Don’t Drive Distracted: 64% Of All Car Accidents Involve Cell Phones

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

In today’s high tech and busy world, it can be so tempting to pick up your phone to send a text, answer a call or reply to an email. Despite knowing the risks, many drivers (especially teens) continue to text and drive. With April being National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, now is the time to make the commitment to drive phone-free!

What Is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, adjusting the stereo, entertainment or navigation system—anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving.

Texting is the most alarming distraction. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed!

How Dangerous Is Texting And Driving?

Distracted drivers aren’t just a threat to themselves: they’re a danger to everyone else on the road. In 2015 alone, 38% of Texas drivers admitted to talking on their cell phone while driving and more than 20% reported to sending text messages or emails from behind the wheel. During daylight hours, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones while driving. That creates enormous potential for deaths and injuries on U.S. roads. Teens were the largest age group reported as distracted at the time of fatal car accidents.

Do Your Part To End Distracted Driving

The most important thing anyone can do to prevent distracted driving is to put the phone down while in the car! If you can’t avoid the temptation to check emails, calls or texts while driving you can download one of many free apps that will disable texting/calls while you are behind the wheel. In addition, share this information with someone you love to help spread awareness on the dangers of distracted driving.

About Five Star ER

Five Star ER is locally owned and operated by the physicians of Emergency Service Partners, L.P., a respected provider of emergency physician services to hospitals and health systems across Texas for more than 28 years. Our experienced physicians bring their excellent tradition of emergency care to a first-class, patient-centered freestanding ER.

Our patient-centered care means you will come first. Our freestanding ER provides the capabilities of a hospital emergency department, without the hassles and long waits that can be part of a hospital ER. From the comfortable lounge area and private exam rooms to our top-notch medical team and latest technology, patients can be door-to-doctor in less than 15 minutes. To find the location nearest you, click here.

This content was created to be purely educational in nature. This post is not meant to be used as a substitute for medical treatment or personal consultation regarding a medical condition. As always, if you or a loved one is suffering a life-threatening medical emergency or injury, call 911.

Tips To Having An Eggcellent (And Safe!) Easter

By | Lifestyle | No Comments

Egg hunts, family get-togethers and backyard BBQs make Easter a fun time of year for everyone! Don’t let an accident or injury spoil the fun! Use these tips to keep your kids and family safe.

Check For Rotten Eggs!

Decorating eggs is a fun tradition for many families, but did you know Salmonella can be found on both the inside and outside of eggs? To avoid cross contamination and possible illness make sure you store and cook eggs properly before dying. Always wash your hands thoroughly (and your kids too!) before and after handling raw or uncooked eggs.

Hunt Low, Not High

If you are planning to have an Easter egg hunt, make sure to hide eggs in places that are not too high for kids to reach to avoid falls and injuries. Also avoid placing eggs near the street or driveway if there are cars/vehicles coming and going. It’s easy for kids to get excited during holiday celebrations so make sure there is plenty of adult supervision at all times!

Designate Egg Hunt Boundaries

Set up a boundary for an outdoor Easter egg hunt so kids are not wandering off or into places that aren’t safe or supervised. It may also be good idea to separate kids in age groups to prevent big kids from knocking over smaller kids.

Check All The Eggs In Your Basket

If it’s small enough to fit inside of an Easter egg, it’s small enough to fit inside of a child’s mouth. Prevent choking hazards by checking that all toys and candy are age appropriate for the little ones at your Easter gathering.

Stay Safe Outdoors

If you are going to be outside for long periods for an Easter egg hunt or other outdoor activities, remember to apply sunscreen to prevent getting sun burned. Broad spectrum (UVA & UVB protection) with at least a 15 SPF should be used. If you burn easily, then you should use higher SPF. Also remember to drink plenty of fluids and seek shade for rest to prevent dehydration and heat illness.

About Five Star ER

Five Star ER is locally owned and operated by the physicians of Emergency Service Partners, L.P., a respected provider of emergency physician services to hospitals and health systems across Texas for more than 28 years. Our experienced physicians bring their excellent tradition of emergency care to a first-class, patient-centered freestanding ER.

Our patient-centered care means you will come first. Our freestanding ER provides the capabilities of a hospital emergency department, without the hassles and long waits that can be part of a hospital ER. From the comfortable lounge area and private exam rooms to our top-notch medical team and latest technology, patients can be door-to-doctor in less than 15 minutes. To find the location nearest you, click here.

