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Meet the Wound Dogs of Encompass HealthCare

Posts Tagged ‘Encompass Healthcare’

Meet the Wound Dogs of Encompass HealthCare

Posted on: February 6th, 2021 by Encompass Healthcare No Comments

At Encompass HealthCare, we believe that a calming, welcoming, and happy environment plays a big role in the healing of our patients! That is why Dr. Ruben, our medical director, has introduced two therapy dogs into our office! Inky and Pocket bring a sense of joy to our office each and every day! Many of our patients have attested to the calming effect the dogs have had on them and tell us they look forward to visiting the dogs at each appointment in our office.

Inky and Pocket have been nicknamed the Wound Dogs because of how quickly some of our patients have healed when they’ve spent extended time with the dogs. Many patients tell us how the Wound Dogs have lifted their spirits and given them the positive mindset they needed in order to heal! Pet therapy is so powerful!

Wound Dogs at Encompass Healthcare in West Bloomfield - Dr. Bruce Ruben

We believe in the effect a healthy, happy pet can have on a person’s mental health and their healing experience in general! It follows along closely with Dr. Ruben’s philosophy of treating the WHOLE PATIENT, not just the hole in the patient!

Judging by how much they wag their tails…we think our dogs love being therapy pets! They get to go on a long scenic walk each day and get lots of love and attention from our staff and patients! Not to mention, TREATS! If you happen to be in our office, make sure you say hi to Inky and Pocket, they’ll be happy to see you!

Infectious Disease and 2021

Posted on: February 5th, 2021 by Encompass Healthcare No Comments

Infectious Disease has become an even more interesting specialty over the past year. But although COVID-19 is still a large topic for us, there are other subjects and advancements to review as well!

Infectious Disease! Most of us probably haven’t really given those two words a thought in the past few years – that is until COVID-19 hit every news channel, radio station, and the population of almost every country in the world! Some of our young people, especially young children, may now think of COVID-19 as synonymous with Infectious Disease studies and medicine. Still, there are other facets of the Infectious Disease specialty that deserve recognition and attention – but today, we’re here to give some legitimate updates on the COVID-19 pandemic.

One thing we found important to note is that, according to the CDC, COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths across the United States are still rising. This means that it isn’t yet safe to get back to our pre-2020 normal. Wearing a mask, distancing 6+ feet, and avoiding crowds are all great steps to help slow the spread of the disease. If we can slow the spread enough, we’ll all be able to help our amazing health care professionals and first responders to care for the sick and injured!

Next big ticket item… COVID-19 vaccines are now being administered! The CDC as well as your local health department will have information on where, when and how we all can get vaccinated! This is great news! With a working vaccine for COVID-19, we as a community may be able to return to a pre-pandemic normal much sooner. It also means that those who are vaccinated will have a much better chance of beating or fighting off the virus – should they be infected later on!

Now, although this vaccine is good news, we aren’t completely out of the woods just yet. Like we mentioned before, COVID-19 cases and deaths are still on the rise. So, there’s still reason for caution. Luckily, our medical director Dr. Bruce Ruben, along with our entire staff, have made a great effort to provide a safe and convenient place for patients to receive care, despite the pandemic and risk COVID-19 poses on us all. We have added to our sanitizing and social distancing routines here at the office, making sure to provide plenty of masks and hand sanitizers in the office for staff, patients, and visitors! We truly care about the safety of all parties in our office!
If you’re interested in learning more about these topics, we suggest you take a look at the source list we’ve provided. Below, you’ll find the website and articles we used to find factual information about the virus, pandemic, and the vaccine!

Our Sources:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus/
https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/covid-19-vaccines
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/index.html
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/facts.html

What Will the Opioid Crisis Look Like in Five Years?

Posted on: November 20th, 2019 by Encompass Healthcare No Comments

As an Infectious Disease physician, Dr. Bruce E. Ruben is always learning more about how current issues affect his patients’ healthcare. This article by Jirka Taylor and Peter Reuter originally appeared in the Concord Monitor in New Hampshire last week. Dr. Ruben found this commentary on what the opioid crisis will look like in five years to be a fascinating look at this world-wide problem and thinks his patients should read it too.

Few people had ever heard of fentanyl five years ago. By 2018 this synthetic opioid was implicated in more than 30,000 fatal overdoses in the United States. The next stage of the fast-changing opioid crisis may well depend on how the illegal drug markets morph in the years to come.

