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Verywell and Outcome Health support the Moments of Care

Empathy is More Important Than Ever

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Verywell and Outcome Health support the Moments of Care


This article is written by Rob Parisi, SVP & GM at Verywell, one of Outcome Health’s content partners.

During these scary and uncertain times, people have been taken out of their routines at best, and suffered physically and emotionally at worst. Empathy in the health space is more important now than ever before.

At Verywell, we have always focused not just on credibility, but on empathy too.  It is who we are.  We don’t stop at just making accurate health information available and accessible.  We take great care in making sure people feel confident, learn and take action regarding the very complicated topics we cover.

Right now, our emphasis is squarely on COVID-19. We want to make sure our readers stay safe by staying informed. During this crisis, people with chronic health conditions still have ongoing treatments that cannot be put on hold. While these in-person visits continue, it is important that we are partnered with innovative leaders, like Outcome Health, who are creating new ways to expand the point of care beyond the exam room. We have provided up to the minute content on what to do in a pandemic, who is most at risk, and specific actions people can take to avoid exposure.   We have been cognizant of how hard this has been on one’s mental health, and special challenges for those raising families.  We also want people to realize it is OK to be scared, and even doctors are searching for answers in their own lives.

Outcome Health shares our passion for empathy and the vision to support patients when they need it most. They reach people at the Moment of Care – a time when one’s health is their only priority. It is tremendously valuable for patients to be exposed to Verywell’s message during this critical time. Through content that is helpful and informative, we’re able to reach patients in both the physical and virtual points of care.

This is true not only for today, when COVID-19 is dominating the news, but also when we return to some type of normalcy.  We look forward to being able to shift our focus back to helping people manage their health in a way that is true to who we are – by informing, teaching, inspiring, and helping people take action.  A great example of this is our ankylosing spondylitis video, which is featured in Outcome Health’s In These Moments.

Watch In These Moments. 

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About Rob Parisi, MBA

Rob Parisi is SVP & GM at Verywell. Rob has over 15 years of experience in digital media and has served in senior financial and operational positions with Dotdash and its predecessor companies since 2008. Prior to joining Dotdash, he held positions at WebMD Health and Arthur Andersen LLP. In 2016, he led the team responsible for conceptualizing and launching Verywell, which has since won top industry awards including best redesign and consumer health brand.

About Verywell

The Verywell family of brands, including Verywell Health, Verywell Fit, Verywell Family, and Verywell Mind, take a human approach to health and wellness content and are a welcome alternative to hyper-clinical health sites. Nearly 35 million people use Verywell sites each month to feel better and be healthier.

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HealthiNation and Outcome Health support the Moments of Care

Highlighting the HealthiMoments That Matter the Most

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HealthiNation and Outcome Health support the Moments of Care


This article is written by Heidi Diamond, Amy O’Connor, and Brittany Doohan of HealthiNation, one of Outcome Health’s content partners.

Many of us have left a doctors’ office with some REALLY great news! 

But sometimes we hear news that puts everything into perspective. 

It’s these intimate scenes and moments of care that Outcome Health features in their empathetic campaign, In These Moments. In These Moments takes you on multiple patient journeys: Through the miracle of pregnancy and the anticipation of childbirth for two prospective parents-to-be; through the worry and fear a family experiences when they learn their loved one’s prognosis isn’t good; through the eyes of an antsy young man in the doctor’s waiting room as he’d rather be playing with friends. 

Content That Informs and Inspires

Health touchpoints like these leave patients at a crossroad, with decisions to make, information to share with loved ones and caregivers, and steps to take on their health journey. Outcome Health and HealthiNation are there to inform and inspire patients, so they, and their loved ones can be active members in their care team. We share in Outcome Health’s vision to support patients when they need it most. After the doctor explains what is happening, we, as point of care partners, empower patients to make the right decisions about what’s next

 This information reinforcement comes through short-form patient education videos, which  features content that is helpful and informative. Through our partnership with Outcome Health, we’re able to reach patients across the evolving point of care landscape. Using interviews with leading clinicians and experts, real patient stories, graphics, text, and creative storytelling techniques, video patient education helps consumers from all walks of life envision a path to better health.  

Partnering to Support the Patient Journey

HealthiNation and Outcome Health have a comprehensive content strategy to support every aspect of a patient’s journey toward good health. Whether it’s chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes affecting large segments of the population, rare diseases, or tips and advice about healthy eating and exercise that benefit everyone, our collaboration truly puts “good health in your hands.”