This content was created to be purely educational in nature. This post is not meant to be used as a substitute for medical treatment or personal consultation regarding a medical condition. As always, if you or a loved one is suffering a life-threatening medical emergency or injury, call 911.

Take Action To Protect Access To Care: Oppose SB 1 Rider

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Not only is this rider anti-competitive and illegal, it endangers the lives of thousands of state employees across Texas by limiting their options for care in the event of a medical emergency. Please urge the Senate Finance Committee to reconsider this rider that ultimately hurts patients. Request that the committee seek cost containment through alternative measures that would not violate federal and state law or jeopardize the health of thousands of Texans throughout the state.

Click HERE to message your state representative and make your voice heard!

What Is The SB 1 Rider?
On Wednesday, March 15, 2017, the Senate Finance Committee adopted recommendations from a cost containment budget work group that would negatively impact public health by reducing access to emergency care across the state.

The Senate Finance Committee voted to add a rider to Senate Bill 1, the Senate budget bill, which directs the Employee Retirement System (ERS) to “disincentivize member utilization of freestanding emergency rooms.” The rider would effectively shift a larger portion of costs for emergency care rendered at a freestanding emergency room to the enrollees of the ERS plan, including higher co-payments and deductibles, regardless of the facility’s network status.

Freestanding emergency rooms are fully functioning emergency rooms that are not attached to a larger hospital. These facilities provide the exact same level of service as hospital-based emergency rooms, and can treat true medical emergencies like heart attacks and strokes. Freestanding emergency rooms are subject to state licensing, with safety and quality standards similar to hospital emergency rooms.

Who Will Be Affected By The SB 1 Rider?
Thousands of state employees across Texas will be affected if SB 1 Rider passes. Blaming providers and punishing ERS enrollees for a poorly managed health insurance contract is not the answer, and it will only lead to increased litigation for the state.

Make Your Voice Heard
Take action now to protect access to care by messaging your state representative today! Click HERE to get started.

Know the Signs of Alcohol Poisoning

By | Health Basics, Lifestyle | No Comments

Spring break is that time of year when college students head out with friends to take a break from studies. SXSW and other spring break activities are fun, but you should be aware of the dangers of binge drinking.

Five Star ER Medical Director, Dr. Greg Hadden says “Visits to the ER for alcohol intoxication have surged in the last decade. Being irresponsible with alcohol consumption can lead to a costly ER bill, severe injury to the intoxicated person, and sometimes even death. Each year thousands of young healthy people die from just consuming alcohol irresponsibly. Even more die from the poor decisions that they make while intoxicated such as driving, boating, etc.”

What is Alcohol Poisoning?

Alcohol poisoning is defined as having a very high level of alcohol in the body which can shut down critical areas of the brain that control breathing, heart rate, body temperature and more. Without medical help, a person suffering from alcohol poisoning can die. Consuming large amounts of alcohol in a short period of time is referred to as binge drinking and is the most common cause of alcohol poisoning.

What Are The Signs of Alcohol Poisoning?

Common signs and symptoms of alcohol poisoning include confusion, vomiting, seizures, slow or irregular breathing and low body temperature. However, it’s not necessary to have all the symptoms before you seek medical help. If you suspect that someone has alcohol poisoning, seek immediate medical care. A person with alcohol poisoning who is unconscious or can’t be awakened is at risk of dying.

Who Is At Risk For Alcohol Poisoning?

While any adult who consumes a large amount of alcohol in a short period of time is at risk for alcohol poisoning, college students are more likely to binge drink.
According to one study, during spring break the average college aged male reported drinking 18 drinks per day and the average college aged female reported up to 10 drinks per day – an amount well above the safe levels of alcohol consumption. Researchers estimate that around 50% of college students will drink until they pass out at least one time during spring break. 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die each school year from alcohol-related unintentional injuries.

How Do You Prevent Alcohol Poisoning?

Nobody wants to eliminate the fun of spring break, but you should always make safety a priority. Here are a few tips:

1. Stay hydrated
2. Avoid having several drinks during a short period of time
3. Know your own alcohol limits
4. Don’t drink and drive
5. Seek emergency medical help if you suspect alcohol poisoning
About Five Star ER

Five Star ER is locally owned and operated by the physicians of Emergency Service Partners, L.P., a respected provider of emergency physician services to hospitals and health systems across Texas for more than 28 years. Our experienced physicians bring their excellent tradition of emergency care to a first-class, patient-centered freestanding ER.

