GoHealth Urgent Care News

Why You Should Avoid Taking Ibuprofen When You’re Drinking

Source: SELF Online

By Amy Marturana

June 22, 2016

Pain relievers like Advil (ibuprofen) and Tylenol (acetaminophen) can have some dicey effects when mixed with alcohol.

Lots of medications come with the warning to avoid ...

Why You Should Avoid Taking Ibuprofen When You’re Drinking

Source: SELF Online

By Amy Marturana

June 22, 2016

Pain relievers like Advil (ibuprofen) and Tylenol (acetaminophen) can have some dicey effects when mixed with alcohol.

Lots of medications come with the warning to avoid alcohol when you’re taking them. Antibiotics are a tough one to accept, especially if you’re not feeling particularly sick from what ails you. But reading the labels on pain relievers like Advil (ibuprofen) and Tylenol (acetaminophen) and learning that severe side effects are more likely when you mix them with booze feels downright torturous—especially when your head is pounding and popping a few pills promises sweet relief.

The warnings aren’t there just to taunt you, though. In fact, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and even aspirin, come with potential dangers if you make a habit of taking them with alcohol. “All have risks if you take them, period, as do all medications, but the risks for all three increase if you take them when you drink,” Debra E. Brooks, M.D., an urgent care physician at GoHealth Urgent Care, tells SELF. This goes for immediately post-imbibing, too, when you’re trying to preemptively treat the hangover-induced headache you know will hit in the A.M.

Ibuprofen is a NSAID, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. It works as a pain reducer and, you guessed it, also reduces inflammation. The most concerning side effect is that ibuprofen can cause irritation in the lining of the stomach that can lead to ulcers and bleeding, sometimes without warning. Alcohol on its own is a known irritant to the stomach lining and can cause ulcers in heavy drinkers, so and adding ibuprofen into the mix can compound the effects. Ibuprofen can also be toxic to the liver and kidneys, and though it isn’t a blood thinner, may alter how blood coagulates, either to form clots more easily or to cause easier bleeding, Brooks says.

Your other go-to option is probably acetaminophen, or Tylenol. “It’s completely different, and its analgesic effects have a different mechanism,” Brooks says. It doesn’t affect your blood’s clotting abilities nor does it hurt your stomach lining. But acetaminophen is more toxic to the liver and more often associated with liver failure—often and without warning, Brooks notes—than NSAIDs. When you’re drinking, you’re already sending a toxic substance to your liver and making it work overtime to filter it out. Adding acetaminophen puts additional, overwhelming stress on the organ, increasing the risk of damage.

Aspirin is also a NSAID, and additionally, works as a blood-thinner. “It is an anti-platelet medicine, which means it makes it harder for blood to clot,” Brooks says. That’s why it’s sometimes recommended as preventive medication for those at high risk of heart disease. Its effects on the liver and kidneys are similar to ibuprofen, and it can also cause bleeding in the GI tract. “Alcohol multiplies the blood-thinner effects of aspirin, and heavy drinkers are already at risk of bleeds due to previous damage to the stomach and liver, so they are at far greater risk of bleeding.”

There is some good news: If you’re relatively healthy, and have no existing problems like gastritis or ulcers, or issues with your kidneys or liver, “taking any of these if you are going out to dinner and having one drink is most likely safe,” Brooks reassures. If you have a choice, you probably want to reach for NSAIDs over acetaminophen, which is the worst for your liver. Food also buffers the effects of both alcohol and NSAIDs, so eating something at the same time can help mitigate potential side effects. But if you’re drinking heavily, it might not be so safe. “Again, this depends on the genetic make up and the prior history of the person imbibing. In a certain way, it’s Russian roulette. It’s not a problem, until one day it is,” Brooks says.

When it comes to the morning after, it’s unclear how much of a risk remains because it’s dependent on so many factors including how much the person drinks in general, and how much alcohol is still in their body.

If you have to take pain medication during or after imbibing, curb your drinking to be safe. If you’re popping pills in anticipation of the morning after, it’s best to prevent a hangover the old-fashioned way: by chugging lots of water. Or just don’t drink enough to be hungover in the first place. 