Our recent pandemic has enabled both companies to reach consumers with critical information not just about COVID-19 and its physical symptoms, but how the pandemic can affect mental health. HealthiNation’s Mindful Moments is a new short-form video series that aims to help us cope with emotions that may surface during these trying times. Through Outcome Health’s platform, patients can access all of HealthiNation’s COVID-19 health content as well as HealthiNation’s healthy recipes and fitness video to help them care for body, mind and spirit whether quarantined at home or working on the frontlines. 

It’s that intimate time that a patient has with their physician that makes these HealthiMoments matter the most. Even amid a pandemic, treatments for cancer, diabetes and other diseases don’t stop. While traditional office visits will certainly continue, it’s important that we at HealthiNation strengthen partnerships with innovative leaders, like Outcome Health, who are developing new ways for the point of care to exist outside the walls of the doctor’s office. Outcome Health has done a powerful job showcasing these many moments – their campaign beautifully demonstrates how Outcome Health understands what’s best for patients, caregivers and physicians’ alike. HealthiNation stands at the ready to continue to collaborate on these important strategic initiatives and we take pride in the continuation of our expanded partnership.

Watch In These Moments. 

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Written by Heidi J. Diamond, Content Partnerships, Distribution and Amy O’Connor, Editor-in Chief, Brittany Doohan, Director of Content, HealthiNation.

ABOUT HEALTHINATION: HealthiNation is a leading producer and provider of medically accredited, Emmy award-winning health video content.  Content can be found at www.healthination.com as well as on HealthiNation’s extended distribution.

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Outcome Health honors the content partners it works with to support the Moments of Care

“In These Moments” Honors the Community of Content Partners that Supports Providers and Patients

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Outcome Health honors the content partners it works with to support the Moments of CareFrom the home office of CEO Matt McNally: 

We believe it takes a community of experts who are passionate about patient care to create meaningful and compelling patient experiences. At Outcome Health, our mission is to support patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals by delivering critical information at Moments of Care™ — but we don’t do it alone.  We are honored to collaborate with nonprofits, health advocacy groups and partners to create content that connects with patients during vital moments of their health journey.  

Our partners were right in step with us as we transformed Outcome Health’s approach to Point of Care (POC) last Fall, acting in concert with the real, sometimes difficult, sometimes happy, emotions and conversations that occur around Moments of Care™ at the doctor’s office and transcendent of that visit.  We leaned into Moments of Care™ in 2019 while also challenging the POC sector to do the same, because we realize that POC isn’t just about that one interaction where a patient and healthcare professional connect at an appointment.  It’s about all the micro-moments in the patient journey that have lead to that office visit with their HCP, which we captured in the initial In These Rooms video.

This sequel to last year’s well-received In These Rooms campaign has been created expressly to celebrate and thank all of our content partners who help support patient, caregiver, and HCP conversations and moments that happen at the POC.  In These Moments gives a peek into the waiting rooms, exam rooms and infusion rooms where empathetic content is delivered when it’s most needed.   By educating, clarifying, reinforcing and offering solutions, together we deliver immersive and engaging experiences that support and strengthen the provider-patient relationship, contribute to better patient outcomes, and ultimately transform the POC experience.

In today’s COVID-19 reality, POC is as vital as ever.  Treatments for cancer, diabetes and other diseases don’t take a break because of a pandemic.  Patients must continue to focus on their health, adhere to treatment programs, and closely follow the up-to-date guidance of their healthcare professional.  Traditional office visits continue, but the “point of care” existing as the four walls of a doctor’s office is becoming more fluid as remote care is more widely adopted. It’s why Outcome Health’s innovation is focused on supporting the patient journey in both the virtual and physical points of care, including content and channel partners that share this same vision as us. It’s also why this campaign is focused on the partnerships that we have and will continue to build; which are at the core of our network and content programming, and will continue to be as our evolution in Moments of Care™ takes shape.

To that end, Outcome Health is ready to welcome patients and HCPs back to these rooms at the POC where we have always been, as well as join them in moments where the living room becomes the waiting room and exam room. 

Watch In These Moments. 

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Learn how Outcome Health is supporting patients and providers during the coronavirus outbreak.

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Why Mask Donations Are More Important Than Ever

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donate spare PPE masks to front line workers in need

Mask Match connects donors directly with healthcare workers in need of masks. Photo cred: Mask Match volunteer

 


This article is written by Liz Klinger, co-founder of Mask Match, one of Outcome Health’s newest health advocacy partners.

When I started hearing about PPE shortages in the news, I called my mom. She’s a lifelong nurse in the Bay Area, where some of the first infections were identified. 