Our patient-centered care means you will come first. Our freestanding ER provides the capabilities of a hospital emergency department, without the hassles and long waits that can be part of a hospital ER. From the comfortable lounge area and private exam rooms to our top-notch medical team and latest technology, patients can be door-to-doctor in less than 15 minutes. To find the location nearest you, click here.

This content was created to be purely educational in nature. This post is not meant to be used as a substitute for medical treatment or personal consultation regarding a medical condition. As always, if you or a loved one is suffering a life-threatening medical emergency or injury, call 911.

5 Tips For Staying Safe During Spring Break

By | Health Basics | No Comments

Whether your idea of spring break fun is relaxing at the neighborhood pool or going on a family trip to the beach, these tips can keep you and your family safe!

1. Limit Alcohol

Spring break is a time to relax and unwind, but don’t overdo it! According to the CDC, alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes kill someone every 31 minutes and nonfatally injure someone every two minutes. Plan for a sober ride home or use a designated driver to prevent alcohol related accidents and injuries.

2. Have Fun In The Sun But Don’t Get Burned!

Using sunscreen does more than just prevent sunburns, it helps prevent skin cancer caused by the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends applying sunscreen at least 15 minutes prior to going outside and to make sure you are using a sunscreen that is water resistant, offers broad spectrum protection and has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher.

If you do end up getting a sunburn, use these tips from Five Star ER Medical Director Dr. Brian Aldred on how to treat it!
https://youtu.be/eKCG69BdNB4

3. Seek Shade

The sun’s rays are the strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., so if you are headed outdoors during that time make sure to seek shade, and rest often to avoid overheating. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses is also a good idea!

4. Swim Safely

Swimming is an easy way to beat the central Texas heat, but always make sure you and your children are swimming safely! One in five people who die from drowning are 14 years old or younger. To avoid drowning accidents, children should never swim alone and should always be wearing proper swim equipment like life jackets and flotation devices.

5. Stay Hydrated

Whether you are exercising outside, at the pool, or relaxing in the sun you can easily become dehydrated if you don’t drink enough fluids. Thirst is often the most common symptom of dehydration, but there are additional warning signs to watch out for including dry mouth, fatigue, flushed skin, and a headache. Watch this short video to learn ways to stay hydrated.
https://youtu.be/NEaJk8PN660?t=50s

About Five Star ER
Five Star ER is locally owned and operated by the physicians of Emergency Service Partners, L.P., a respected provider of emergency physician services to hospitals and health systems across Texas for more than 28 years. Our experienced physicians bring their excellent tradition of emergency care to a first-class, patient-centered freestanding ER.

Our patient-centered care means you will come first. Our freestanding ER provides the capabilities of a hospital emergency department, without the hassles and long waits that can be part of a hospital ER. From the comfortable lounge area and private exam rooms to our top-notch medical team and latest technology, patients can be door-to-doctor in less than 15 minutes. To find the location nearest you, click here.

This content was created to be purely educational in nature. This post is not meant to be used as a substitute for medical treatment or personal consultation regarding a medical condition. As always, if you or a loved one is suffering a life-threatening medical emergency or injury, call 911.

Five Star ER Live With Dr. Ken Domuczicz

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

March is National Kidney Health Month! Our most recent #WellnessWednesday Facebook Live Segment on March 8 featured Five Star ER Doctor Ken Domuczicz on the topic of kidney stones, a common kidney problem that affects nearly one out of every ten Americans.

Each year, more than half a million people go to emergency rooms for kidney stone problems. While kidney stones are rarely fatal, they can be extremely painful.
If you missed our Facebook live segment, watch it now!

 

Take Action

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Take Action to Show Your Support for Freestanding Emergency Centers

Reach out to your statewide elected official and show your support for Freestanding Emergency Centers like Five Star ER. Click HERE to send an email to your representatives.

Freestanding Emergency Centers like Five Star ER do more than treat patients in need of emergency medical care; they provide convenient access to highly trained emergency doctors and nurses that are able to treat patients in a matter of minutes. More and more patients are choosing freestanding emergency rooms over traditional hospitals due to the quality, convenience and high customer satisfaction ratings.

Even with all the benefits freestanding emergency rooms bring to the communities they serve, they are often criticized for leaving patients with “surprise bills” after a visit. However, freestanding emergency rooms charges are comparable to a traditional hospital ER. So why are freestanding emergency rooms being blamed for high out-of-pocket costs?

