It’s National Influenza Vaccination Week! It’s NOT too late to get your flu shot!

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Established by the CDC in 2005, the week of December 3rd is National Influenza Vaccination Week. During this week, we highlight the importance of continuing flu vaccination through the holiday season and beyond.

The Flu is a contagious virus!

The flu is the real deal, folks! The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat and lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness and can affect people of all ages, even those in good health. The CDC estimates that:

  • Since 2010, the flu has resulted in between 9.2 million and 35.6 million illnesses each year in the United States.
  • The flu results in between 140,000 and 710,000 hospitalizations each year.
  • Influenza-associated deaths ranged from 12,000 to 56,000 between 2011 – 2013.

Protect yourself and get a vaccine!

  • Getting an annual flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from this potentially serious disease.
  • A vaccine also protects people around you, especially babies, young children, older people and people with certain chronic conditions.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Avoid touching your T-Zone (eyes, nose and mouth).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water (or a hand sanitizer with a minimum of 60% alcohol).
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs.

Flu shots are available at many locations!

Visit your primary care physician (PCP) to get your flu shot today! If you don’t have a PCP, or need to find someplace to go, visit the CDC’s HealthMap Vaccine Finder to find someplace close to home or work.

Learn more

Visit the CDC’s Frequently Asked Flu Questions 2017-2018 Flu Season to learn what’s new this flu season.

For yourself and those around you, Tria Health recommends getting your annual flu vaccine!

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It’s National Handwashing Awareness Week! Spread the word, not the germs!

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This week is National handwashing awareness week. The CDC reports that handwashing is like a “do-it-yourself” vaccine. Regular handwashing is one of the best ways to remove germs, avoid getting sick and prevent spreading germs.

Protect yourselves and your family from getting sick by practicing this easy and effective germ-killing exercise. Your immune system will thank you.

Your friends at Tria Health would like to share a few tips on handwashing!

Stay away from your “T-Zone”!

The T-Zone is your eyes, nose and mouth. Do what you can to avoid touching these areas, as getting germs into these areas put you at risk for developing flu-like illnesses.

Make sure you’re washing your hands often, but especially during these key times:

  • Before, during and after preparing food
  • Before eating
  • Before and after caring for a sick loved one
  • Before and after treating a wound
  • After using the restroom
  • After changing diapers
  • After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing (or anytime you touch the T-zone)
  • After touching animals
  • After touching trash

The proper way to wash your hands

  • Wet your hands first
  • Lather your hands with soap (Make sure you get the backs of your hands, in between fingers and under fingernails)
  • Scrub your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds
  • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or the air-drying method

Good, old-fashioned soap and water is the best way to keep your hands clean. But, if you don’t have soap and water available, the CDC recommends using a hand-sanitizer that is a minimum of 60% alcohol.

This week (and always), please remember to wash your hands to reduce the spread of illness. Just say no to germs!

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Are you or your loved ones at risk of harmful drug interactions?

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An average Tria Health patient takes 8 prescription medications. Most older Americans take multiple medications each day for a variety of conditions. Typically, when people have multiple chronic conditions, they see multiple prescribing physicians.

Do you think those prescribing physicians talk to one another?

In many cases, the answer is, unfortunately, no.

A new study, called “Improving Health and the Bottom Line: The Case for Health Literacy,” showed how greater health literacy can improve community health, reduce health costs, enhance the quality of care and improve patient and provider experiences.  The lead author of the report, Stan Hudson, said “the relationship between health literacy and health outcomes is very important. We found that low health literacy is a contributing factor for readmission for chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Hudson also made a point that “health literacy helps ensure the best quality of care for everyone.”

The CDC reports that about half of the adults in the United States have inadequate skills when it comes to understanding their health care options.

In another study, National Poll on Healthy Aging found that 1 in 3 who take at least one prescription drug had talked to a health care professional about possible drug interactions. Among those taking six or more medications, less than half had discussed possible drug interactions.

Drug interactions could, best case scenario, prevent medicine from absorbing properly. medications-cure-tablets-pharmacy-51004Worst case scenarios put people at risk of blood sugar issues, kidney damage or even death. Due to the variety of prescription and over-the-counter drugs available, even medical professionals are challenged with identifying potential drug interactions.

Additionally, 1 in 5 respondents said they had used more than one pharmacy in the past two years (including mail order pharmacies), and 3 in 5 see more than one doctor for their care. While 63% of the respondents said their doctor and pharmacists are responsible for identifying potential drug interactions, only 36% said their pharmacist definitely knew about all their medications when they fill a prescription.

Knowledge is Power

This is our focus and expertise at Tria Health. Our team works diligently to improve health literacy among our patients. We have found that identifying drug therapy Pills white background_croppedproblems, drug interactions and discovering non-adherence issues are only possible by physically speaking with patients. We empower our patients by educating them on all their chronic conditions, their medications and we make recommendations to prescribing physicians to avoid harmful drug interactions and drug therapy problems. This educational approach has proven to reduce hospital readmissions and improve clinical outcomes for chronic conditions. This helps our patients live healthier lives and helps their employers save on their healthcare costs.

Tria Health encourages you to be an advocate for your own healthcare and take the time to learn more about all your prescriptions and over-the-counter medications. Knowledge is power.

