News

Remembering Dr. John “Jack” Culbertson

Dr. John Culbertson Jr.It is with great sadness we inform you that Dr. John “Jack” Culbertson passed away when a plane he was piloting went down in North Georgia. Words cannot explain our sadness at this unexpected and tragic loss.

Dr. Culbertson was a remarkable Emory physician for more than 25 years and served as Chief of Plastic Surgery at Emory University Hospital Midtown. He was a member of multiple national societies, contributing to numerous publications and textbooks, and lectured nationally and internationally.

He was a steadfast and giving human being, and, for many years, dedicated his time to provide instruction and perform surgery at Navajo reservations. To quote his partner and friend Dr. Grant Carlson, “We are fortunate to have people like Jack Culbertson in the world. He always reminded us that life is special and should be treated as such. His easygoing demeanor and infectious smile will be missed.”

Please join us in remembering Dr. Culbertson and celebrating his life. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. He will be deeply missed by his entire Emory family, including faculty, staff and his many patients.

 

Patients with questions are welcome to call is Melissa Schuermann, Business Manager of the Emory Aesthetic Center at (404) 778-7243.

Emory University Hospital Applies for American Nurses Credentialing Center Magnet Designation

Emory University Hospital AtlantaEmory University Hospital has applied to the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) for the prestigious designation of Magnet.  The Magnet designation recognizes excellence in nursing services.

You can learn more about our application to the American Nurses Credentialing  Center (ANCC) for the prestigious designation of Magnet by viewing the Public Notice of Application.

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Moving On Up – Emory Healthcare Continues to Deliver on Quality Promise

Best Hospitals Quality 2013As a friend of Emory Healthcare, you’ve likely been following our road to better deliver quality patient care. In 2006, we challenged ourselves to land in the University HealthSystem Consortium’s (UHC) top 10 ranking. In 2012, we met our goal as Emory University Hospital (combined with Emory University Orthopaedics & Spine Hospital) ranked number two and Emory University Hospital Midtown ranked number six. Today, we’re proud to announce that our journey didn’t stop there. Once again the only health care system in the nation to have two hospitals in the top 10 UHC simultaneously, Emory Healthcare congratulates Emory University Hospital and Emory University Hospital Midtown for ranking second and third, respectively!

A top ranking by UHC means more than just great care. Since UHC ranks only academic medical centers that typically treat more complex patients than most hospitals, making their top ten list of the 101 participants reflects the ultimate assessment of organizational performance in setting the standard in quality and safety. Essentially, they’re comparing apples to apples. As a patient, you can pick the best place for your family while resting assured that you’re receiving the highest quality care. We’re quite proud to be listed among our peer institutions from all over the country who also are committed to keeping Americans healthy by providing quality care.

We’re All In This Together: Meet Our New Brand!

Emory Healthcare New Brand

If you’re reading this blog or have visited the Emory Healthcare website recently, you may have noticed something a bit different. Our logo and website of yesterday are gone, and in their place is the shiny new look of the Emory Healthcare brand.

But a brand is more than a logo, more than a trademark, more than a mission. Our brand is a promise- a promise to live up to our goals, serve our community, and hold ourselves accountable in providing the standard of care our patients and families expect and deserve.

Every year we make strides in care innovation, quality outcomes and community health, because every year, we set goals that hold us accountable to our community. The residents of Atlanta and the state of Georgia depend on Emory Healthcare and the Emory Healthcare Network of providers, clinics and hospitals, to deliver on our promise.

We could tell you that Emory University Hospital was ranked as the best hospital in Atlanta in 2013, or that over 50% of the “Top Doctors” in Atlanta are Emory physicians, or that we are the only health care system to have two hospitals simultaneously rank in the nation’s top 10 for quality; but the truth is, these honors and accolades are only evidence of our promise to deliver, but that promise lies in each of us.

From one of our transplant nurses donating her own kidney to a patient in need, to our human resource team members stepping in as cooks during the Atlanta Snowpocalypse, to our Winship physicians running side-by-side to support their patients in raising money for the fight against cancer, it is our team that is our brand.

