Bold Voices - August 2012 - (Page 10)

AT THE BEDSIDE Fast Food in Hospitals Counters Goal of Healthy Eating Fast-food restaurants in hospitals conflict with the message of wellness, but long-term contracts challenge any changes in food offerings. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine’s (PCRM’s) 2011 survey of hospital food environments found hospitals with as many as five fast-food outlets, which “are especially troubling because their menus tend to be dominated by foods that are extraordinarily high in saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, and sugar.” The survey also criticized “the high-fat, meat-heavy menus offered by many hospital cafeterias, and the unhealthful food often served to patients.” A National Public Radio (NPR) report, “Fast Food Chains in Cafeterias Put Hospitals in a Bind,” says McDonald’s has 27 outlets in hospitals, some of which face contracts that extend for decades. A hospitality director who failed to terminate his McDonald’s contract tells NPR, Treating Toothaches in the ED Already stressed state budgets shoulder the added burden of expensive emergency department (ED) treatment for toothaches and other avoidable dental ailments, according to a report issued by the Pew Center on the States, Washington, D.C. Some hospitals have as many as five fastfood outlets. Others have signed 25-year contracts. “We’re just going to have to live with it.” According to the NPR report, Chickfi l-A also added branches in several hospitals recently. “In this day and age, when you would think a hospital might be proud enough, if not shamed enough, to cut or end these contracts with fast food outlets,” the problem persists, a PCRM dietician says. Truman Medical Centers, Kansas City, Mo., signed a 25-year contract with McDonald’s in 1992 in order to gain stability, but CEO John Bluford tells NPR that fast food sends “an inconsistent message” about healthy eating. When he was chair of the American Hospital Association, Bluford helped develop a call to action that issued a recommendation to “only offer healthy food options in all hospital cafeterias and vending machines.” Modest investments in preventive care would improve consumers’ oral health and reduce states’ financial burden. “A Costly Dental Destination” estimates that preventable dental conditions were the primary reason for 830,590 ED visits by Americans in 2009, a 16 percent increase from 2006. The 24-state study concludes that states can reduce hospital visits, strengthen oral health and reduce costs with modest investments that improve access to preventive care. Dental-related hospital visits are fueled by the difficulty fi nancially disadvantaged people have obtaining preventive care from dentists and other types of providers, Pew reports. In 2009, 56 percent of Medicaidenrolled children did not receive dental care — not even routine exams. Multiple factors drive the access problem, including a shortage of dentists in many areas of the United States. Also, many dentists do not accept Medicaid-enrolled children. “The fact that so many Americans go to hospitals for dental care shows the delivery system is failing,” says Shelly Gehshan, director of the Pew Children’s Dental Campaign. “The care provided in an ER is much more expensive, and it generally doesn’t solve dental problems.” 10 AUGUST 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Bold Voices - August 2012

Front/Digital Edition Viewing Guide
Another Angle
‘AACN CSI Academy’ National Leadership Program Launches
Canadian Dynamics 2012: ‘Speak Up, Speak Out’
Grana Padano May Lower Blood Pressure
New Medicare Patient Satisfaction Requirement Misses Mark, Nurse Argues
FDA, The Joint Commission Aim to Reduce Alarm Fatigue
Fast Food in Hospitals Counters Goal of Healthy Eating
New Federal Hospital Visitation Standards
Nurse Obesity Linked to Long Hours
First-Ever Nurses Float Joins the 2013 Tournament of Roses Parade
AMA Urges Greater Focus on Ambulatory Patient Safety
Minimally Invasive Heart Valve Procedure Increases Patient Survival
Older Patients' in ICU at High Risk for HAI
Tele-ICU Symposium Explores Leading-Edge Technology
In Our Journals
Certification Capsules
Dare To
Contribute to the Evidence: Apply for an AACN Research Grant by Nov. 1
From the President

Bold Voices - August 2012