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Interesting News of Local Import

Been at a day-long thing today. Can't really call it a meeting. Several different presentations all short. It's called Leadership Conference for the Nursing Dept. leaders/managers. I qualify now. Scary thought, that.

Now, one of the most interesting bits that was announced is ... smoke. Hospital is a major teaching hospital, affiliated (not part of) a major university and the medical sciences center of that university. Hospital is building a new structure (we open, in fact, in 100 days) across the Road from current structure. Pertinent to the discussion, at least a wee bit, is that new South Tower is on property owned by Hospital Parent Group. The old structure (North Tower) is on property owned by University. In fact, the original structure (it's been expanded, significantly expanded, over time and much of this during my tenure here) was once owned by University.

Hospital Parent Group already restricts certain aspects of Internet access. Specifically, such things as would not appear congruent with a facility dedicated to health, healing, trauma and cancer care, etc. So I can not, for example, go web surfing to the sites of either firearm manufacturers or sellers. I can surf to sights which provide information about firearms such as ballistics, calibre, tissue damage from bullets, and such. That latter is, after all, part of treating trauma.

Inside of Hospital, and even inside of the University Health Science Center has been 'smoke free' for a decade or so now. You want to smoke? You go outside to designated smoking areas. Inpatient, outpatient, visitor, employee, you go outside to the designated smoking areas. Part of the reason the limits extended only to the doors is University did not commit (other than here at the Health Science Center) to smoke-free.

As of Day One Opening of the new South Tower, Hospital (BOTH buildings), University Health Science Center, and the campus grounds around them will be tobacco-free.

You want to smoke or chew? Head a half-mile (more, actually) up the road.

Oh, there will be means and interventions for those patients who need; these will not include smoking or chewing or snuff.

Apparently, University will be promoting a tobacco-free campus elsewhere by a specified date next year. We here at the Health Care Places will start earlier.

About. Damn. Time.

And now, I go home.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 24th, 2009 08:32 pm (UTC)
That would never fly here, we're a serious tobacco state. makes good sense for a hospital though.

I'm not, on the whole, a big proponent of nanny-state laws, but it is awfully damn nice to be able to go out dancing when I'm in Seattle (where there is no smoking in public establishments) and not come home feeling and smelling like I chain-smoked the entire evening.
Jul. 24th, 2009 11:55 pm (UTC)
I'm sure that people with smoke allergies think it's even nicer to be able to go out dining and dancing at all.
Jul. 24th, 2009 11:27 pm (UTC)
Let me tell you how that works in reality. The hospital patients goe out INTO the STREET to smoke. They go into parking garages, and they put themselves at risk in the middle of the night when they go out there. The ICU nurses smoke in a stairwell of a parking garage.

I don't smoke anymore, but by God, those that still DO smoke still smoke, no matter what kinds of rules get passed. We've already had one of those smoking patients get mugged in front of the hospital in the middle of the night. Luckily we caught the suspects and he got his stuff back, but that lawsuit is just a matter of time.
Jul. 26th, 2009 12:05 pm (UTC)
The interior of Hospital has been 'smoke-free' for quite some time, as mentioned above. Patients who use tobacco and are unable to ambulate for any reason receive alternate route therapy for nicotine. Patients who can ambulate use the outside designated smoking areas.

There are designated smoking areas outside three of the entry doors of many - that's part of the problem in enforcement without University on board, as Hospital North Tower fairly seamlessly accesses University Medical Science Center and Dental Tower. University is coming on board with this now most likely because there will be implications with state and federal funding if they do not. Thus, UPD will be charged with patrolling Campus and enforcing outdoors.

In one direction only is 'outdoors' away from the Hospital/University campus. That's a major four-lane roadway. Across the roadway is the VA Hospital, which is not currenlty smoke-free, though I expect that may change as well if federal policies change. On the other hand, I'm not so sure the VA will appreciate lots of extra pedestrians on their property smoking. And to further complicate this, the VA is building an extension and the stretch along that major roadway so there isn't much pedestrian space available...

University 'up the hill' (Health Science Center campus is literally down a hill from the rest of University Campus) is apparently going tobacco-free within one year. Then UPD will be patrolling the entire campus for tobacco use along with all the rest of their crime-fighting duties.

Perfect situation? No. Nothing is. Will it be enforced? Most probably, since additional funding programs are likely going to be effected if the 'Tobacco Free' environment is not being addressed.
Jul. 24th, 2009 11:53 pm (UTC)
I can't wait to hear the Libertarians howl about this, even though there's no government intervention involved -- it's a private entity, making its own business decisions. But they always howl. We've got one person down here, a fairly well-known regional author, who is adamant about not coming to cons any more because, goddamit, zie has the RIGHT to smoke in zir own ROOM, and the hotel's chain-wide policy* is nothing but oppression. Flaming Libertarian, of course.

* You're probably aware of this already. Most of the major hotel chains have gone completely non-smoking over the past few years. No smoking rooms provided at all. They finally figured out that the cost of maintenance of those rooms was more than the revenue they were making from having them. No smoking in the public and function spaces has been around for a lot longer, but the room thing is relatively new.
Jul. 26th, 2009 12:14 pm (UTC)
It is, actually, more complicated than being a private entity making business decisions. See my comment to the immediate previous response. Hospital's original structure as stated in the first post was once owned by the State & University. It is on University Campus property, even if legally a totally separate and private entity. Decisions for North Tower (the original building plus expansions) must involve University because there is not way to restrict entry into the Hospital through University.

South Tower, the new building, is on property owned by Hospital Parent Corporation, which I'm calling this way because the name carries across: (Hospital) Health Care covers the enterprise which includes the current campus, new South Tower & campus, a community hospital in town (which will be closed due to ... oh, lots of issues, really) when South Tower opens, plus additional resources here in town but on the northwest side, plus three other, more rural community hospitals, plus another major health care center in Jacksonville. Thus there are areas where Hospital Health Care may make unilateral decisions - but where University Campus is involved, can not.

And University is owned by the State, and there are both state and federal funding issues behind the scenes.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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