 

 

December 1st is World AIDS Day

WAD2017-fb-cover-852x316World AIDS Day was designated by the World Health Organization (WHO) as December 1st , and this has been in place every year since 1988. The day is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection, and honoring those who have lost their lives to this disease. Government and health officials throughout the world observe this day and take it as an opportunity to educate others on AIDS prevention and control. Each year we honor a different theme—the 2017 theme is “Increasing Impact through Transparency, Accountability, and Partnerships.”

red-913305_960_720Tria Health would like to take this opportunity to educate you on a few HIV and AIDS related items.

HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It is the virus that can lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or AIDS, if not treated. While no effective cure currently exists, with proper medical care, HIV can be managed and controlled. AIDS is the final, and most serious stage of the HIV virus. HIV attacks the body’s immune system. Untreated, HIV makes a person more likely to get other infections or infection-related cancers.

The challenge—not all patients are adherent to their treatment or medication regimen.

The medicine used to treat HIV is called antiretroviral therapy, or ART. If taken the right way, every day, this medicine can dramatically prolong the lives of many people infected with HIV, keep them healthy, and greatly lower their chance of infecting others. Before the introduction of ART in the mid-1990s, people with HIV could progress to AIDS in just a few years. Today, someone diagnosed with HIV and treated before the disease is far advanced can live nearly as long as someone who does not have HIV.

According to a study done by University of California, adherence to ART across a group of patients was only 70%. “Only 6% of patients took their medications at the optimal level for durable virologic and clinical success”. Improving adherence improves health outcomes.

Here at Tria Health, that is precisely what our pharmacists do for ALL patients. We help patients understand all their medications, and the importance of adherence—and we make recommendations to improve their adherence to treatment so we can improve their clinical outcomes. This is not possible without physically talking with the patients and understanding their barriers. It is for this reason that Tria Health appreciates this year’s theme, “Increasing Impact through Transparency, Accountability, and Partnerships.” Tria Health is honored to partner with our clients to assist them in helping their employees feel better by holding them accountable to their clinical health outcomes.

As we approach World AIDS Day on December 1st, please take an opportunity to learn more by visiting https://www.hiv.gov/.

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Tips for a Healthier YOU this Thanksgiving (and year-round, if we’re being honest)

Thanksgiving doesn’t have to sabotage your diet OR your weight! Let’s be honest … we all love mom’s cooking at our holiday celebrations. And, during holiday season we tend to have a lax attitude toward diet and exercise. With more social gatherings, so we’re tempted to eat and drink excess calories. But—if we’re being honest—aren’t these temptations always here?

We all have birthdays, weddings and various celebrations throughout the year. So, the truth is, we must be cognizant of these things year-round if we expect to see results from a healthy diet and exercise program.

The best advice to be a healthier version of YOU is to follow these tips throughout the year, not just during this holiday season. It is proven that the best way to lose weight, and keep it off, is to adopt real life changes and stick with them.

Our clinical team here at Tria Health invite you to enjoy these tips to enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday (and every day) WITHOUT feeling guilty!

Be Active

running-runner-long-distance-fitness-40751Create a calorie deficit by exercising BEFORE you indulge this holiday season!

However, this should be a year-round event. The American Heart Association recommends at least 150-minutes of moderate activity each week. An easy way to remember this is 30 minutes at least 5 days a week, but three 10-minute periods of activity are as beneficial to your overall fitness as one 30-minute session.

Eat breakfast

This Thanksgiving, don’t save up your calories for the main event! Try a light and nutritious breakfast with protein and fiber—this will fill you up and have lasting effects so it’s easier to make better choices about what goes on your plate.

This doesn’t just apply to Thanksgiving either. The Mayo Clinic reports that eating breakfast allows you to eat more vitamins and minerals, control your weight and blood sugar, eat less fat and cholesterol and perform better at work.

Try Lighter Recipes

Whether you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner or bringing a dish or two to share, try making your recipes a little lighter by using fat-free broth, sugar substitutes, reducing pexels-photo-414553butter and oil, or adding plain yogurt in your creamy casseroles.

Our advice for year-round is that healthy food doesn’t have to taste like you’re eating diet food. Yes, focus on the veggies and watch your portions, but for a lifestyle adoption, eat a well-balanced diet.

Be Selective

pieTry spending your calories on items that are only available during the holiday season. Or better yet, stick to the lighter options like white turkey meat, plain veggies, roasted sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie. However, if you keep your portions small, eat what you like!

Throughout the year, practice prior planning to balance your calories. Know you’re going out with the girls or catching the game with the guys? Eat lighter that day so you don’t have to feel guilty later.

 

Skip the Seconds

Try to resist a second helping, and know that you’ll have an extra day of leftovers. Besides, who doesn’t love leftover Thanksgiving dinner? If you practice this all year, what effect might that have on your physique?

Savor the Flavor

Eating slowly and putting your fork down between bites will help you feel satisfied stopping after your first plate. This works every day, folks—not just on Thanksgiving Day!

Go Easy On Alcohol

Don’t forget that these calories count too! Try drinking a glass of water in between alcoholic beverages to stay hydrated and feel full—again, all year long!

We hope you enjoyed our tips to a healthier you this Thanksgiving. All of us at Tria Health are wishing you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving! Be safe, be well and cheers to a healthier YOU!Happy-Thanksgiving