October 22, 2017

Work chic

One of the perks of working from home is the ability to roll out of bed on your own clock and get down to business in a bathrobe, if you so desire. But another major perk is the opportunity to create a workspace that’s as conducive to comfort as it is productivity—an efficient yet expressive area that’s the antithesis of that cold, cramped cubicle some poor soul is occupying right now in a company building somewhere.

Eager to transform one of your rooms into a stylish and functional home office? Read my latest article on this topic, as published in the Daily Herald, by clicking here.

October 9, 2017

A silver code, but no silver bullet

The horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas that occurred in early October reminds us that any location can be vulnerable to active shooter incidents. And hospitals are no exception.

From preparing for superstorms and guarding against a terrorist attack to thwarting cyber-thieves trying to hack into patient records, hospitals have a lot of security-related concerns today. But perhaps the most worrisome threat of them all comes in the form of an armed and unpredictable assailant who can unleash sudden, unspeakable violence in your facility: an active shooter, defined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area, typically through the use of firearms.

Make no mistake—active shooter incidents are on the rise across America. Between 2000 and 2006, these incidents occurred around six times annually but increased to 16.4 times a year between 2007 and 2013. Within hospitals, these horrific events (called a "code silver") now happen at a frequency of more than one a month; in fact, one study found that there were 154 shootings in hospital settings and 235 victims (20 percent of whom were hospital employees) either killed or injured from 2000 through 2011. Within that span, 29 percent occurred in the ED, 19 percent in patient rooms, 41 percent on hospital grounds, and 23 percent in the parking lot.

I covered this topic in a recent story for The Joint Commission's EC News newsletter, read by hospital administrators. Click here to access the article.

October 1, 2017

Handy heat without the hazards

Now that the calendar has turned another page, we're getting closer to cold weather. That means you'll likely be turning on the furnace soon. But in areas not served by central heating, you may have to rely on a portable heating device to warm things up.

Be warned, however, that electric space heaters were responsible for over 10,000 fires (accounting for 46% of all home space heater fires), 210 civilian deaths, and $305 million in property damage between 2009 and 2013, per National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) data.

Learn how to protect yourself and your family when using a portable electric heater by reading my article on this topic, featured in the October 2017 issue of The Costco Connection magazine. Click here for the full story.