In the corners of Europe that have been dealing with fentanyl as long or longer than the United States, each illegal market for opioids took distinct turns. In some, heroin disappeared. In others, opioid nasal sprays arrived. Online sales became the norm. Any of these things could happen here.

What Will the Opioid Crisis Look Like in Five Years?

It’s Estonia where heroin practically disappeared. In the early 2000s, the Taliban’s prohibition on growing poppies in Afghanistan had a ripple effect in Europe constricting the heroin supply. Fentanyl smuggled from or through Russia took its place. Today, tiny Estonia (population about 1.3 million) has the only “mature” fentanyl market in the world.

The replacement of heroin with fentanyl in its drug market was devastating: By 2012, Estonia had one of the highest per capita rates of fatal overdoses in the world. Two other observations, however, offer a bit more reassurance. First, fentanyl does not seem to attract new users: The number of opioid users in Estonia began declining in the 1990s and has continued on that trend. Second, although fentanyl is much cheaper than heroin to produce and ship, drug traffickers do not appear to have lowered street prices, also limiting its spread.

Nearby Latvia underwent a different shift, essentially skipping the fentanyl stage. Stronger variations of the fentanyl molecule, called analogs, started appearing in large quantities around 2014. Until very recently, the most common was carfentanil. One gram of pure carfentanil represents thousands of lethal doses for those without opioid tolerance.

Despite this dangerous potency, Latvian health statistics don’t show a substantial increase in overdose deaths. This suggests that Latvian users and dealers have found comparatively safer ways of consuming synthetic opioids and that overdose death levels don’t inevitably have to skyrocket like they did in Estonia. (Some certainly go unrecorded, but the undercount would have to be enormous for Latvia’s fatal overdose rate to approach Estonia’s.)

Sweden, unlike every other country, developed parallel opioid markets: one for heroin and another for fentanyl analogs. Around 2014, dealers started selling fentanyl analogs online, offering direct-mail delivery. After a period of experimentation, these online dealers settled on an analog nasal spray—a popular alternative for people who preferred not to inject drugs.

Some, though not all, of these facets—the disappearance of heroin, direct online sales, nasal sprays, potent analogs—have begun to pop up in distinct pockets of the United States. None have become widespread in North America yet—but there is no reason why they couldn’t.

Sweden, Latvia and Estonia are, to be sure, much smaller than the United States. But it is useful to think of them as equivalent to a city or small state with a comparatively concentrated supply chain. That also shows us regions just a few hundred miles apart might be affected by fentanyl in completely different ways. The areas of North America that have suffered the most in the opioid crisis—New England, the Midwest, Appalachia, British Columbia—are likely to confront fentanyl in localized ways as well. That will have ramifications for prevention, provision of treatment and other services, and law enforcement efforts.

Despite the variations, there is an overarching commonality to the European cases, too: Once a synthetic opioid like fentanyl becomes dominant, it stays that way. The United States should prepare for fentanyl and other synthetic opioids as a lasting phenomenon, and learning from other countries’ experiences is an important part of that effort.

Jirka Taylor is a policy analyst at the nonpartisan, nonprofit RAND Corporation. Peter Reuter is a professor in the School of Public Policy and Department of Criminology at the University of Maryland. Both are authors of “The Future of Fentanyl and Other Synthetic Opioids.”

 

Why Encompass HealthCare uses Mechanical Venous Ablation

Posted on: February 11th, 2019 by Encompass Healthcare No Comments

Biological ablation is defined as the removal of a biological structure or functionality. Venous ablation, in particular, is a procedure used by physicians to shut down poorly performing veins that leak blood and fluids into the soft tissues of the legs. Such leaking is the primary cause of chronic swelling, redness, heaviness, and sores that won’t heal. Thus, ablation of just a few identified, culprit veins will reverse all of these symptoms and heal the long-standing sore.

The methods that are available today for providing ablation of these veins are all minimally invasive and are performed in the physician’s office; however, patients should be aware that the level of pain associated with the procedure varies. For example, the most painful ablation techniques use laser and radiofrequency, which “burns” the vein on the interior of the leg. In order to complete this specific technique, the introduction of multiple, separate injections of lidocaine filled fluid around the vein is required. As a result, the vein is ablated and the surrounding soft tissues are prevented from burning. OUCH! What’s worse, radiofrequency and laser procedures carry the risk of causing irreversible damage, and even accidental burning, to important sensory nerves; yet, with Clarivein, this is not a risk. In fact, we have seen that the benefits of the radiofrequency and laser procedures are present with Clarivein, but the risky outcomes are not. Therefore, a lack of medical awareness is the only reason one would choose radiofrequency or laser procedures over the much less painful and risky Clarivein.