Governor Gavin Newsom expanded shelter in place across California and urged people over the age of 65 and with underlying health conditions to stay at home. My mom was still working, and she and her co-workers did not have masks. Her floor had actually locked up the masks and shamed staff when they asked for them. My mom wasn’t even given a mask when she went in to work with a patient who had an unidentified respiratory issue — and in the early days when there were no tests, it felt like my mom was forced to play a game of Russian roulette.

I learned that her hospital was not the only one experiencing this. Nearly every single hospital in the Bay Area was facing mask shortages and providing inadequate PPE, including some of the most reputable hospitals in the area. This wasn’t out of malice — demand suddenly went up for a hard-to-make supply, and people were scared, trying to pace out masks for the anticipated increase of hospital cases. But in saving that protection for later, that means leaving workers vulnerable without protection now, putting workers at risk of becoming part of the influx of patients later.

I didn’t want my mom to be one of them. I didn’t want to lose my mom.

Donating spare masks to healthcare workers in need

That’s why I started Mask Match (www.mask-match.com) with my friend Chloe. Mask Match is a platform to enable people with spare masks to send them directly to the hands of healthcare workers around the country. We set it up so donors don’t have to leave the house — they can use USPS Click-and-Ship to have the postal worker pick up the package from their doorstep, which makes it safer and easier for both the donors and hospital workers.

Mask Match began from my panic and a Zoom call with a friend over several glasses of wine.

Chloe and I are both entrepreneurs — Chloe is CEO and Co-founder of Medinas Health (www.medinas.com) and I am CEO and Co-founder of Lioness Health (www.lioness.io). We are both familiar with manufacturing and supply chain and realized that even if we tried to increase supply from overseas or even spin up manufacturing in the country, it would take weeks, if not months, for some of these to start, much less meet the massive influx of demand for PPE. We realized that the best, easiest, most accessible way to get masks to healthcare workers in this time are the masks in our homes and workshops.

The masks are already here in the country — no importing involved. Many masks come in boxes and include product information that is reliable — many masks being made right now, especially overseas, may not be the quality they claim to be, or some sellers might be outright scamming desperate buyers (we’re seeing both of these things in the news now). Getting these masks does not compete with the global supply chain for masks and minimizes disruption. They go directly to the hands of workers who will put them to use. Many of these workers like my own mom were given no alternative and were otherwise defenseless.

We built the website and launched it in a few hours. Donations and requests exploded over the weekend. I still remember the first request. The worker and their staff were stapling and re-stapling their masks when the elastic came off, trying to keep each mask as long as possible. They needed PPE. We connected them to a donor in their state who shipped the masks.

Partnership at the point of care

This happened again, and again, and again. A month later, we’re working with 314 volunteers who have helped shipped over 300,000 masks (and counting) across all 50 states. Outcome Health reached out to create a PSA for Mask Match which is now playing across their point-of-care platform in over 36,000 physician practices across the United States. Volunteers and donors alike feel a personal connection to the workers we’re helping and feel a bit less alone in a time when we’re all separated. Healthcare workers feel cared for and they’re getting some help and a bit of relief during a very difficult time.

Donate spare PPE masks to front line workers in need

Outcome Health created this PSA for Mask Match to bring our message to point-of-care audiences across the country.

We found that the people who benefited most were the ones at the mid-sized and smaller hospitals, urgent care centers, EMS, and assisted living homes, and also places that were outside the cities — places that didn’t have the same marketing resources to hold donation drives or financial power to negotiate in the global marketplace.

Help when it’s needed the most

Over time we’ve shifted to helping the most vulnerable. We were recently able to send thousands of mask donations to a hospital in Mississippi, where they experienced the third largest tornado in US history. Hundreds of people lost their homes including 57 medical workers. We shipped masks to them within days of the natural disaster after an employee reached out. We pride ourselves on being able to help quickly in a time when speed is the answer. After all, COVID-19 isn’t waiting for us to get ready.

This mask matching system is not meant to be permanent or to fulfill the entire mask need. It’s a temporary fix to a temporary problem — a bandaid, if you will. In a time when the alternative is sometimes nothing, nothing shouldn’t suffice. We entered a new normal overnight and needed to adapt. I needed to protect my mom.

It’s been one month since that night on Zoom, and while we’re starting to adapt, we’re not out of the woods yet with medical supplies. There are still many places where hospital workers are inadequately protected and vulnerable to getting the virus.

If you come across some masks during your quarantine spring cleaning, fill out the form and let us know. We’ll help you find someone who needs them now. The sooner you send those masks, the sooner people’s lives will be saved — maybe even your own life!