Customer Loyalty Is Spelled N-P-S

Source: Entrepreneur Online

By Todd Latz

July 8, 2016

Superior customer loyalty is critically important for any successful business. However, many leaders struggle with how to effectively measure it. How loyal are your customers...

Customer Loyalty Is Spelled N-P-S

Source: Entrepreneur Online

By Todd Latz

July 8, 2016

Superior customer loyalty is critically important for any successful business. However, many leaders struggle with how to effectively measure it. How loyal are your customers? What are they saying about your products or services to others? Do they promote you to others and provide an incredibly valuable word-of-mouth endorsement? To answer these questions, we look to Net Promoter Scores (NPS). NPS is a relatively simple measurement tool that helps businesses gauge how likely their customers are to refer family members and friends to their products or services. NPS is also a leading indicator, and when used optimally, it can be a predictor of future customer engagement and growth. Since NPS allows for real-time measurement of customer satisfaction, it allows management to take immediate action to improve operations based on customer feedback.

Related: Analyzing the Science Behind Customer Loyalty

How NPS works.

After purchasing your product or service, your customers are asked one question: “how likely are you to recommend our company/product/service to a friend or family member?” The customer responds on a scale from 0-10. Scores of 9 or 10 are considered “Promoters” -- satisfied customers who are more likely to continue buying your products or services and to recommend you to their friends and family. Scores of 0-6 are considered “Detractors” -- unsatisfied customers who are more likely to complain about a negative experience or speak poorly of your brand. Scores of 7 or 8 are considered “Passives” -- satisfied customers who are not enthusiastic enough to actively promote, and may try a competing offering next time. To calculate a NPS rating, you subtract the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters. Passives are part of the denominator and thus do not help your score.

A NPS of 50+ is excellent, and leading consumer brands, such as Costco, USAA insurance and Nordstrom routinely score in the high 70s and enjoy fierce customer loyalty. Healthcare companies typically have been slower to adopt NPS as a measure of patient loyalty, and when they have, their NPS ratings have often been poor. National NPS averages for the healthcare industry are as low as just 17 and are often the result of access issues, long wait times, and a focus on their own, rather than their customer’s convenience. However, there are exceptions, especially where there is an intense focus on customer experience. At GoHealth Urgent Care, by making our patients and the quality of their care our highest priority, we have routinely achieved NPS ratings of 90. 

Related: 25 Tips for Earning Customer Loyalty

What to know before implementing NPS.

Most companies want to understand their customers better, but many are reluctant to open the door to negative feedback. You need to embrace the feedback -- if your customers have a bad experience, they are going to tell others about it, and it is imperative for you to hear this feedback so that you can set the course for positive change.

How to implement NPS.

You can implement NPS through phone, email or internet. Our GoHealth Urgent Care patients receive an NPS query via text message shortly after visiting a center. Our patients can then respond and have the option to leave a comment for their clinician. This simplicity ensures a higher response rate and supports an effortless patient experience.

How to boost NPS ratings.

Excellent customer service begins with your team. When your team is passionate, energetic and focused on a singular purpose or customer promise (for GoHealth Urgent Care it’s “we put you first”), that positivity permeates your customers.

Look for ways to make customers’ experiences more personal. We have found that introducing yourself every time better connects patients to their clinical team, makes them more likely to express any concerns during their visit (instead of after they leave on social media) and results in high NPS ratings. The lasting impression made during a customer’s final few minutes at your store/center is incredibly important.

Related: 3 Ways to Increase Customer Loyalty

A leading indicator for future success.

Utilizing NPS to measure your effectiveness from your customer’s perspective can be invaluable. NPS ratings can be broken down by department, product, store or even individual team member to gauge what is working, and what needs improvement. NPS also helps set clear goals for improving the customer experience. Our industry-leading NPS ratings have given us concrete, real-time, actionable data to measure and confirm that we are delivering on the promises we make every day to our patients. Positive NPS ratings indicate satisfied, loyal customers who are much more likely to tell their friends, neighbors and family about their exemplary experiences -- the best possible endorsement for any brand. 