At Encompass Healthcare we use Clarivein, a mechanical venous ablation procedure.

This procedure typically requires no more than a single needle inserted into the targeted leg vein under ultrasound guidance, much like a typical lab draw at your doctors’ office. Guided by ultrasound, a catheter is threaded along the length of the interior vein and withdrawn while simultaneously creating a painless, inner vein injury in order to cause vein contraction, and thus ablation.

In general, venous ablation is a procedure that is considered only after other conservative measures have failed. Bruce Ruben, M.D., our Medical Director will often try compression bandaging like unna boots, pneumatic compression pumps, or multi-layer compression wrapping first. These methods are more akin to wrapping a leaking pipe with duct tape; however, it may just be enough to heal a non-healing wound without resorting to the vein ablation procedure. At Encompass Healthcare, each patient is always given the full range of appropriate options.

So, you’re probably wondering what sorts of results we’ve seen with this venous ablation procedure, right? Great news! Patient outcomes after receiving a mechanical venous ablation with Dr. Ruben are very impressive. When treated for a non-healing, venous stasis leg wound, Dr. Ruben’s patients healed completely within 4 weeks!

If a patient or loved one you know might be a candidate for venous ablation, give us a call. We can set up a consult in our comfortable and safe outpatient office and determine the best course of action for the patient’s healing process!

 

Topics covered by Dr. Bruce Ruben in this blog post:

•What is venous ablation
•How does mechanical venous ablation differ
•Why we use mechanical rather than other techniques
•What results have we seen from this procedure
•Call to action

Encompass Healthcare is Grateful For Our Patients and Caregivers

Posted on: December 12th, 2018 by Encompass Healthcare No Comments

It’s hard to believe that the year 2018 is almost over. It’s been a wonderful year for us at Encompass HealthCare and Wound Medicine and a time for reflection. While we have been helping men and women in pain for many years, we still think of our medical practice as a new endeavor — and as an alternative to big-business hospitals. Dr. Bruce Ruben and his health care team are constantly working to use innovative medicine for our patients. We see it as our mission to keep ourselves several steps ahead of the pace in the medical field.

 

 

Our treatments for pain care and wound management are constantly evolving to meet the needs of our patients. The recent Thanksgiving holiday gave us an opportunity to count our blessings. We are so very grateful for our many patients and caregivers, who put their trust in our medical team of professionals. We see ourselves as teammates and partners with you.

At Encompass, we take your health very seriously and take great pride in keeping apprised of the many recent changes in how to treat ailments such as diabetic neuropathy, skin infections, bone infections, wounds and different forms of infectious diseases. The gratitude we receive when a patient or caregiver is satisfied with the level of service, the quality of care and the hospitality at Encompass reminds us that what we do really makes a difference. It gives our patients and their caregivers peace of mind.

During the winter holiday season, we gave thanks for all the good that we have in our lives. All of us at Encompass are grateful for you — our partners. We wish you a joyous and blessed holiday season and a successful ending to 2018. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions regarding your health or the health of someone you love.

Dr. Bruce Ruben Praises Caregivers – Our Teammates

Posted on: August 22nd, 2018 by Encompass Healthcare No Comments

At Encompass HealthCare and Wound Medicine, we are keenly aware that our “customers” are not only our patients. We know that along with each patient there is at least one caregiver who is devoted to the physical and mental health of the patient. In some cases, there is an entire team of caregivers. These can be the adult children of the patient, hired nurses, friends or other relatives. And our staff at Encompass knows that this is not an easy job.

Being a caregiver can often feel like a lonely, thankless job. Having a caregiver charged with advocating for the patient is an important asset in the health field. In fact, our doctors and other medical professionals at Encompass see each caregiver as part of our own team. We all have the health of our patients as our top priority and we are dependent on a good relationship with each caregiver.

Encompass HealthCare & Dr. Ruben Salute the Caregivers

Research shows that caregivers manage better if they feel confident about handling the daily hassles of caregiving. The relationship between caregiver, patient, healthcare professionals and family members is such an important relationship and one that must be respected at all times.