If you’d like to donate or request masks, visit www.mask-match.com to get started.
If you don’t have masks but still want to help, you can donate, volunteer, or help spread the word on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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About Liz Klinger

Liz Klinger is the Co-founder and CEO of Lioness (www.lioness.io). During the COVID-19 outbreak, Klinger also co-founded Mask Match (www.mask-match.com), a volunteer-run project that has matched over 300,000 domestic masks from individuals to front line healthcare workers who desperately need them. Mask-Match was ABC New’s Person of the Week and has also been featured in The New York Times, Fox News, and SFGate.

Klinger has been featured in The New York Times’s Women of the World and has presented at TEDx, SXSW, The Commonwealth Club, and top universities around the world including Stanford, UC Berkeley, MIT, and Chalmers about entrepreneurship.

 

Want to support patients during the most important moments of their health journey? Bring Outcome Health to your practice. 

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patient education at the point of care

The Big See is Making Skin Cancer Impossible to Ignore in the Doctor’s Office

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This article is written by Susan Manber, Chief Strategy Officer at Digitas Health, and is one of Outcome Health’s health advocacy partners.

Skin cancer is a condition so rampant among Americans that The Skin Cancer Foundation estimates more than two people in the U.S. die of the disease every hour and 20 percent of Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70. In an effort to reduce those frightening human statistics, The Skin Cancer Foundation and Digitas Health in partnership with Outcome Health has taken to doctor’s offices around the country to inform patients and caregivers with a first-of-its-kind experiential national campaign called The Big See.

Skin cancer is unique in that we can see it as it develops and can prevent it in clear, tangible ways. Leveraging the seriousness of cancer (“The Big C”), The Big See aims to get people to identify skin cancer with three simple words—new, changing, unusual—via a personal story that brings the relevance and advice to life in a very personal way.

Supporting Patient Awareness

Informed and educated patients are essential for spreading awareness and taking preventative measures. Digitas Health, an agency within the Publicis network, conceptualized and executed the pro bono campaign, continuing its partnership with The Skin Cancer Foundation since 2017. For insights to conceptualize the campaign, I had the privilege of sharing my personal story as a skin cancer survivor.

One single question saved my life: “What’s that?”

I will be forever grateful to my daughter, Sarina, for asking me, “Mom, what’s that thing on your nose?” Had I ignored her, even for a few weeks, I wouldn’t be here today. That’s why my personal mission is to do everything in my power to help people prevent and detect skin cancer.

When skin cancer is caught and treated early it’s highly curable. But when allowed to progress, it can cause disfigurement and even death. Luckily, skin cancer is a cancer that can be seen—and the most powerful tool to detect it is your eyes. Taking this to the next level, The Big See kicked off with an interactive, high-tech mirror that helped people recognize what to look for. This experience was displayed and recorded in the middle of San Diego’s Pacific Beach boardwalk as the TV launch of a broadcast PSA.

The mirror educated passersby on the dangers of skin cancer, motivating them to check their skin for anything new, changing or unusual—reinforcing the fact that early detection is very personal. The voice behind the mirror belongs to a comic who expertly uses humor and the art of improvisation to excite and engage everyone.

According to Brian Lefkowitz, Chief Creative Officer for Digitas Health, “The Big See was a unique chance for us to use humor to get people to care about skin cancer. It was about striking the right balance of humor and seriousness to motivate more people to actually see skin cancer before it was too late.”

The mirror encouraged viewers to check themselves for signs of skin cancer and to visit a dermatologist for a professional skin exam. But it didn’t stop there. People across the country will encounter The Big See as The Skin Cancer Foundation embarks on a “mirror takeover” in various locations. Branded mirror clings have been placed in businesses and public spaces, aimed at raising awareness about the importance of identifying and acting on any concerns.

Reaching patients at their point of care plays a vital role in The Big See campaign, which is why The Skin Cancer Foundation selected Outcome Health as the distribution platform for bringing this empathetic and informative campaign into physicians’ offices, waiting rooms, infusion centers and health systems across the United States. As the leading point of care content provider with the largest network of screens nationwide, Outcome Health is known for its unrivaled scale and curated content dedicated to the patient experience.

Patient Education at the Point of Care

“We are proud to partner with Sue Manber and The Skin Cancer Foundation to bring The Big See‘s important message to audiences in those moments when they’re with their doctor making informed decisions about their health,” said Matt McNally, Chief Executive Officer, Outcome Health. “We are dedicated to curating an experience at the point of care that patients, caregivers and physicians can’t find anywhere else. The Big See engages patients with relevant, actionable information that can empower them to stay safe and healthy.”

The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that adults see a dermatologist at least once a year for a skin exam and perform monthly self-exams at home. A simple check can save your life—or someone else’s!

