Q4_2013Source-Cover-FinalPopulation health was foremost on our minds as we prepared the Q4 issue of The Source, the magazine we help HealthTrust publish for healthcare supply chain professionals. Healthcare systems and physicians groups are developing new programs aimed at population health management, a systematic approach to addressing the preventive, high-risk and chronic care needs of patients, with a goal of minimizing costly interventions like emergency room visits, hospitalizations and readmissions. We interview Dr. David Nash, of the Jefferson School of Population Health in Philadelphia, on this healthcare paradigm shift. As the founding dean of the first designated school of population health in the country, Nash is considered one of the leading experts in the field.

From Hammock editor Bill Hudgins:
Serendipity: finding something unexpected and useful while searching for something else. One of my favorite words, it sounds like it belongs in an Ogden Nash poem. Im especially fond of it now, as a chance story assignment for a client has given me a new lease on life.
Back in summer 2005, I wrote a newsletter article for one of our clients, StoneCrest Medical Center, about a new procedure that uses a CT scanner to measure the amount of calcium in your hearts arteries  basically, how much, if any, hardening of the arteries you have. This in turn can indicate how likely you are to have potentially nasty clogs in your pipes.
Cool, I thought. Im over 50, have regular checkups, and I try to exercise and eat right, but my family has some heart disease history. Can’t hurt to get one. I live near another TriStar Hospital that offers the test and took it there. Took 10 minutes  less time than registering  and I didn’t have to skip breakfast or even put on a hospital gown.
The results were not what I expected. Instead of clean plumbing, the test ranked me in the low end of moderate hardening in a couple of spots. My doctor recommended a cardiac stress test to find out precisely what was happening in there.
Aside from having to postpone breakfast and that all-important first cup of java for several hours, the test was not bad. All my Stairmastering made the 12 minutes on a treadmill pretty easy. The cardiologist was encouraging but said the many photos they took of my ticker before and after would tell the tale. Just in case it came out bad, afterwards I indulged in a fair number of foods that might soon be off-limits.
This story has a happy ending. The stress test was negative, which is positive news. I still have to do what I can to keep the hardening at bay. But I can quit worrying about this and go back to a more immediate threat to my health: my daily commute on I-65.
I can only hope that the article that I wrote for our client’s newsletter will help someone else.