March 3, 2017

Mille Lacs Health System continues to see GI illness in both patients and staff. Influenza is also in the community. Visitors to the hospital, nursing home, and assisted living are still restricted, as they have been since Feb.22. Signs at every entrance have been warning people of the precautions and restrictions needed to prevent both from getting sick yourself or infecting others. Masks and gloves are provided at each entry.

The health system has activated a team of medical professionals and management to complete short and long-term planning regarding the outbreak, including daily monitoring of new onset GI symptoms among patients, residents, and employees. Employees are required to stay away from work until they are symptom-free for 24 hours.

by Kari Collett, RDN, LDN, CLT

It’s probably no surprise that people eating a Westernized diet suffer from more digestion disorders than other populations. In particular, diverticular diseases that result in the formation of small pouches in the colon develop from chronic constipation. Bacteria and other irritants get trapped in the pouches causing spasms, pain, inflammation, diarrhea, and sometimes bleeding. The consequence flare-ups associated with these diseases is often a hospital stay – especially for the elderly.

The 13th annual Adverse Events Health Report, put out by the Minnesota Hospital Association, (MHA) was released on Fri., Feb. 17. It was initiated by the MHA and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and created through state legislation in 2003. In the 13 years of public reporting of adverse health events, the Minnesota Department of Health has collected detailed information on more than 3,200 events. This annual report provides an overview of the most recent year of data and the identified risk points for adverse health events.

The annual St. Francis Award, given to a nominated employee at Mille Lacs Health System, was awarded on Jan. 27 to doctors Patti Hook and Arden Virnig, Family Practice Physicians at MLHS.

Mille Lacs Health System supports and encourages all employees to create a caring and compassionate healing environment for those served. The annual St. Francis Award was established in 1989 to identify fellow employees who are both role models and an inspiration to others.

Mille Lacs Health System is proud to announce its fourth year in a row as a hospital that has garnered the Women’s Choice Award for Best Emergency Care.

This evidence-based designation is the only Emergency Care award that identifies the country’s best healthcare institutions based on robust criteria that considers female patient satisfaction, clinical excellence, and what women state that they want from a hospital.

Mille Lacs Health System has been recognized by the Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA) for superior performance in patient safety as part of its Hospital Engagement Network 2.0. The MHA Hospital Engagement Network 2.0 is working to reduce hospital-acquired conditions by 40 percent and readmissions by 20 percent.

MLHS was honored with a Patient Safety Excellence Award. The award is given to hospitals that reach benchmark safety criteria on six or more topics, relating to measures that include falls, pressure injuries, delirium, infections, and violence prevention.

“MLHS is helping to further strengthen patient safety in Minnesota and contributing to the state’s well-deserved reputation for high-quality health care,” said Lawrence Massa, MHA president and CEO.

by Tammy Hall RN, MSN, Diabetes Educator

Prediabetes (insulin resistance) is a significant health issue affecting one in three American adults. Most people with prediabetes do not know they have it.

Who is at risk?

Prediabetes and diabetes used to be considered a disease that affected older adults only; however, prediabetes is becoming more prevalent in the adolescent and young adult populations who are overweight. The most significant risk factors in the development of prediabetes are being overweight or obese and sedentary lifestyle habits. Artificial sweeteners and preservatives and inflammation also play a significant role in the development of prediabetes/type 2 diabetes.

Ask questions, be informed

by Mary Rains
Mille Lacs Health System

Just a simple twenty seconds could save a person a couple weeks in bed this winter. Cold and flu season has begun and the best way to decrease the chances of being bedridden with a bad virus or bacterial infection is to practice good handwashing. Dec. 4-10 is National Handwashing Awareness Week.

Sixty five percent of all adults and children don’t wash their hands regularly. Those are the people touching grocery carts, doorknobs, and various other surfaces. And if they are sick, others will be too if a little time isn’t spent washing hands frequently during the day.

National Influenza Vaccination Week is Dec. 4-10 and it’s time to get real about the flu and the flu shot. If you get your news from around the Internet, you know there are many theories (and some not true) about the topic. If you want solid information, visit reliable news sources and do your homework.

For instance, just because flu has already started appearing in the state does not mean it’s too late for a flu shot. And just because a person is healthy and isn’t typically bothered by illness or viruses doesn’t mean that’s a reason not to get the vaccination.

Here are some myths (and facts) about flu and flu shots.

Myth: I don’t need the flu vaccine. I’m a healthy person and I hardly ever get sick.