We are Emory and we are not afraid to challenge the status quo. We’re not afraid to tackle the most difficult cases and questions. We’re not afraid to lead the discussion on what’s broken about our nation’s healthcare, instead, we’re looking forward to playing a part in fixing it. We’re not afraid to discover new cures and treatments and share them with the world.

We are researchers and teachers discovering what’s next in medicine and improving health today. We are practitioners taking exceptional, compassionate care of our communities. We are a dedicated team, 16,000 strong, committed to sharing our skills and our knowledge, combining our strengths, and working together – for and with patients – to help you and your loved ones be well.

We live our promise every day, and we will continue to do so for our community. After all….We’re all in this together.

Emory HealthcareLearn More About Our New Brand!

 
 
 
 

Tips for Bouncing Back from the Baby Bump After Childbirth

Kate MiddletonThe Duchess of Cambridge, a.k.a. Kate Middleton, may have set yet another new fashion craze: wearing the post-baby bump with pride.

Judging from global chatter, Kate’s departure from St. Mary’s Hospital looking like a woman who, well, just gave birth was delightfully refreshing to many, and served as a healthy reminder just how beautiful “natural” can be.

Though a number of celebrity post-partum appearances had us believing that women could go from ravaged to ravishing in 10 easy days, the reality is the body just doesn’t bounce back that fast.

Dr. Gregory Fountain, OB/GYN at Emory Johns Creek Obstetrics and Gynecology says immediately after childbirth, the uterus is still the size it was when it held a 20-week old fetus, and it can take about 6 weeks for the uterus to return to normal size.

Additionally, most women tend to gain between 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy, Fountain explains. Though a lot comes out at birth, the actual weight loss depends on the baby’s size, the weight of the placenta and the amount of fluid. The amount lost generally equals 10 to 12 pounds, he says.

So that leaves a new mom with a few extra pounds to shed and a bunch of Google results on how to lose those pounds fast. As tempting as those baby bump-busting methods may seem, doctors usually tell women to hold off on vigorous exercise for about 6 weeks after delivery if they have had uncomplicated vaginal or cesarean births. The window may be longer if there were complications. Fountain advocates walking as a new mom’s primary form of exercise.

He also points out breast-feeding burns about 500 calories a day. This great mother-baby activity also releases a hormone called oxytocin into the bloodstream, which causes smooth muscle in both the breasts and the uterine to contract. Lactation experts say the uterine contractions caused during breast feeding can help tone the uterus.

Ultimately, Fountain says, women should set a more realistic goal of three to six months before the return to their pre-pregnancy weight, but that the time frame depends on a woman’s motivation and schedule.

The reality is that most new moms are exhausted and time -trapped in the first six to eight weeks after delivery and most weren’t marathon runners prior to pregnancy. Kay Halbert, Occupational Therapist, Rehab Therapy Services Supervisor at Emory Johns Creek Hospital, recommends women “develop habits that will serve them well from early ‘post-partum-hood’ through empty nesting.”

She even has a no-crunch-required tummy tightening exercise. “The key to a flat tummy is consistently engaging the deep abdominal muscles,” Halbert says. “You can do this throughout your day. In the beginning it will take concentration and mindfulness, but eventually it will be a sub-cortical mindless habit.”

“Sit or stand up straight, shoulders pulled back and down, tighten your belly and pull in your stomach. Imagine your belly button being drawn to your spine,” she advises. Her tip for making this a habit is to tie a string around your waist with your belly tight and keep the string there all day. When you relax or let go of your abdominal muscles the string tightens, reminding you to pull your abs tight again.”

Whatever activity women choose, Halbert advises that women listen to their doctor as to when it’s safe to begin exercising.

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Emory Hospitals Shine in National, State & Local Hospital Rankings – Emory University Hospital Named Best Hospital in Atlanta and State of Georgia

Best Hospitals in AtlantaAfter surveying nearly 10,000 specialists and sifting through data from approximately 5,000 hospitals, U.S. News & World Report has announced its 2013-14 rankings of America’s Best Hospitals and once again, our Emory hospitals have been placed among the best in the country, and Emory University Hospital has been honored as the best hospital in both the metro Atlanta area, and the state of Georgia.