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About Sue Manber

Sue Manber has deep health and wellness brand building experience spanning virtually every therapeutic area, from women’s health to nutrition. She was drawn to Digitas Health eight years ago with the best remit of all – to help create the planning discipline of the future. Early on in her career, Sue gave birth to her first child and her first planning department at the famously creative agency, Ammirati & Puris, the same year. Several mergers gave that agency a global presence, and Sue led the charge to build a worldwide planning discipline, driven by the belief that planning is fundamentally the art of asking better questions. An entrepreneur at heart, she also helped found two start up agencies in the early days of the Internet and DTC communications.

Today, Sue’s intrepid planning team at Digitas Health, now 18 strong, draws on the most contemporary, real-time data and research tools to deeply understand the realities of the marketplace and always remain people-inspired. Sue is extremely proud of the multiple gold Effies and gold Lions the campaigns she has helped lead have won, proving that the most creative brand ideas are also the ones that build client business the most.

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Advocating for Social Good – at the Point of Care

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This article is written by Allison Kennedy, Director of National Accounts – Media at the Ad Council, one of Outcome Health’s health advocacy partners.

 

In the advertising industry, the only constant is change.

Over the last few years, we’ve seen seismic changes in the ways and places media is consumed: 

  • Nielsen reports US adults are spending nearly half a day interacting with media
  • A 2019 estimate suggests, for the first time, adults spent more time per day on their mobile devices — an average of 226 minutes per day — than watching TV.
  • It should come as no surprise that a growing number of adults report being online “almost constantly.”  

This increased time spent with digital and mobile media, and the sheer volume of content people are generating and consuming, puts marketers in a position to constantly re-evaluate where, when, and how to go to market to break through the growing noise and clutter.  

That’s why, at the Ad Council, we are highly focused on innovative partnerships. If you’re not familiar, the Ad Council is a national nonprofit that uses the power of communications to tackle the most important issues facing the country. We partner with a unique set of partners across media and tech to harness their power for social good.

Our innovative partnerships sometimes look like being on the ground floor with Amazon and building the first Amazon Alexa skill to reduce food waste, and producing anti-bullying PSAs with Square Enix and KINGDOM HEARTS III.  

And sometimes, our innovation looks like cross-channel advertising — using touchscreens (like digital wallboards), social, TV, and print — inside a doctor’s office or point of care, to reach audiences when they are most receptive to PSAs about their health and wellness.

No longer do we hope to reach someone only while they’re in the waiting room, when they’re likely to be on their phone, and we know our messages are competing for limited attention.  With Outcome Health, we’re able to build a multi-touch ecosystem within points of care, using their breadth of highly-contextualized products.  

Thanks to Outcome Health, we’ve addressed pressing social issues such as Lung Cancer Screening and Caregiver Assistance.

lung cancer screening at the point of carecaregiver assistance at the point of care

We look forward to continuing our partnership this year to address Alzheimer’s Awareness, as more than 5 million Americans live with Alzheimer’s, but less than half are ever diagnosed. Close family members, who know their loved ones best, are typically the first to notice memory issues or cognitive problems, but they are often hesitant to say something – even when they know something is wrong.  

While we can’t predict where media consumption trends will go this year, we are confident we’ll break through the noise with Outcome Health, and empower people to have critical health conversations with their loved ones.

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Allison Kennedy is the Director of National Accounts – Media at the Ad Council. For more information about the issues the Ad Council advocates for, visit adcouncil.org. 

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It’s Time for Bladder Cancer to Come Out of the Water Closet and Into Point of Care

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This article is written by Stephanie Chisolm, Director of Education & Research at Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network, one of Outcome Health’s health advocacy partners.

Bladder cancer is the sixth most common cancer and this year more than 81,000 Americans will be diagnosed. Yes, it does happen more often in older Americans.   Yes, it does happen more often in men than in women. Yes, people with a history of exposure to smoking (and vaping) are at higher risk of developing bladder cancer. But…

Most will learn about bladder cancer the hard way when they are diagnosed. Approximately 17,000 die from bladder cancer every year, and the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network (BCAN) wants everyone to know that this cancer can and does happen at any age. And it is a serious disease. May is Bladder Cancer Awareness Month and May is a great time to help ensure that everyone becomes #BladderCancerAware – all year long.

We value our partnership with Outcome Health because their job, like ours, is information dissemination. This collaboration will allow us to reach patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals all converging at the point of care so that everyone can become more #BladderCancerAware. For BCAN, the more people who know about the signs, symptoms and risk factors for bladder cancer, the better. Early diagnosis is key to more successful patient outcomes.

If you see blood in your urine, at any age, go see to your doctor as soon as possible. Urine should be clear and a light-yellow color. Visible blood in your urine is known as gross hematuria. But blood that can only be seen in your urine test (cytology) at the doctor’s office should also be checked out.

