Health is a topic that pervades our news stories and our lives on a daily basis. Whether watching the TODAY Show during your morning routine, flipping through HealthDay while at work or chatting with your friends about ways to get your body ready for summer, health and wellness is constantly on our minds – especially if you are in healthcare PR. Here’s a roundup of the top 5 health conversation from this week:

  1. The Quintuplets are Headed HomeThe first two of the Budby family’s all-girl quintuplets, the first ever born in the U.S., have been released from Texas Children’s Hospital and the remaining three are expected to be home by the end of next week. I’d say that household is about to get much busier! Quintuplets
  2. Popular Heartburn Meds Linked to Higher Risk of Heart Attack: Using a non-traditional research method that analyzed medical records of 300,000 U.S. adults, the study found an association between risk of heart disease and use of proton pump inhibitors, a group of acid-suppressing drugs often used to treat heartburn. It’s important to note that the study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, does not prove a cause and effect relationship and experts were divided over what to make of the connection.
  3. Hospitals Hope to Boost Online Reviews: Patient satisfaction, long ignored by the healthcare industry, has become increasingly important as patients have more of a say in their healthcare decisions and satisfaction scores are now playing a role in how hospitals are reimbursed. As such, the patient experience has become more of a strategic priority for many providers, and Carilion Clinic is no exception. The Virginia network of hospitals and clinics is exploring new ways to track online reviews using software from Binary Fountain which helps them identify problematic trends and address them. The key is helping physicians, who often see online reviews as threatening, embrace the review process by realizing the positive power it has.
  4. It Turns Out, Your Birth Month Affects Your Health: This week, researchers from Columbia University Medical Center published a study in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, that reveals your birth month does have an effect on your health outcomes later in life. Good news for May babies who have the lowest disease risk, but not as positive for those born in October who have the highest. Birth Month
  5. News Flash- Soda is Bad for You: San Francisco could soon be the first city in the country to place health warnings on advertisements for sugary drinks… San Francisco lawmakers voted unanimously this week in favor of a measure that if passed would make them the first city in the country to require health warnings on advertisements for sugary drinks. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors will decide whether to approve the ordinance next week and, if passed, the law would take effect this summer. 

As healthcare communicators, we should remain up to date on the latest news, announcements and even sensationalized health stories so we can provide our clients with the most informed and timely counsel.

What health news did you hear this week that piqued your interest?