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Summertime Safety

Be Safe for Summer Fun

Summertime is upon us. School is out for kids, and the weather is warming up which leads to increased activity outside. It would be wise to prepare for summertime activities with some safety precautions. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Supply everything you need for a safe trip or just to safely enjoy your leisure time outdoors.

Summertime preparedness includes (but is not limited to):

  • staying hydrated
  • protecting the skin
  • defending against insects
  • packing the right clothing and equipment
  • water safety
  • proper food preparation and
  • being aware of potential environmental hazards.

According to the American Red Cross, when hiking in the mountains, “falls are the biggest threat, many due to poor decision-making, lack of skill or not being properly prepared.” Be aware of your surroundings such as cliffs, steep slopes and the like, and make sure to stay close to the designated trails. Be sure to stay hydrated and by bringing water to drink, especially while away from civilization. Hiking can be especially dangerous without the proper supplies, food, and water. Heat exhaustion and dehydration are a real danger.

To protect against the sun a helpful resource is the UV Index Search provided by The Environmental Protection Agency allows you to see the level of ultraviolet radiation in your area. Be sure to stay in the shade, wear sunglasses, hats, and clothing that keeps your skin protected. Try to avoid being out in the most intense hours of the day. Sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher is recommended to those with sensitive skin. Apply sunscreen regularly.

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For more information about Summer Safety tips visit these websites:


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Madison Memorial Hospital Earns Award of Excellence

Madison Memorial Hospital Earns 2017 Qualis Health Quality Award

Madison Memorial Hospital earned the Award of Excellence from Qualis Health for the hospital’s “Quality-Driven Medication Reconciliation” program.

“Medication safety is crucial during times of care transition,” said Mikel Barr, RN, Director of Quality at Madison Memorial.

“But when a patient is admitted to the hospital, it is not uncommon for their primary care physician to be uninvolved with their care. In cases like these a patient may experience interruptions in medications for chronic conditions, variations in the dosage of those medications, or even be prescribed new medications. These changes can result in flare-ups of the chronic condition, may affect the patient’s ability to recover from the acute condition for which they were hospitalized, or cause dangerous drug interactions.”

To address this disconnect, Madison Memorial Hospital piloted an innovative medication reconciliation program, with the aim of improving patient safety by preventing adverse drug events, and reducing hospital readmissions.

At the focus of the program, certified pharmacy technicians complete a medication reconciliation review with patients and families on admission. Their goal is to fully communicate with patients and families so that the patient has a clear understanding of the medications they should be taking when they leave the hospital or move to the next level of care.

As a result, Madison Memorial has reduced its number of medication reconciliation errors significantly, with the effect of reducing the number of adverse drug events from 30 in 2015 to 12 in 2016, and readmissions from 92 in 2015 to 70 in 2016.

Qualis Health is one of the nation’s leading population health management organizations, and it distinguished Madison Memorial Hospital along with other medical organizations throughout Idaho for continued improvement in healthcare quality and outcomes.

Award recipients were recognized during a ceremony at the Idaho Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Conference in Boise, Idaho. Kelly McGrath, MD, MS, Qualis Health Idaho Medical Director, presented the awards.

The awards recognize those who demonstrate outcomes to the three broad aims outlined in the National Quality Strategy:

• Better healthcare (for individuals)

• Better health (for populations)

• Reduced costs through improvement

Madison Memorial Hospital Receives Quality Award

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Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer: There is Hope

It all started with a lump. 

While performing a routine self breast exam, Heather Bagley’s mother experienced what every woman dreads. Finding a lump can terrify a woman for obvious reasons. Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer for women. Prospects of surgery, radically altered body image, and changes in personal relationships can all be daunting. In part because of those fears, too many women don’t perform self exams or get regular mammograms after age 40.

Unfortunately, according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Health care specialists at Teton Radiology and Madison Memorial Hospital wish women would realize the magnitude of that mistake because it has a direct impact on survival rates. 

Cancer survival rates are frequently measured in increments of five years. For example, an 80 percent 5-year survival rate would mean that five years after diagnosis, 80 out of 100 patients are still living.  According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer, when detected in its early stages, has over a 90 percent survival rate.

The high survival rates are hopeful, but that doesn’t make being diagnosed any simpler. And when a woman has breast cancer, everyone connected to her feels the jolt. 

“I remember being stunned. We all were. I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, am I going to lose my mom?’” Heather recalls.  “I’m not even sure how routinely she had done self-examinations.” Heather’s mother was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer and has been courageously battling ever since. 

Nearly three million American woman are breast cancer survivors, and the survival rates have been climbing since the 1990s.  Awareness and early detection are a critical part of that progress. Madison Memorial wants to contribute to that trend. Having recently partnered with Huntsman Cancer Institute, MMH is now positioned to provide women with excellent care and advanced resources.  

Karl Raschke

Organizational Communication and Advocacy Major at BYU-Idaho



Skin Cancer Screenings for a More Prepared, Healthy You

Skin Cancer: More Likely than All Other Cancers Combined

When Madison School District invited local health care providers to offer screenings at the upcoming Community Wellness Fair, Brett Bagley, PA-C and owner of Fall Creek Skin and Health,  jumped at the chance. He wants people to understand that the survival rate for melanoma skin cancer is nearly 98 percent. He wants people to get screenings because screenings save lives.

Health care professionals didn’t understand skin cancer nearly as well back in 1979 when Randall Raschke thought nothing of the lesion next to his eye. Even when it grew large enough for him to feel every time he blinked, he wasn’t worried.  Lacking modern technology and levels of training, Raschke’s dermatologist didn’t even feel the lesion needed to be studied further after he removed it in a standard procedure.

It wasn’t until a year later when other health issues began to arise that Raschke was diagnosed with basal cell nevus syndrome. The growth his doctor had removed was likely basal cell carcinoma, more commonly known as skin cancer.

Fortunately, in the nearly 40 years since Raschke’s diagnosis, knowledge about skin cancer, how to recognize it, and how to treat it has grown tremendously.

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, “Skin cancer is the uncontrollable growth of abnormal skin cells. It occurs when unrepaired DNA damage to skin cells (most often caused by ultraviolet radiation from sunshine or tanning beds) triggers mutations, or genetic defects, that lead the skin cells to multiply rapidly and form malignant tumors.”

There are different types of skin cancer, such as basal cell carcinoma and melanoma. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, while melanoma accounts for a small fraction of overall skin cancer cases, it is the cause of the majority of deaths. In fact, approximately one person dies of melanoma every hour nationwide.

Like with many medical issues however, preventive measures can greatly decrease the risk for and increase the prognosis of patients. Self-examinations, explained further here, daily use of SPF 15+ sunscreen, and skin cancer screenings are three simple ways of minimizing risk. Join Brett Bagley on Friday, May 12, at the Madison Community Health and Wellness Fair at Madison Junior High School to take your first step toward prevention and early detection with a free skin cancer screening.
Karl Raschke

Organizational Communication and Advocacy major at BYU-Idaho

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