When Rick noticed urgency and more frequent urination for over a year, he never questioned when his doctor just commented that he was getting older. However, when he saw a light tinge of blood in his urine at age 48, he went straight to the urologist and was diagnosed with bladder cancer. Bladder cancer also occurs in women. At 57 years old, Anne was too busy fighting for her country to question why multiple rounds of antibiotics didn’t get rid of the blood she saw in her urine.

Some of the risk factors for developing bladder cancer are avoidable, others, like getting older, are not.

Knowing risk factors for bladder cancer also helps with early diagnoses. They include:

  • Smoking: Smoking is the greatest risk factor. Smokers get bladder cancer twice as often as people who don’t smoke.
  • Chemical exposure: Some chemicals used in the making of dye have been linked to bladder cancer. People who work with chemicals called aromatic amines may have higher risk. These chemicals are used in making rubber, leather, printing materials, textiles and paint products.
  • Race: Caucasians are twice as likely to develop bladder cancer as are African Americans or Hispanics. Asians have the lowest rate of bladder cancer.
  • Age: The risk of bladder cancer increases as you get older.
  • Gender: While men get bladder cancer more often than women, recent statistics show an increase in the number of women being diagnosed with the disease. Unfortunately, because the symptoms of bladder cancer are similar to those of other gynecologic and urinary diseases affecting women, women may be diagnosed when their disease is at a more advanced stage.
  • Chronic bladder inflammation: Urinary infections, kidney stones and bladder stones don’t cause bladder cancer, but they have been linked to it.
  • Personal history of bladder cancer: People who have had bladder cancer have a higher chance of getting another tumor in their urinary system. People whose family members have had bladder cancer may also have a higher risk.
  • Birth defects of the bladder: Very rarely, a connection between the belly button and the bladder doesn’t disappear as it should before birth and can become cancerous.
  • Arsenic: Arsenic in drinking water has been linked to a higher risk of bladder cancer.
  • Earlier Treatment: Some drugs (in particular Cytoxan/cyclophosphamide) or radiation used to treat other cancers can increase the risk of bladder cancer.

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Stephanie Chisolm is the Director of Education & Research at Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network. For more information about bladder cancer, its signs and symptoms as well as research, treatment and support options, please visit www.BCAN.org or call 888-901-BCAN.

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Educating Patients and Caregivers About Naloxone at the Point of Care

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This article is written by Jess Keefe, Senior Editor at Shatterproof, one of Outcome Health’s health advocacy partners.

4 Things to Know about this Lifesaving Medication

 

The opioid epidemic is still on the rise in America. In 2017, nearly 192 people died every day from a drug overdose. Opioids were involved in nearly two-thirds of those deaths. Drug overdoses are now the #1 cause of accidental death in America, surpassing car crashes and gun violence.

Turning the tide of the opioid epidemic begins with better education: About opioids, about addiction, and about how to prevent fatal overdoses. That’s why Shatterproof, a national nonprofit dedicated to ending the devastation of addiction, is excited to partner with Outcome Health to bring research-backed information to patients across the country. We leveraged Outcome Health’s O/Studio team to develop Shatterproof content tailored for audiences at the point of care to bring attention to treatment options for overdoses.

One of the best tools at our disposal in the fight against the opioid epidemic is naloxone, a safe, FDA-approved medication proven to reverse opioid overdoses in minutes. Here are four things every American should understand about this incredible medication. 

Naloxone is safe

Naloxone is FDA-approved and completely safe. When tested on people who were not using opioids, naloxone produced no clinical effects at all—even when administered in high doses. When administered to someone experiencing an overdose, the medication may also induce rapid opioid withdrawal in patients. This may cause temporary discomfort, but it’s a small price to pay for a saved life.

Studies also show that increased naloxone access does not cause an increase in opioid misuse or overdoses. Having naloxone widely available in our communities is not a threat, or a risk—it’s an important tactic to save lives.

Naloxone stops an opioid overdose in its tracks

Opioids bind to specific receptors in the brain. This process minimizes feelings of pain and can cause feelings of euphoria—but it also affects other body systems. Opioids can make a person’s breathing slow, or stop completely. And that’s what makes an opioid overdose so deadly.

But naloxone is an opioid antagonist. That means it bonds to the same receptors in the body that opioids do. Basically, naloxone kicks the opioid off their receptors, temporarily undoing the harmful effects of an overdose. When naloxone is administered to someone experiencing an opioid overdose in a timely manner, they can begin breathing again within a matter of minutes.

