History of Scrub Uniforms

Surgeons and medical assistants wearing masks and uniforms 

It wasn’t until the latter half of the 20th century, did surgeons begin wearing sterilized garments when in the operating room.

Initially, surgeons wore their own clothes during surgical procedures and later, doctors donned an apron over their clothing, which became the common procedure for many years.

That all changed in 1918, when millions of people came down with the Spanish Flu, that was apparently brought here by the soldiers who were returning from WWI Europe. This was an epidemic of enormous proportions and resulted in deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in the US and Europe.

Subsequently, there was wide paranoia of acquiring this deadly virus and medical professionals were scrambling for ways to prevent the spread of infection when approaching potential flu victims.

In addition to the apron, surgeons began wearing cotton gauze masks when operating on a patient. Although this didn’t help the patient from obtaining the disease, the surgeons felt that they were more protected.

In the 1940s, operating room personnel began using more sterilized techniques, in order to stop infections and pathogens from spreading. They wore white aprons which became the symbol of medical professionals; however, it was later determined that the white apparel, along with the operating room bright lights caused eye fatigue. Not something one would want to happen to a surgeon and his nursing staff when in procedure. As a result, operating room garments were changed to green and this became the standard in the 1970s. Known as scrubs, they are commonly worn by health care staff in today’s hospitals.

But not all scrubs are green. What was becoming apparent was a required differentiation between health care professionals by department; such as nursing, pediatrics and emergency rooms and thus, medical professionals wear different colored scrubs that reflect their profession, such as white for doctors, blue for nurses and green for operating staff.

Surgical scrubs are typically owned or leased by the hospital due to the need to sterilize them properly. These garments are designed in sturdy material, which are made to clean blood and other bodily fluids more efficiently than standard clothing.

Today, just about all health care workers wear scrubs. Doctors still wear their own clothing covered by a white coat, except of course during surgery.

What is HIPAA?

HIPAA Symbol
Patients are protected by the federal government’s HIPAA policies

The federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) represents a set of rules to protect the confidentiality and security of patients’ health care information, help insurance payments more efficiently and to help streamline health care administrative costs.

One of the major tasks of HIPAA is to ensure that a patient’s privacy remains intact and kept away from unauthorized parties. It consists of a balance of strict rules to protect a patient’s privacy, but also allows the transfer of medical information to other medical providers, should the need occur.

In New York State, they went beyond HIPAA privacy to enact the I-Stop rule, which prohibits certified medical providers from handwriting prescriptions. This not only helps counter the rising opioid epidemic, but also yields more control to a patient’s privacy, as well as helps reduce persecution errors.

All patients or their respective legal representatives must sign a HIPAA release allowing the provider to send out their records. The privacy regulation that covers a patient’s right to the release of their medical information is called the Privacy Rule. There is a separate rule called the Confidential Rule which is directed towards medical professionals, of which they must follow to keep a person’s medical history protected and private.

Providers and medical professionals who don’t adhere the HIPAA rules can be held responsible and accountable with consequences ranging from fees to criminal prosecution.

With the advent of ACA and electronic health records, additional PHI rules have been initiated. Adjustments have been made that add to the policies of HIPAA, such as the Omnibus Final Rule, enacted in 2013, which strengthens the privacy and security of patients’ medical information, also called Protected Health Information, and applies to the electronic transfer of medical records.

The HIPAA policy was and is a sweeping system of PHI rules that not only help to protect patient’s medical rights, but also help to ensure that medical providers don’t’ misuse medical information, whether that would be intentional or non-intentional.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Movement of our joints are taken granted for by most of us until we start feeling the pain . For the most part, it would be arthritis that’s causing this and there are many forms of arthritis; namely, Infective, Psoriatic, Reactive, Viral and Rheumatoid.

There are many reasons for a person to be affected by the list above, but there is no known reason (as of yet) for Rheumatoid arthritis, although it is known that with this disease, the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own tissues, thinking that they are a foreign entity that must be destroyed, which in turn causes the joints to become painful. It usually begins after age 40 and is more common in women then in men.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease and its symptoms can be swelling of the joints, bumps of tissue under the skin or your arms, severe pain in the morning and possible fatigue. If rheumatoid arthritis is not addressed, the problem can become severe and can affect organs like the heart, lungs and eyes.

