healthcare innovation and reform, even going as far back as the 1990's, one of the favorite rallying cries of administrators is delivering and offering "patient centered care."  When I first heard the phrase, as a manager in an acute care hospital, I thought, "Um, isn't that what we WERE delivering?"  I couldn't…

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“Our nurses don’t give medical information.” March 19th 2013

Recently, it seems like we've had a flurry of facilities whose staff has been unwilling, for one reason or another, to speak with our nurse advocates over the phone.  Last week, I was asked to intervene in a case where our nurse advocate was having difficulty getting information DESPITE a signed authorization and consent on…

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Boston Bomber #2 Taken to Beth Israel/Deaconess Medical Center April 20th 2013

When I heard that the 19 y/o suspect had been apprehended and, because of his injuries, had been taken to the hospital, I thought, "Oh brother, God bless the hospital staff that will be treating and caring for him."  Amidst all the public sentiment surrounding the terrible tragedy at the Boston Marathon, and the ensuing…

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Happy Nurses’ Week! May 12th 2013

I love Nurses' Week.  It is only fitting that every year since 1954,  the 100th anniversary of Florence Nightingales' mission to the Crimean War, the nursing community is celebrated.  Nurses' WEEK begins on May 6th (since 1982) and runs the full week, ending on May 12th, Florence Nightingale's birthday. I love Nurses' Week and I…

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Great Day at the PA Conference for Women! October 3rd 2012

There I sat, amidst close to 6,000 women attendees at the Pennsylvania Conference for Women, listening to Arianna Huffington give her keynote presentation during lunch.   What a pleasant surprise it was to hear her remarks!  At times serious, then humorous, and back to serious again, I was impressed with her articulate, insightful comments about women…

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Six Lessons for Nurse Advocates September 22nd 2012

Many thanks to the planning committee and volunteers who made the 2012 RN-AIM (Registered Nurse Association in Michigan) Annual Conference a smashing success!  This year's theme for the conference, on September 20th and 21st, was "Nurse As Advocate" and I was honored to be invited to give the keynote presentation to kick off the meeting. My…

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Nurse Practice Act? C’MON……. September 9th 2012

We recently had a case in California which required us to frequently communicate telephonically with the nursing staff.   We had the required signed HIPAA release on the chart (multiple times, in fact, as it continued to get 'lost') as well as the family's verbal authorization to speak on their behalf with the clinical team.  Unfortunately,…

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