One reason is due to how health insurance companies are underpaying emergency medical claims. The Texas Department of Insurance recently found that health insurance companies wrongfully withheld $457,000 from patient visits to freestanding emergency rooms in 2016 alone. This was based on an analysis of only 417 total claims. That amounts to an average of $1,096 per claim owed by the insurance companies to providers and their patients.

Texas health care statutes, and federal law, require that insurance companies cover ER visits as in-network. It’s called the Prudent Layperson Standard. Read more about that – and your rights as a patient – here.

Based on this small sample of complaints, it is clear that many millions of dollars are being wrongfully withheld from health care providers that treat patients who have a right to expect that their medical bills will be paid on time and in the amounts required by the insurance contracts and Texas law and that’s why we need your help!

Like all freestanding emergency rooms, Five Star ER is committed to providing patients with clear and transparent billing procedures and we feel health insurance companies should be required to do the same. Use this link to reach out to your statewide elected officials and share your positive experience at Five Star ER. The stories of our patients are critical as we tell our story and educate legislators about what FECs do and the services they provide.

Five Star ER Live With Dr. Janna Welch & Dr. Shelly Sethi

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

February is Heart Heath Month and we have been celebrating all month long here at Five Star ER! Our most recent #WellnessWednesday Facebook Live Segment on February 22 featured Dr. Janna Welch and special guest Dr. Shelly Sethi on heart health and wellness.

During our live segment, Dr. Sethi gave valuable heart heath information including answers to the following questions:

What kind of diet is best for cardiovascular health?

With a busy schedule, how can you fit fitness in your life?

What can you do to work out while at work?

What can people do to manage stress and weight?

Five Star ER Dr. Janna Welch also talked about the 2017 It’s Time Texas Community Challenge, presented by HEB. The Challenge is a 12-week competition that unites and mobilizes schools, businesses, organizations, community members, and mayors toward the common goal of transforming their community’s health. Dr. Welch is an individual participant in the Dripping Springs community and is asking that everyone to join in and commit to better health! Click here to register and sign up.

Dr. Shelly Sethi is a board-certified family physician with an emphasis on integrative and functional medicine. Integrative medicine is healing-oriented medicine that takes account of the whole person (body, mind, and spirit), including all aspects of lifestyle. It emphasizes the therapeutic relationship and makes use of all appropriate therapies, both conventional and alternative.

If you didn’t make the live stream, watch it here!

 

Top 5 Reasons To Learn CPR

By | Health Basics | No Comments

Top 5 Reasons To Learn CPR

Did you know nearly 88% of cardiac arrests occur at home? That means if called on to administer CPR in an emergency, the life you save is likely to be someone at home: a child, a spouse, a parent or a friend. CPR is easy to learn and an important skill to have – you could end up saving someone’s life!

Here are five great reasons to learn CPR and get certified today!

1. CPR Saves Lives

More than 420,000 people suffer from cardiac arrest in the U.S. each year. Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops and is no longer delivering blood to the rest of the body. For every minute without defibrillation, a sudden cardiac arrest victim’s chance of surviving drops. It is critical for as many people as possible to be trained to perform CPR.

2. Anyone Can Perform CPR

National statistics have shown that only 15 to 30 percent of people who experience sudden cardiac arrests outside of hospitals receive bystander CPR. When people are asked why they would not give CPR, a very common answer is that they never received training. Learning how to perform CPR can be done in as little as a few minutes!

3. Mouth-to- Mouth Resuscitation Is Not Required

It’s not surprising that another reason people do not perform CPR is because they believe mouth-to-mouth resuscitation is required. In 2010 the guidelines for performing CPR were changed, and the American Heart Association now says that if you do not feel comfortable, or have not received formal training, you should attempt hands-only CPR. Hands-only CPR has been shown to be just as effective for many adults who experience sudden cardiac arrest.

4. Most Cardiac Arrests Happen At Home

Nearly 88% of cardiac arrests happen at home which means if called on to administer CPR in an emergency, the life you save is likely to be someone at home: a child, a spouse, a parent or a friend.

5. Hands Only CPR is Easy to Learn!

Recently, Five Star ER Medical Director Dr. Mike Zimmerman participated in our #WellnessWednesday Facebook live segment to show how easy it is to learn CPR. If you didn’t catch the live stream, watch it now and learn how to perform CPR for adults and young children.