Our hearts go out to the many dedicated souls who are serving as caregivers for our patients. We pledge to continue working with you to help ensure the good health of our patients. Additionally, we commend you for all you do. We know that even if you don’t always feel the gratitude, the patient and the patient’s family members are grateful for you. At Encompass HealthCare, we know that we couldn’t do it without you. Thank you!

Why Self-Care is So Important

Posted on: May 22nd, 2018 by Encompass Healthcare No Comments
At Encompass HealthCare and Wound Medicine, we know how important both self-care and the role of caretaker is to our patients. On a daily basis, we salute those men and women who take care of our patients by driving them to doctor’s visits at Encompass, ensuring they are eating properly, doling out their medication and advocating for them. Whether the caregiver is a hired professional, a family member or a friend, we recognize the sacrifice these individuals are making on behalf of another soul.

What Defines Self-Care?

This month, however, we want to focus our blog post on another issue that is of utmost concern for our patients at Encompass. The role of self-care in your daily health regimen. After all, no one cares about you more than yourself. You might rely on a caregiver for some daily functions and tasks, but there are many ways that you can provide self-care management to ensure a healthy lifestyle for yourself that is free from disease, infections and wounds.
Some tips for self-care include living a healthy life by trying to only eat healthy foods, get enough sleep, exercise regularly and take only the doctor’s prescribed doses of your medicines. Regardless of your age, it’s important to manage stress and go for regular medical check-ups.
Additionally, one of the most important aspects of self-care that Dr. Bruce Ruben at Encompass HealthCare encourages is to practice good hygiene. Good hygiene is important for social, medical, and psychological reasons in that it not only reduces the risk of illness, but it also improves the way others view you and how you view yourself. Dealing with infectious disease, Dr. Ruben cannot stress enough the importance of good hygiene on a regular basis as a key principle in self-care for his patients.

Social Interaction is Self-Care

Believe it or not, another aspect of self-care is social interaction. Studies have shown that individuals who live sociable lives live longer. See friends and family members to build your sense of belonging. You can also join a variety of different support groups to make new friends. Encompass HealthCare can recommend some local support groups and social clubs to help keep you active and involved.Self-care is important value at Encompass HealthCare & Wound Medicine, West Bloomfield, Michigan
Finally, hobbies are an integral part of healthy self-care. Try to do something you enjoy every day, whether it be exercising, dancing, going to a movie, taking a walk, watching a favorite TV show, working in the garden, painting or reading. You should also find ways to relax, like meditation, yoga, getting a massage, taking a bath or walking on a local path.
It is our strong desire at Encompass HealthCare and Wound Medicine that our patients live long and healthy lives. We know you can’t do that on your own. It takes a village of caretakers, support team and physicians. However, self-care management is also a very critical component of your healthy life.

Wound Care & Diabetes

Posted on: September 9th, 2014 by Mindy Ruben No Comments

THE INTERSECTION OF WOUND CARE & DIABETES

Robert Striks, Special Writer, Encompass HealthCare and Wound Medicine

I’m diabetic. I have type-2 diabetes. At 53, I’ve battled it for 22 years now. I’m typing this because I’m sorry to say that I’ve reached a dubious stage in this disease.

Learn more about the link between diabetes and wound care--Encompass Healthcare, Michigan

Learn more about the link between diabetes and wound care–Encompass Healthcare, Michigan

I’m where the disease is making its presence known at the farthest reaches of my body. The tips of my toes. The soles of my feet. Places beyond the larger arteries to the smallest capillaries. Diabetes lives there and loves “de-nerving” those extremities.

(more…)

Learn How To Avoid Frostbite

Posted on: January 27th, 2014 by Mindy Ruben No Comments

Learn How To Avoid Frostbite In Cold Temperatures

Learn how to avoid frostbite and hypothermia this brutal winter. Encompass HealthCare Medical Director Bruce Ruben M.D. imparts valuable preventative tips in the following article.  (more…)

Encompass HealthCare Celebrates Its Third Anniversary

Posted on: January 22nd, 2014 by Mindy Ruben No Comments

Encompass HealthCare and Wound Medicine, celebrates its third anniversary healing pressure sores, diabetic foot ulcers and other serious wounds using the latest treatments and technologies.
(more…)

 

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