Hospitals honored were ranked nationally in 16 adult specialties (e.g. cancer and urology) and also ranked regionally by city and state. Out of 60 hospitals in metro Atlanta, only eight hospitals were ranked as Atlanta’s best, and just 19 hospitals ranked this year out of 187 in the state of Georgia.

According to U.S. News, death rates, patient safety, and hospital reputation were just a few of the factors evaluated. Less than 150 hospitals were ranked nationally in one or more specialties. Learn more about how each of Emory’s hospitals performed in this year’s best hospital rankings:

Emory University Hospital – #1 in Atlanta, #1 in Georgia, Nationally Ranked in 5 Specialties, High Performer in 10 Specialties

Emory University Hospital AtlantaFor the second year in a row, U.S. News & World Report lists Emory University Hospital as the best hospital in Atlanta and the state of Georgia in its 2013-2014 Best Hospitals guide. (Emory University Hospital includes Wesley Woods Geriatric Hospital and Emory University Orthopaedics & Spine Hospital.)

>> Emory University Hospital Website

Emory University Hospital by the Numbers:

  • #1 Hospital in Atlanta
  • #1 Hospital in Georgia
  • Nationally Ranked in 5 Specialties:
  • High Performer in 10 Specialties:
    • Diabetes and endocrinology
    • Ear, nose and throat
    • Gastroenterology and GI surgery
    • Geriatrics
    • Gynecology
    • Nephrology
    • Orthopaedics
    • Pulmonary
    • Rheumatology
    • Urology

Emory University Hospital Midtown – #3 in Atlanta, #4 in Georgia, High Performer in 12 Specialties

Emory University Hospital Midtown AtlantaEmory University Hospital Midtown moved up a slot in each category from last year’s best hospital rankings, honored this year as 3rd in metro Atlanta and 4th in Georgia. Emory University Hospital was also honored as a high performing hospital in 12 different specialty areas.

 >>Emory University Hospital Midtown website

Emory University Hospital Midtown by the Numbers:

  • 3rd Best Hospital in Atlanta
  • 4th Best Hospital in Georgia
  • High Performer in 12 Specialties:
    • Cancer
    • Cardiology and heart surgery
    • Diabetes and endocrinology
    • Ear, nose and throat
    • Gastroenterology and GI surgery
    • Geriatrics
    • Gynecology
    • Nephrology
    • Neurology and neurosurgery
    • Orthopaedics
    • Pulmonary
    • Urology

Saint Joseph’s Hospital – #5 in Atlanta, #12 in Georgia, High Performer in 3 Specialties

Saint Joseph's Hospital AtlantaSaint Joseph’s Hospital ranks 5th in metro Atlanta (up from 7th last year) and 12th in the state of Georgia in U.S. News & World Report’s 2013 guide to the nation’s best hospitals. Saint Joseph’s Hospital was also listed as a high performing hospital in three specialty areas.

 >> Saint Joseph’s Hospital website

Saint Joseph’s Hospital by the Numbers:

  • Fifth Best Hospital in Atlanta
  • Twelfth Best Hospital in Georgia
  • High Performer in 3 Specialties:
    • Gastroenterology and GI surgery
    • Geriatrics
    • Nephrology

U.S. News & World Report publishes Best Hospitals to help guide patients who need a high level of care because they face particularly difficult surgery, a challenging condition, or added risk because of other health problems or age. Three weighted factors are used to rank hospitals, including hospital structure, reputation and outcomes.

The specialty rankings and data were produced for U.S. News by RTI International, a leading research organization based in Research Triangle Park, N.C. Using the same data, U.S. News produced the state and metro rankings.

The rankings have been published at www.health.usnews.com/best-hospitals and will appear in print in the U.S. News Best Hospitals 2014 guidebook, available on newsstands on August 27.

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Emory Healthcare Honored Among 2013’s Most Wired Health Care Systems!

2013 Most Wired Hospital OrganizationsEmory Healthcare is on a roll! 2013 marks the 15th anniversary of Health Care’s Most Wired Survey, and once again, Emory Healthcare has been honored as one of the most wired health care organizations!

