Expanding the Role of Emergency Medical Services

A new project under way at the Mount Sinai Health System aims to analyze and expand the role of the nation’s emergency medical services (EMS) to serve as a vital link in a highly coordinated system focused on the acute medical needs of the community.

The project, titled “Promoting Innovations in Emergency Medical Services,” is a collaborative effort between Mount Sinai and the UC San Diego Health System. Backed by a $225,000 grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services, the project seeks to eliminate the regulatory, financial, technological, and training barriers that have stood in the way of a meaningful overhaul of the nation’s emergency medical services. Read more

Enhancing Quality of Care and Reducing Costs Through a New Collaboration

The Mount Sinai Health System has entered into an agreement with Empire BlueCross BlueShield that is designed to enhance quality of care and help individuals maintain healthy habits, all while reducing the cost of care. Empire is the largest health insurer in New York State.

Under the innovative agreement, which became effective January 1, 2015, Mount Sinai will manage all aspects of care for Empire’s 48,000 commercial and Medicare members who are attributed to the Health System. This includes coordinating all medical treatment, closely monitoring the patient between physician visits, and ensuring that appropriate follow-up care is received. Patients with chronic or complex conditions will receive individualized care plans tailored to their specific needs. Read more

Are Antibiotics Necessary for the Common Cold?

The common cold is a viral infection that affects the nose and throat with associated sneezing, headaches, and cough. The rhinovirus is the most common type of virus that causes colds; however, there are more than 200 viruses that may cause the common cold. Antibiotics are not effective against viruses and are used to treat bacterial infections.

One of the largest misconceptions is that the color of the mucus suggests a bacterial infection. A patient can have yellow or green mucus and still have the common cold. The most important sign that would indicate a bacterial infection is present is the duration of symptoms. The American Academy of Otolaryngology guidelines for acute sinusitis require the presence of symptoms for greater than 7 to 10 days before being considered a bacterial infection. In addition, symptoms of the common cold may last for up to two weeks with cough and post nasal drip being the last symptoms to go away. Read more

Five Reasons We All Experience Back Pain

Experts estimate that as many as 80% of people will experience back pain at some point in their lives. While the pain can be debilitating, most are able heal by themselves however, many have to turn to alternative options for treatment.

The foundation of all treatments of back pain is physical therapy yet, depending on the particular cause of back pain, there are additional treatments available. Below are five common causes of back pain and Pain Management treatments to help improve the pain. Read more

A Slippery Slope: The Most Common Injuries for Skiing and Snowboarding

The holidays are over, but many of us here in the Northeast, or out in the West, are just beginning to hit the slopes. Whether you are a traditional skier, or a “shredder” snowboarder like me, safety is always of the utmost concern. While these two sports tend to be leisurely for many, the possibility of serious and debilitating musculoskeletal injuries should be recognized and prevented as best as possible. Read more

Nutrition Trends – Separating Fact and Fiction

The nutrition world is constantly buzzing with new trends and the latest and greatest “it” diet or food–many of which aren’t backed by sound nutritional evidence. Separating the trends from the facts is a big part of my job as a registered dietitian. Here are a few thoughts on some of the latest newsmakers and trends of 2015:

Gut health.

Research continues to point to an increasingly important role the gut plays in our overall well-being. Probiotics have been shown to help relieve gastrointestinal symptoms (think bloating, constipation and diarrhea), environmental allergic reactions and may even reduce the severity of cold and flu symptoms. From fermented foods and drinks (kimchi or kombucha, anyone?) to our favorite yogurt standbys, keeping our intestines happy should be a priority this year. Read more

Mount Sinai First in U.S. to Use Drug-Coated Balloon for Peripheral Arterial Disease

The Mount Sinai Hospital became the first institution in the United States to use a U.S. Food and Drug Adminstration-approved drug-coated balloon to reopen arteries in a patient’s leg. The new device was approved last October to treat arteries above the knee that have been narrowed or blocked by peripheral arterial disease (PAD), a potentially life-threatening condition that may cause leg pain, skin ulcers, and gangrene, and can result in amputation if left untreated. Read more

Overcoming Congenital Glaucoma

In the summer of 1998, Shavanne McCurchin noticed something odd about her 2-month-old son’s right eye. “The entire eye looked white,” she says, remembering that she thought she had accidentally sprinkled powder in his eye while changing his diaper.

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