Tag Archives: Chief Nursing Officer

Nursing Shortage Still Plagues Arizona’s Health Care Industry

Web can be a blessing and a curse for health advice

Admit it. You’ve had an ache or pain or a sniffle or stiffness and Googled your symptoms to figure out what was wrong. We’ve all done it.

While WebMD may be the quickest way to find and answer, it may not be the healthiest.
“The danger is that many different diseases have similar symptoms and it is difficult for a person without medical training to distinguish between possible causes,” says Dr. Jim Dearing, chief medical officer for John C. Lincoln’s Physician Network. “This becomes more dangerous if the patient decides to self-medicate instead of consulting a physician, because they could easily be treating the wrong thing – and their treatment may make the real cause of their symptoms worse.”

According to a 2011 Pew study, 80 percent of Internet users look for health information online, making medical inquiries the third most popular use of the Web, trailing only email and search engine use. And a recent survey of 1,000 people found that almost one-quarter of 1,000 people surveyed have misdiagnosed and treated themselves wrongly thanks to the information they found online.

“With the abundance of information available on the Internet, sorting fact from fiction can be difficult,” says Dr. Mary Ellen Dirlam, medical director of Samaritan Academic Faculty Practices at Banner Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center. “Information on the web may be inaccurate, incomplete, outdated or biased by commercial interests. Misinformation or applying accurate information inappropriately may result in needless worry or false reassurance, causing delay of treatment.”

Some of that needless worry has created a condition called “cyberchondria,” which is fear and preoccupation with medical concerns caused by health research online.

Virginia Kwan, a psychologist at Arizona State University, examined how symptoms presented online can influence people’s reactions to possible medical conditions
“The way gamblers say they have a ‘hot hand,’ cyberchondriacs believe they have ‘hot symptoms,’” Kwan says. “If they hit the first two in a list, they believe they must have the third one as well.”

While issues of misdiagnosis and cyberchondria can result from overzealous online medical research, doctors agree that there is a constructive place for Internet research in healthcare.

“The Internet provides a wealth of information for parents interested in their child’s medical care,” says Dr. Robb Muhm Jr. of Phoenix Children’s Hospital. “The amount of information can be overwhelming at times. The biggest danger for parents is choosing the incorrect information from among all the available information on the Internet.  This is an area where the pediatrician can be very helpful. We can help the parents make the right decision for their child based on experience, research, and the most current information.”
Dr. Sanford Silverman of Scottsdale’s Center for Attention Deficit and Learning Disorders and Center for Peak Performance points out that the Internet can be a useful tool to create a common ground to start a diagnostic and treatment discussion with a medical professional.

“The more informed the patient is, the easier it is to communicate with them,” he says. “In this respect, prospective patients can learn from pertinent Internet sites and then share their thoughts and findings with the doctor. I have worked with many patients who were diagnosed with anxiety and or depression. By using the Internet to research this diagnosis, they found links to Attention Deficit Disorder, which they then believed was a more accurate diagnosis.  They scheduled an appointment to investigate if they have this disorder.  In the majority of my cases, they were accurate and ADD was a contributing or major part of their difficulties.  The Internet helped steer them to appropriate authorities.”


Valley doctors offer insight for those people who have a medical issue or question and are considering turning to the Internet for answers:

Dr. Mary Ellen Dirlam, Banner Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center: Patients searching the internet need to verify the identity and credentials of the online source. Reputable sources include their healthcare provider as well as the Medical Library Association internet site. This website offers an excellent article, “A user’s guide to finding and evaluating health information on the web” as well as a list of good sources for information.

Dr. Robb Muhm Jr., Phoenix Children’s Hospital: We should all be critical media consumers. We always need to be mindful of where the information is coming from.  The American Academy of Pediatrics website (aap.org) is a good starting point. The AAP has another parent-specific website dedicated to providing accurate, current information on a wide variety of topics: healthychildren.org.  When I have a question, I start with these two websites.

Dr. Penny Krich, EVDI Medical Imaging: A patient should be wary of anecdotal medical information often found on the Internet. Each patient’s medical history is different. It should be taken into account that a similar symptom for one person may have very different implications for someone else with a different underlying medical problem.