There are numerous medications available that can reduce inflammation and help relieve pain. If you feel you have rheumatoid arthritis or any type of pain in your joints, make an appointment to see your doctor, who will run a complete diagnosis to determine what the exact issue is and then develop a plan to manage it.

Reducing Use of Antipsychotic Drugs in Long-Stay Nursing Homes

A coalition of consumers, advocacy organizations, providers, and professional associations is called to reduce the use of antipsychotic medications in long-stay nursing home residents, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service (CMS).

Some members of the National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care include CMS, the American Health Care Association, LeadingAge, Advancing Excellence in America’s Nursing Homes, and AMDA — The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine. The coalition established the goal of reducing use of these medications by 25% by the end of 2015 and by 30% by the end of 2016.

There is some controversy with the numbers being proposed. Representatives from California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, the Center for Medicare Advocacy, National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care and the Long Term Care Community Coalition wrote to CMS in July that they could not endorse the goals set.

“…we feel the proposed goals do much too little to protect nursing home residents from overuse of antipsychotic medications and will not meaningfully improve current drugging practices, which place too many nursing home residents at risk of harmful treatment,” the authors wrote to Karen Trist, CMS director of Nursing Home Survey and Certification.

The use of antipsychotics in long-stay nursing home residents has already been reduced by 15.1% between the end of 2011 and the end of 2013 to a rate of 20.2% nationwide. Over the last 21 months use has reduced even further to a rate of 19.8%. However, the coalition is looking to reduce the rate even further.

All 50 states and ever CMS region showed at least some improvement, according to a report from CMS. Hawaii led the charge with a 31.4% reduction in the use of antipsychotic medications, followed by North Carolina (29.9%) and Vermont (28.2%).

In 2011, Medicare Part D spending on antipsychotic drugs totaled $7.6 billion, accounting for 8.4% of spending.

“We know that many of the diagnoses in nursing home residents do not merit antipsychotics but they were being used anyway,” said Patrick Conway, MD, deputy administrator for innovation and quality and the CMS chief medical officer. “In partnership with key stakeholders, we have set ambitious goals to reduce use of antipsychotics because there are — for many people with dementia — behavioral and other approaches to provide this care more effectively and safely.”

Ultimately, the Partnership is aiming to enhance use of non-pharmacologics and person-centered care. As the use of antipsychotics is reduced, CMS will monitor the situation to ensure nursing homes are not replacing antipsychotics with other drugs.

About Robert Garlick

Dr. Garelick Dentist Linderhurst In 1980, Dr. Garelick graduated from the New York University with his Doctorate of Dental Surgery Degree. After graduating, he went on to do his residency at Montefiore Hospital and Medical Center in 1981. After he completed his residency, he joined his father’s dental practice and eventually took over once his father retired.

Dr. Garelick actively pursues continuing his education in all branches of dentistry, and strives to build strong relationships with his patients. Having worked in Lindenhurst for so long, he has built a reputation within the community for excellence in the world of dentistry.

Dr. Garelick believes that the more informative a patient has, the easier it is to diagnose problems and the smoother the transition to prevention and remedy, not to mention the added benefit that comes for the patient who is knowledgeable.

On this site, Dr. Garelick attempts to separate fact from fiction, truths vs. myths that not only find themselves engulfed in water cooler conversations, but also among the tons of websites that just don’t give the correct information regarding medical and dental healthcare.

Yes, there are also websites that do give the proper information when it comes to searching for a medical/dental problem and subsequently, we intend to be one of those knowledge based sites as well, but with a little twist. Every now and then, we will provide articles about facts that you may not find on other websites, such as our article about Six Interesting Medical Facts You Will Enjoy Reading.

So relax and take a load off your feet and enjoy browsing Dr. Garelick’s website on the truths about medical and dental health care.