Select News: August 2016
Select Health salutes My Family Health Centers Inc. for their approach to completing chlamydia screenings for our First Choice members. My Family Health Centers serves Bamberg, Calhoun, Dorchester, and Orangeburg counties. Nurse Shanel Dunkin, who focuses on decreasing the incidence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) at the practice, shares some of her tips:
- Use gentle, open-ended questions. I approach a patient with questions like: "Many people your age are sexually active. Have you yourself started having sex?" This approach does not make a patient feel as if he or she is the only person doing it, or that it's wrong.
- Use the testing method best for the patient. Most of the screenings for chlamydia are done in the adult walk-in clinic, for patients of all ages who have signs and symptoms of an STI, request STI testing, or have a partner who tested positive. We perform gonorrhea and chlamydia testing via serum, urine, and urethra swabs for males, or endocervical swabs for females during pelvic exams. Some women are reluctant to consent to testing if we push for a pelvic exam instead of urinalysis. We send labs to LabCorp, with results available two to three days later.
- Education is key! We provide lots of education about sex, STIs, and STI prevention. Knowledge makes the patient more inclined to talk about concerns and answer honestly. Also important: providing respect and a non-judgmental attitude when a patient is diagnosed with an STI.
- Encourage follow-up. We encourage all sexually active patients to be tested yearly and explain the signs and symptoms of STIs. We make sure patients understand they may not have symptoms with chlamydia, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't be tested.
Contact your Provider Network Account Executive (PDF) to be considered as a "physician champion," a spotlight on a provider who excels in the care of our members.
Marcus says: A sports physical is no substitute for a well exam
With support from Marcus Lattimore, First Choice is reaching out to athletic directors and coaches across the state to promote the importance of a comprehensive well visit for kids and teens.
Providers, please join us in this effort! Help your busy patients and parents by scheduling a complete well exam and not just a sports physical. The best time to complete a well visit is when a patient presents for a sports physical. A tear-out checklist for preteens and teens is in our current member newsletter, Healthy Now (PDF).
Dental fluoride varnish
The South Carolina Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics offers these guidelines for dental fluoride varnish (DFV):
- Use enough varnish to paint the surface of all teeth. If there is any left over, do not apply the rest. Local irritation can result from excess varnish.
- The additive in DFV that makes it "sticky" is colophony, or pine sap. It is not the same as "tree nut" or "pine nut." The manufacturer does not cite tree nut allergy as a problem with varnish, and allergists do not find allergic cross-reactivity between tree nut and colophony. Rare local reactions (redness and swelling) of oral tissues after DVF application may occur due to irritation from excess product.
Update to the American Diabetes Association's Standards of Medical Care
- A recommendation to test all individuals over age 45, regardless of weight.
- A recommendation to test all individuals who are obese and have an additional risk factor for diabetes, such as family history.
- An increase in the recommended age for initial testing of fasting lipids, from 2 to 10 years.
- A recommendation to move away from glyburide and instead use metformin and insulin in the management of diabetes in pregnancy.
View the updated American Diabetes Association's Standards of Medical Care (PDF).
Play ball with Marcus! No cost for the first 25 who register
Select Health is again sponsoring First Choice Fit® Football Camps with Marcus Lattimore for our members ages 5 to 17. The final camp is available at no cost to the first 25 First Choice plan members who register. There is a $40 fee for all others.
Members can register for the August 13 camp, in Myrtle Beach at Carolina Forest High School, by calling Tricia at 1-843-569-4643. The camp runs from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and includes a community health fair with health screenings and education at no cost.
Healthy Now, our member newsletter, is out!
Check out the new issue of Healthy Now (PDF) for summer fun and safety tips as well as information on CenteringPregnancy®, kids' and teens' health screenings (including a tear-out checklist), depression in teens, and concussions and youth sports. The issue also features tips for recovering after a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) hospital stay and ways to ace HbA1C.
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