Tu­nisia will get a taste of Olympics’ NHS salute

Modern Healthcare - - OUTLIERS ASIDES & INSIDES -

Out­liers was, to bor­row a Bri­tishism, gob­s­macked to find that a show­piece seg­ment of the open­ing cer­e­mony of the Lon­don Olympic Games cel­e­brated … health­care. Danc­ing nurses and doc­tors, chil­dren bounc­ing on beds. All in trib­ute to the Na­tional Health Ser­vice. Dur­ing the seg­ment, the beds, fit­ted with LED lighting, were moved to spell out “NHS” and “GOSH,” for Great Or­mand Street Hospi­tal, a chil­dren’s hospi­tal that’s the ben­e­fi­ciary of roy­al­ties from J.M. Bar­rie’s Peter Pan.

Now it turns out some of the props used in that seg­ment aren’t go­ing to waste. The 320 beds that di­rec­tor Danny Boyle used in a dance se­quence show­ing British nurses tend­ing to sick chil­dren will be used in real hos­pi­tals in Tu­nisia.

Or­ga­niz­ers said the beds’ elab­o­rate lighting ef­fects and wiring were be­ing re­moved by vol­un­teers be­fore they were to be loaded into ship­ping con­tain­ers and sent over­seas. The beds are be­ing sent to the Hospi­tal Habis Bur­guiba De Me­de­nine and the Hospi­tal de Taouine in Tu­nisia.

Of course, not ev­ery­one en­joyed the show. The Guardian re­ports that Tory MP Ai­dan Bur­ley tweeted “The most leftie open­ing cer­e­mony I have ever seen—more than Bei­jing, the cap­i­tal of a com­mu­nist state! Wel­fare trib­ute next?”

No word on if the Demo­cratic or GOP con­ven­tions later this sum­mer will fea­ture sim­i­lar spec­tac­u­lars cel­e­brat­ing the U.S. health­care sys­tem.

Health­care’s strict gift lim­its

And while we’re talk­ing about the Olympics, could hos­pi­tals’ bans on ac­cept­ing and giv­ing gifts be re­spon­si­ble for lack­lus­ter sales of cor­po­rate hos­pi­tal­ity suites for the Lon­don games?

Well, maybe. A sur­vey finds that the spendy lux­ury seats may run afoul of many com­pa­nies’ poli­cies against gift giv­ing, though Out­liers has to won­der if the slug­gish global econ­omy and the sloppy English weather might also have con­trib­uted.

In any event, the Health Care Com­pli­ance As­so­ci­a­tion and the Soci-

The view from the podium

And to round out our Olympics theme this week, it ap­pears one VA em­ployee has a new award: a bronze medal.

Natalie Dell, a health re­search sci­en­tist work­ing at the Vet­er­ans Af­fairs Depart­ment’s Edith Nourse Rogers Memo­rial Vet­er­ans Hospi­tal in Bed­ford, Mass., won a bronze medal in the women’s quadru­ple sculls on Aug. 1.

Dell, 27, a na­tive of Clearville, Pa., who now re­sides in Sil­ver Spring, Md., has a bach­e­lor’s de­gree from Penn State Univer­sity, where she be­gan her row­ing ca­reer on the col­le­giate club level, ac­cord­ing to a bi­og­ra­phy pro­vided by the VA. She con­tin­ued to row while earn­ing a mas­ter’s de­gree in pub­lic health from Bos­ton Univer­sity. Upon grad­u­a­tion, Dell was in­vit- ed to train with the U.S. row­ing train­ing cen­ter in Prince­ton, N.J., which the VA ac­com­mo­dated by al­low­ing her to work re­motely.

Dell’s work is in men­tal health re­search within the Cen­ters for Health Qual­ity, Out­comes and Eco­nomic Re­search, ac­cord­ing to the VA state­ment. So maybe while she’s in Lon­don, she can fo­cus some re­search on ex­actly what was up with that open­ing cer­e­mony. Was it some sort of coded mes­sage or just a cry for help? Chee­rio and all that! ety of Cor­po­rate Com­pli­ance and Ethics find in their new joint sur­vey that more health­care cor­po­ra­tions have strict anti-gift poli­cies com­pared with their peers in other in­dus­tries.

On av­er­age, 22% of more than 500 com­pany re­spon­dents had some type of re­stric­tions on gifts such as meals and en­ter­tain­ment. About 28% of health­care re­spon­dents re­ported a to­tal ban on giv­ing gifts, while only 10% of non­health­care com­pa­nies did. And 38% of health­care com­pa­nies dis­al­lowed their work­ers giv­ing gifts, while only 12% of non­health­care firms fol­lowed suit.

Other find­ings raised eye­brows, such as the 68% of all com­pa­nies that ex­plic­itly banned strip clubs and adult en­ter­tain­ment. “Per­haps most re­mark­able,” the sur­vey authors wrote, “1% re­ported that adult en­ter­tain­ment is ex­plic­itly per­mit­ted.”

Out­liers would guess that the same 1% has also not banned Olympic spend­ing.


Danc­ing doc­tors and nurses, chil­dren bounc­ing on beds, syn­chro­nized beds. Sounds like an Olympic com­pe­ti­tion to us.

Dell, far right, shares the honor with her team­mates, from left Adri­enne Martelli, Kara Kohler and Me­gan Kal­moe.

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