Thursday, December 4, 2008

Alternative Therapies Gaining Ground In Hospitals

Alternative Therapies Gaining Ground In Hospitals:

The American Hospital Association reports that 37% of American hospitals are making complementary and alternative treatments available to their patients. The therapies include acupuncture, touch therapy, and music and art therapy. This percentage has grown from 2005, when it was offered by only 25% of hospitals.

The majority of hospitals are using patient satisfaction as the best way of determining whether an alterative treatment was beneficial. Next, the hospital looks at clinical data on its effectiveness. At the Cleveland Clinic, half of 1,700 patients undergoing heart surgery opted for alternatives and 93% of the patients found the services were helpful.

As an example, a nurse was having difficulty inserting an IV into a patient’s arm because of the patient’s anxiousness over her scheduled surgery. Instead of continuing to prod and poke the patient, the nurse called in a massage therapist and in 10 minutes the IV was in place.

So…if you have time to make a choice as to which hospital you go to, ask them if they offer alternative treatment programs. If they don’t, make sure to tell or write the head honcho as to why you’re not going to be using their facility. If enough folks did that, the 37% figure would grow quickly and dramatically and so would the benefits to the patients. (Reported in USA Today Online 9-14-08)

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