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  • Quality Care: Combating Obesity through Prevention, Education, Research and Treatment

  • At Rhode Island Hospital, the medical and support staffs are combating the national pandemic of obesity through prevention, education, research, and quality patient-centered treatment options.

    Recent studies conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have revealed that Americans are increasingly battling obesity, which has risen nationally by 1.1 percent between 2007-2009, according to a recently published CDC report.

    In Rhode Island alone, according to the CDC, the rate of obesity among adults rose by 67% from 1990-2002. Today it is estimated that an alarming 56 percent of the adult population is overweight or obese.

    Also alarming is the rise in the numbers of adults with diabetes. Obesity is a contributing factor to diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, over 24 million Americans currently are diagnosed with diabetes; that number is expected to continue to grow in years to come.

    Rhode Island Hospital conducts support groups, as well as research into weight control and diabetes. These groups are available free of charge to patients and their families.

    Staff Training

    At Rhode Island Hospital medical and support staff are trained so that all patients who may be candidates for surgery due to weight-related issues, receive quality care.

    Staff members are specially trained in safety procedures with regards to transporting and assisting patients from the moment of their arrival at the hospital, to the surgical area and, later, to their rooms. Multidisciplinary teams (emergency room personnel, radiologists, medical and support teams) meet regularly to coordinate this collaborative approach to treatment.

    Additionally, state-of-the-art equipment is in place to deal specifically with patients who are being treated for weight-related conditions. This equipment is stored in special rooms at Rhode Island Hospital and is only used for the transporting and caring of overweight patients.

    Bariatric and other Surgical Options

    Before a patient chooses a surgical option for weight reduction, they are advised to review frequently asked questions about bariatric surgery.

    When it is determined that a patient is indeed a candidate for bariatric surgery, a dedicated nurse coordinator is assigned to the patient. Patients then participate in a preparatory educational program so that the patient can be assured he or she is clearly adhering to delineated procedures leading up to the surgical appointment and during their recovery period at home.

    Monitoring and Maintaining Patient Data

    At Rhode Island Hospital, the continuum of care does not end when a patient leaves the hospital. A patient is monitored by our medical and support staffs for a period of 2 to 5 years after surgery. Patients receive home visits as well as frequent health status reports.