8 Signs You Might Not Be Spending Enough Time Outside

Source: Bustle

By Carina Wolff

July 19, 2016

Most of us spend the majority of our days cooped up at our desks, and we don't get to spend much time outside. However, spending time in nature can have profound health effects, and i...

8 Signs You Might Not Be Spending Enough Time Outside

Source: Bustle

By Carina Wolff

July 19, 2016

Most of us spend the majority of our days cooped up at our desks, and we don't get to spend much time outside. However, spending time in nature can have profound health effects, and if you're inside too often, you may be exhibiting some signs that you aren't spending enough time outside. Not only does spending time outdoors usually include a little bit of exercise, but it can help calm our minds and even improve our physical health.

"Spending time outside is important as it produces natural Vitamin D and mood-enhancing hormones," says Dr. Nikki Martinez, Psy.D., LCPC over email. "Spending time outside gets us active, involved, one with our surroundings, and with others, compared to staying holed up in the house."

Getting outside doesn't always have to mean spending a whole day at the beach, as even just 15 to 20 minutes outside can have invigorating effects on the mind and body. And if you are outside, you want to make sure you're taking the proper care to protect your skin from the sun.

That being said, it's definitely not healthy to keep yourself holed up all day in fear of seeing the light. If you suspect you are staying indoors too often, consider these eight signs that you need to get outside more.

1. Your Vitamin D Is Low

If you get blood work done and your vitamin D levels are low, it's time to get outside. "Vitamin D is manufactured in your skin when exposed to sunlight," says Dr. Debra Brooks, Physician at Northwell Health—GoHealth Urgent Care. "You do not need to bake in the sun and risk cancer, but 15 minutes a day outside is a healthy way to keep your levels up, and you can't develop toxicity this way like you can from ingesting too much."

2. You're Pale Compared To Those Around You

No one's saying you need to have a tan (hello, sun protection!), but if you are particularly pasty compared to your peers, you may want to spend just 10 minutes or so outside — with sunscreen, of course. "Some amount of sun exposure can be healthy, including increased levels of vitamin D," says Dr. Larry Burchett over email.

3. You're Spending Too Much Time In Bed

We all need a TV binge-watching day here and there, but if this is becoming a regular habit, it's time to consider heading out the door. "If you would rather watch a Netflix marathon than enjoy a night out with friends, you may want to check your priorities and your healthy choices," says Martinez. "Think about what is best for you and your well being."

4. You're Anxious

If you're feeling stressed or anxious, you may want to spend a little more time in nature. "We know that sunlight has a positive effect on the serotonin neurotransmitters that restore healthy moods," says psychologist Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D. over email.

5. You Feel Socially Isolated

It's easy to feel alone when you aren't getting any social interaction besides your roommates. "Being outside puts you in touch with your neighbors, dog walkers, trees, and grass," says Brooks. "We spend so much time planning ahead or looking at our pasts, both of which can produce significant anxiety. Being outside facilitates our ability to be in the present moment."

6. You Have Joint Pain

"If you are noticing more pains in general, and you have been less active, you may be able to feel better by exercising and releasing some endorphins into your bloodstream," says Burchett. Adequate vitamin D is also needed for bone health, so a lack in the nutrient can cause achiness and stiffness.

7. You Have Stomach Issues

That stomach ache may come from being too sedentary. "Gastric troubles like constipation, bloating, cramping etc. are all eased by walking in natural surroundings," says Raymond. "Nature takes your eye off the discomfort, and by synchronizing your bowel movements to that in nature, you will feel lighter, and restored to better gastric functioning."

8. You're Fatigued

"Pay attention to energy levels, both at the end of the day, and day to day," says Burchett. A series of studies from the Journal of Environmental Psychology found that being outside in nature makes people feel more alive and energetic.

Just like with other aspects of our health, there should be a healthy balance of spending time inside and outside.

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