Jelden Arcilla, chief nursing officer, St. Luke’s Medical Center:  The best sites to visit and reference for individual and basic education on health and medical conditions are non-profit, government and academic web sites.  These are sites are generally unbiased with no individual disclosure or conflicts and have the most updated, evidence-based research to support its information and recommendations.  They also are reputable web sites to provide you referrals to nearest health care provider who can further address your concerns.

2010 Health Care Leadership Awards recognizes the Valley's professionals in the health indsutry

2010 HCLA – Nurse or Nursing Advocate

Honoree: Kim Wilson, RN, BS, MS

Vice President of Patient Care Services and CNO
Mercy Gilbert Medical Center
Vice President of Patient Care Services and CNO Mercy Gilbert Medical Center, 2010 Health Care Leadership AwardsEven before the doors opened at Mercy Gilbert Medical Center in 2006, Kim Wilson was shaping the hospital’s work environment, quality of patient care, clinical excellence and innovations.

As chief nursing officer, she has worked closely with other members of the hospital’s leadership team to establish an environment of “Pause, Reflect, Heal.” The Pause, Reflect, Heal concept is simple. For patients, it is a blend of clinical excellence with extraordinary compassion, crafted to heal both body and soul.

For the hospital’s leaders, it is a commitment to caring for the caregivers — a blend of tough-minded, yet tenderhearted leadership, balancing accountability with endearing relationships with staff.

At Mercy Gilbert, Wilson’s responsibilities range from planning and managing to maintaining direct and regular contact with the hospital’s patients. She plays an integral role in establishing a vision for and providing leadership in the delivery of excellent patient care, including plans for high patient and physician satisfaction, employee and patient safety, clinical education, and incorporating innovative technologies. In tune with innovation, she brings new technologies to the bedside. Along with ensuring that each patient receives quality care, Wilson wants patients to feel safe and to be able to heal body, mind and spirit. She does this through regular daily contact with patients and effective communication with the nursing staff.

Prior to joining Mercy Gilbert, Wilson spent 25 years in Bakersfield, Calif., where she served in several nursing leadership roles.

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Finalist: Linda Lindquist, RN

Director of Critical Care
Phoenix Baptist Hospital
Linda Lindquist, Director of Critical Care Phoenix Baptist Hospital, 201 Health Care Leadership Awards
In just two short years, Linda Lindquist’s impact on leadership and patient care is evident at Phoenix Baptist Hospital. A nurse for 40 years, including 30 in the Valley, Lindquist manages the critical care areas of the hospital.

Following the example she sets, Lindquist’s staff takes care of the sickest patients with kindness, compassion and technical excellence. In fact, Lindquist’s patients consistently have among the highest patient satisfaction levels at Phoenix Baptist. The reason? She personally visits all of the patients in her areas, which no doubt has an impact on their care and recovery. Lindquist is easygoing, with an approachable manner that makes working with her a pleasant experience. She serves as a mentor for her nursing partners, and as a resource for non-nursing leaders at the hospital.

Since joining Phoenix Baptist in May 2008, Lindquist has been given additional responsibilities, and is serving as interim director of the medical/surgical unit.

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Finalist: Peg Smith, RN, MBA

Chief Nursing Officer
Chandler Regional Medical Center
Peg Smith, Chief Nursing Officer Chandler Regional Medical Center, 201 Health Care Leadership Awards

Peg Smith, chief nursing officer for Chandler Regional Medical Center, has a true passion for patient care. One way she shares this passion is through a program she developed called the Medicine of Compassion/Day of Reflection. That’s when new and existing employees learn about how Smith expects care to be delivered, focusing on patient needs, compassion, communication, and healing of the mind, body and spirit.

Each day, Smith makes sure she anticipates her patients’ needs by including patients in making decisions about their care, communicating effectively with other members of the care team and, when patients go home, overseeing the team that calls them the next day to make sure the former patients are doing well. Smith joined the Chandler hospital in 1993 as the evening charge nurse in the operating room.

Since then, she has taken on increased responsibilities, being promoted regularly until she was named to her current position in 2001.

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