The people most at risk of an opioid overdose should have naloxone on hand

Those people include:

  • People who take prescription opioids, especially in high doses
  • People who use alcohol, anti-depressants, or benzodiazepines (like Xanax) in addition to opioids
  • People who are addicted to prescription or illicit opioids
  • People who’ve recently detoxed from opioids, or who are recently in recovery from opioid addiction (their tolerance is now lower, so any relapse can be fatal)

When you identify an opioid overdose, it’s time to administer naloxone

Signs of an opioid overdose include:

  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Breathing problems, including slow or shallow breathing
  • Unresponsiveness or severe sleepiness, meaning you can’t wake the person up with a loud voice or a firm rub on the center of their chest
  • Blue or grey lips or fingertips
  • Floppy arms or legs
  • Snoring or gurgling

Through this partnership with Outcome Health, it is our hope that we can reach more Americans with critical information that can ultimately result in more lives saved.

Learn more about naloxone and find more evidence-based addiction resources at shatterproof.org.

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Jess Keefe is a senior editor at Shatterproof. Shatterproof advocates for changes in policy at the federal and state level and supports the development and implementation of evidence-based solutions for substance use disorders. Read Shatterproof’s first article on our Heartbeat blog: It’s Time to Shatter the Stigma of Addiction.

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Get the Facts, Not the Flu, at the Point of Care

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The IDSA Foundation recently launched ConFLUsion, a national public awareness campaign aimed at combating flu myths with credible health information. By partnering with Outcome Health, these important messages are now reaching patients, caregivers, and healthcare providers at the point of care.

It’s a cold… it’s a stomach bug… no, it’s influenza (flu), and if you are like many Americans, flu season might have you feeling a little conFLUsed.

While the vast majority of adults have heard of the flu, many still express conFLUsion and mistrust when it comes to what flu is and flu prevention and care. That’s because there is no shortage of bad advice, miseducation and myths about the flu. To combat these issues, the IDSA Foundation developed ConFLUsion, a national public awareness campaign aimed at combating flu myths with credible health information.

Recently, Outcome Health and the IDSA Foundation announced a partnership to promote the ConFLUsion campaign to audiences at the point of care. At the IDSA Foundation, we recognize the tremendous value in reaching patients and their caregivers with flu facts and vaccine information at the point of care because this is when they have immediate access to their healthcare provider. Rather than learning information about the flu and forgetting it the moment they become distracted by something else going on in their lives, the patient and caregiver audience is in a moment when their health is top of mind. At the point of care, they can ask their provider questions (to further dispel any conFLUsion they may have) and learn what to expect after receiving the vaccine. Through this partnership with Outcome Health, we can ensure that our important messages are reaching patients during their most critical moments of care.

We sought the expertise of Dr. Andrew T. Pavia to provide more information about the flu and why prevention is so important.

DON’T LET CONFLUSION KEEP YOU FROM PROTECTING YOURSELF FROM THE FLU. GET THE FACTS.
Each year, the flu causes millions of illnesses and thousands of deaths. Last year’s flu season alone accounted for the deaths of more than 80,000 people, making it one of the deadliest flu seasons in decades. The flu is a contagious viral respiratory infection that typically, although not always, causes fever (100-102° F for several days) *, severe aches and pains, exhaustion, coughing, sore throat, congestion, and a runny nose. Flu can also lead to more severe complications including pneumonia, blood stream infections, and less commonly, inflammation of the brain (encephalitis), heart muscle (myocarditis), and skeletal muscles (myositis).

*It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever, especially the elderly, infants, and those on high doses of steroids.

The time from when a person is exposed and infected with flu to when symptoms begin is about two days but can range from about one to four days.

The best way to prevent flu is by getting vaccinated each year.

THE FLU IS NOT:
A cold. Cold symptoms are similar, such as congestion, runny nose, and cough, but rarely include fever (and very mild, if so), severe aches and pains, and almost never exhaustion. Flu symptoms typically are much more intense than cold symptoms. Colds typically begin gradually while flu typically starts suddenly. People may say things about flu like: “It felt like I was suddenly hit by a truck.”

A stomach illness . Although people often say they have the “stomach flu,” there is no such thing. While modest vomiting and diarrhea occasionally are symptoms of the flu – more likely in children than adults – severe gastrointestinal symptoms typically suggest a bacterial or different type of viral infection (such as norovirus), rather than the flu, particularly if they are not accompanied by classic flu symptoms.

WHO IS AT THE HIGHEST RISK FROM FLU?
Anyone can get the flu (even healthy people), and serious problems related to flu can happen at any age, but some people are at high risk of developing serious flu-related complications if they get flu. This includes people 65 years and older, people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, severe obesity, or heart disease), pregnant women, and children younger than 5 years (especially those younger than 2 years).