Over the last 15 years, hospitals and health care systems have made great strides in establishing the basic building blocks for creating robust clinical information systems aimed at improving patient and family care. This includes adopting technologies to improve patient documentation, advance clinical decision support and evidence-based protocols, reduce the likelihood of medication errors, and rapidly restore access to data in the case of a disaster or outage.

“This year’s Most Wired organizations exemplify progress through innovation” says Rich Umbdenstock, president and CEO of the American Hospital Association. “The hospital field can learn from these outstanding organizations ways that IT can help to improve efficiency.”

The Most Wired survey, conducted by the magazine Hospitals & Health Networks, helps health care organizations review their progress with implementing innovative technologies and see how they compare to others. The survey looks at technology related to infrastructure, clinical quality and safety, clinical integration, and business and administrative management.

Emory Healthcare’s technological success and ability to innovate is a direct result of the authentic partnership among members of our Information Services department, staff and physicians.

Congratulations to our team on this award! Thank you to our Information Services team for all you do to lead us in technology innovation – advances that make a positive difference for our patients and your fellow employees!

You can check out some of the key findings from the 2013 Most Wired Survey below, and get full detailed results in the July H&HN cover story: www.hhnmag.com.

  • Sixty-nine percent of Most Wired hospitals and 60 percent of all surveyed hospitals report that medication orders are entered electronically by physicians. This represents a significant increase from 2004 results when only 27 percent of Most Wired hospitals and 12 percent of all hospitals responded, “Yes.”
  • Seventy-one percent of Most Wired hospitals have an electronic disease registry to identify and manage gaps in care across a population compared with 51 percent of total responders.
  • Sixty-six percent of Most Wired hospitals share patient discharge data with affiliated hospitals, in comparison to 49 percent of the total responders. Thirty-seven percent of Most Wired hospitals do so with non-affiliated hospitals versus 24 percent of total responders.
  • 32 percent of Most Wired hospitals conduct controlled experiments or scenario-planning to make better management decisions.
  • 41 percent of Most Wired hospitals provide a patient portal or Web-based solution for patient-generated data.

Health Care’s Most Wired Survey, conducted between Jan. 15 and March 15, asked hospitals and health systems nationwide to answer questions regarding their IT initiatives. Respondents completed 659 surveys, representing 1,713 hospitals, or roughly 30 percent of all U.S. hospitals.

Nearly 50% of 2013 Atlanta Top Doctors are at Emory

Atlanta Top Doctors 2013As our Emory Healthcare family continues to grow, so too does our ability to provide Atlanta and Georgia residents access to more Top Doctors. In 2011, more than 1/3 of all the doctors honored in Atlanta Magazine’s list of “Top Docs” were Emory physicians. By 2012, nearly half of the 315 physicians recognized as Atlanta’s best doctors practiced at one of our Emory hospitals or clinics. And now in 2013, again, nearly half of the physicians recognized as best in Atlanta, are those who practice at an Emory facility and/or who are Emory University School of Medicine faculty.

We celebrate, honor and thank all of our physicians—and the care teams that work with them—for putting the care in health care and making patient- and family-centered care their priority each and every day.

And thanks to our recently expanded footprint, communities all over Atlanta and throughout Georgia have access to even more Top Doctors who work tirelessly to advance medicine and further treatments.

Big or small, major or minor, if you have a reason to visit a hospital, you now have an Emory Healthcare facility and an Emory Healthcare Top Doctor close to home.

See the full list of Emory’s 2013 Atlanta Top Doctors!

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Enhancing AHA STEMI Treatment Guidelines When Every Minute Counts

AHA STEMI Treatment GuidelinesFor heart attack victims, every minute counts- hence the saying “time is muscle.” Experts say victims of heart attacks have better outcomes with rapid intervention to open and unclog their blocked arteries, and clinical guidelines recommend that acute heart attack patients undergo treatment within 90 minutes of arrival in the emergency room.

