Heartburn or GERD can Kill

Heartburn is a common annoyance. The busy lifestyle, quick meals, fatty or spicy foods all contribute to the occasional need of a chewable pain reliever. The acceptance of heartburn as an inconvenient, but natural, part of the daily grind can blind you to the warning that a severe heartburn symptom can bring.

Heartburn as a Disorder

Heartburn can be a symptom as well as a disorder. Simple heartburn or GERD can be controlled and dealt with. However, heartburn can signal the presence of a much more serious problem. If it’s heartburn, you will have a burning sensation in the chest usually after eating. There may be a spread of the burning to the throat, sometimes accompanied by a bad taste, difficulty in swallowing, belching, coughing, hoarseness and/or wheezing.

It can become worse by lying down or bending over or by eating. Relief can come from an antacid. While the more severe heartburn symptoms may be mistaken for a heart attack, simple heartburn is usually not made worse by exercise. If there is any concern that the pain may signal a heart attack, get help quickly.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Why Hospitals Use Credentialing

By Nate Henrie

Until a short time ago I honestly didn't know what hospital credentialing was. I had never heard of it. But now that I have I'll admit that I'm glad that hospitals across the country are doing it! So let's take a look at what this whole credentialing thing is and how it helps patients.

What Hospital Credentialing is All About?

So what is hospital credentialing? Basically, it's a process that doctors have to go through in order to do certain procedures at a hospital. If they don't have the credentials with that hospital, they can't do the procedure.

The fact is that hospitals have learned that it takes more than just going to school to be a competent doctor. So hospitals have implemented a credentialing system so that they can be sure to keep tabs on doctors and make sure they are competent in the right areas. The actual process will vary from hospital to hospital, but it usually at least involves peer reviews and other criteria.

These days most hospitals will use some kind of software system to keep track of which doctors have the right credentials and which don't.

How Credentialing Helps

One of the biggest risks that a patient faces when going in for an operation or other procedure is malpractice. I'm not talking about simple human errors, but a doctor that does something above their qualifications and competency. By using a credentialing system a hospital can reduce the risk of malpractice to their patients by making sure that their doctors are qualified.

Credentialing can also help reduce the amount of money that hospitals have to spend on lawsuits and investigations associated with mistakes, accidents and malpractice.

As I mentioned before, I wasn't really aware of this system until recently. My hope is that if any hospital has not adopted this type of system that they will start to. It only makes sense since it not only protects patients, but also doctors and hospitals.

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