CAN THE FLU BE TREATED?
Yes. There are prescription medications called “antiviral drugs” that can be used to treat flu illness. These include: oseltamivir (Tamiflu), zanamivir (Relenza), baloxavir (Xhofluza), and peramivir (Rapivab).

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I THINK I HAVE THE FLU?
If you get the flu and are at high risk of serious complications, antiviral drugs are recommended to reduce the risk of complications. If you are not at high risk, antiviral drugs can reduce symptoms by about a day if started within 48 hours of when symptoms start and may be an option. Check with your doctor promptly if you are at high risk and you develop flu symptoms.

WILL THERE BE ANOTHER FLU EPIDEMIC IN THE U.S. AGAIN THIS YEAR?
The United States experiences annual epidemics of seasonal flu. In the United States, flu viruses are most common during the fall and winter months. This time of year is called “flu season.” Influenza activity often begins to increase in October and November. Most of the time, flu activity peaks between December and February, and it can last as late as May. CDC monitors key flu indicators for example, outpatient visits of influenza-like illness (ILI), the results of laboratory testing, reports of flu hospitalizations, and deaths. When these indicators rise and remain elevated for a number of consecutive weeks, “flu season” is said to have begun.

Cure your conFLUsion by visiting IDSAFoundation.org.

Special thanks to Andrew T. Pavia M.D., FAAP, FIDSA for his contribution to this article. Dr. Pavia is a George & Esther Gross Presidential Professor, Chief of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the University of Utah, the Director of the Hospital Epidemiology program.

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Ending Prostate Cancer Starts at the Point of Care

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Jamie Bearse, President & CEO of ZERO -The End of Prostate Cancer, recognizes the value in reaching men at the point of care with information and reminders that can save their lives.

When visiting the doctor, have you ever felt like even though you move from the waiting room to the exam room you’re still waiting at least 20 more minutes before you actually lay eyes on a doctor? I’ll admit: I’ve wandered around an exam room counting the tiles on the floor, reading the posters on the walls, picking up the knee hammer and putting it back down quickly as if someone is going to come in and scold me for touching it.

On my most recent doctor visit I was relieved to see my general practice physician had brought in a TV stocked with videos to fill up all that empty time. I no longer had to covertly examine the medical equipment to pass the time. I was psyched to see that on that TV was ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer featured in one of the videos.

ZERO is a national nonprofit organization with the mission to end prostate cancer. More than that, we’re on a mission to educate men and their families about the disease and the importance of talking to their doctor about testing. This is why we’re thrilled to partner with Outcome Health to bring this vital awareness to men where it will be most impactful: in their doctor’s office. Launching this campaign during Prostate Cancer Awareness Month in September just brings even more awareness to the table for folks in local communities who may not be aware they’re at risk for the disease: This September, we want more men to know how vital early detection is.

Supporting patient education

That time in the “smaller waiting room” (aka exam room) is the perfect opportunity to not only wait for your doctor, but to focus on what you as a patient can do to make smarter and healthier decisions. You’re already in the mindset of talking about your medical history and any problems you may be having, so it’s the perfect time to face your health issues straight on.

Including information about prostate cancer risk and early detection in a doctor’s office such as the one I recently visited in Boston is critical. Early detection saves lives 99 percent of the time, but we find that too often men don’t talk to their doctor about prostate cancer risk. Engaging a patient with a video about prostate health *during their already scheduled appointment* can encourage the patient to talk about risks and when to be proactive about screening. They will already be in the right frame of mind, so a reminder about the disease itself could save their life. I don’t mean to scare you, but prostate cancer kills a man every 18 minutes and symptoms don’t appear until the disease has progressed to a late stage.

But that doesn’t have to happen to you. Prostate cancer screening is a simple blood test coupled with a physical exam. If you have questions or you or someone you care about is fighting prostate cancer, we’ve got your back. Visit us at ZeroCancer.org. Don’t forget: early detection saves lives, and having a conversation with your doctor about screening and your risk only takes a few minutes. It’s that few minutes – at the beginning or end of your already scheduled appointment – that could make all the difference.

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As President & CEO of ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer, Jamie Bearse is committed to championing the cause while stewarding this leading cancer organization. Bearse has been with ZERO for 16 years and has been a critical member of the leadership team since 2005. He is recognized as the key architect of several of ZERO’s strategic objectives and programs including the ZERO Prostate Cancer Run/Walk, its Endurance Team initiative, co-pay relief program, and ZERO360 Patient Navigation. Jamie is a black belt in karate, a blogger, and he lives in Boston, MA with his wife and three children.

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