Recently, Emory University Hospital (EUH), Emory University Hospital Midtown (EUHM), Emory Johns Creek Hospital (EJCH) and Saint Joseph’s Hospital–all four participating Emory hospitals–received the American Heart Association Mission Lifeline Bronze Recognition award for excellence in STEMI (ST-elevation myocardial infarction) heart attack care for 2012.

A STEMI heart attack, the most severe form of heart attack, is caused when a blood clot suddenly forms, completely blocking an artery in the heart. This can result in damage that covers a large area of the heart and extends deep into the heart muscle, which is why rapid treatment is a priority to save as much heart muscle as possible. STEMI heart attack treatment options consist of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), which includes both angioplasty and stenting; clot-busting medication; and coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG).

Emory hospitals, like many other hospitals, have long participated in the “Door to Balloon time within 90 minutes” performance measure for STEMIs. Since Emory was hitting this target nearly 100% of the time, the team decided that wasn’t good enough. They decided to raise the bar for patients coming in via ambulance by starting the clock at time of “first medical contact” with the paramedics, instead of when they arrived at the hospital’s doorstep.

“We thought the clock needed to start ticking when EMS arrived and assessed the patient in the field for a STEMI,” says Abhinav Goyal, MD, MHS, associate professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology at Emory, and director of quality for cardiology at EUH and EUHM. “Therefore, we began re-working the process with the AHA, making sure that EMS vehicles were equipped with ECG machines and all EMS personnel were trained to obtain and interpret field ECGs.” Goyal is also co-chair of the Atlanta Mission Lifeline Data Quality Subcommittee.

“It took about three years for Emory hospitals to achieve a 95 percent success rate in the Door-to-Balloon metric when we committed to it seven to eight years ago,” explains Michael Ross, Michael Ross, MD, professor of emergency medicine at Emory and co-chair of the Atlanta Mission: Lifeline Program. “But our successes came much quicker with the new First Medical Contact to Balloon performance measure. This is a true testament to the dedication and commitment of the Emory Healthcare system.”

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Emory Hospital First in Atlanta to Earn Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification

Joint Commission Stroke Center Certification

Congratulations to Emory University Hospital who recently joined an elite group of fewer than 30 centers nationwide with its Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification from The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association! Emory University Hospital is the only hospital in metropolitan Atlanta to earn this designation and just one of two in Georgia. Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification recognizes only those hospitals that have state-of-the-art infrastructure, staff and training to receive and treat patients with the most complex strokes. Emory University Hospital underwent a rigorous onsite review by The Joint Commission in February 2013.

So, what does this all mean for you? It means that our Emory University Hospital stroke team provides advanced care, including:

  • A state-of-the-art neurointensive care unit, created especially for critically ill stroke patients
  • Neurosurgical interventions for complex conditions that can arise in stroke patients
  • Advanced imaging capabilities
  • Fellowship-trained neurointensivists available 24/7, ready to perform vascular procedures if needed
  • Access to a multidisciplinary team of specialists, including board-certified fellowship-trained stroke neurologists, world-renowned vascular neurosurgeons, highly skilled and experienced interventional neuroradiologists, a board-Certified and fellowship trained neurocritical care team and diagnostic neuroradiologists
  • Thirty-four neurocritical-care unit beds, six neuro step-down or intermediate-care beds and 41 acute-care floor beds

Emory Stroke Center CertificationThe Emory Stroke Center team provides 24/7 coverage and receives early warning about a patient arriving with stroke symptoms. This early notification ensures rapid assessment and stabilization, and an immediate CT brain scan to establish onset time and to determine eligibility for various treatment options.

Stroke is a disease that affects the arteries leading to and within the brain. According to the American Stroke Association, stroke is the number four cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the United States. Immediate treatment is essential when someone is having a stroke to reduce the effects and potential for permanent disability. Not close to Emory when an emergency strikes? Nearly half of our patients are transferred from other hospitals, and most of those arrive via helicopter. The Emory Healthcare system also has three Primary Stroke Centers accredited by The Joint Commission, including Emory University Hospital Midtown, Emory Johns Creek Hospital and Saint Joseph’s Hospital.

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