• Improving the Patient’s Experience

    No one really wants to be in the hospital. But when it is necessary, most patients want to feel like they are being cared for by a member of their own family. That is the biggest challenge for hospital managers; how to bring the level of care up to the point where patients are like members of an extended family. West Hills Hospital’s Chief Nursing Officer recently talked about what patients should expect from their healthcare givers.

    West Hills Hospital provides advanced and compassionate care across a broad range of medical specialties—including emergency medicine, prenatal care, and burn recovery. Most hospital visits are unexpected. But we want you to expect quality care delivered close to your home. 

  • How to Improve Your Heart Health Through the Winter Season

    Heart disease related fatalities are statistically higher in the winter, so preventive heart health is particularly important during the holidays. You may be busy with entertaining, shopping, and decorating, but you will still want to take some time for your health with these heart-friendly activities.

    Heart with weights

    Add Extra Exercise to Your Routine
    Exercise can help relieve stress, cut down on holiday weight gain, and improve your circulation. Even short exercise breaks can make a big difference, so consider taking a walk or doing some jumping jacks when you have a spare moment in your day. You can also fold exercise into your holiday routine by walking extra laps at the mall.

    Take a Break From Holiday Chores
    When you become overwhelmed by holiday stress, you should take a break for some alone time and therapeutic deep breathing. If you get a chance, you might indulge yourself with a massage or hot bath.

    See the Doctor for a Checkup
    Knowing your numbers is critical to managing your heart health. Your doctor can measure your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar and provide solutions based on your health history and daily habits. Many of the risk factors for heart disease are unassuming, so you should see the doctor annually to stay up-to-date with your heart health.

    Cut Down on Seasonal Junk Food
    Foods of the holiday season are typically high in sugar, fat, and sodium, and are thus poor choices for your heart. Indulging on special occasions will not do much harm, but you should stay armed with healthy snacks and holiday recipes with lower-fat ingredients than traditional foods.

    West Hills Hospital is located in the heart of the San Fernando Valley, close to all of the major freeway arteries. We are a nationally-accredited Chest Pain Center, an official receiving center to treat critical heart attacks called STEMI’s and designated as an Advanced Stroke Center by the Joint Commission. If you would like to be added to our mailing list to receive information on upcoming Heart Health seminars, you can connect with us by calling our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (818) 676-4000.

  • How to Steer Clear of Influenza This Season

    Flu season has arrived, and prevention is the best policy when it comes to this common illness. Aside from the flu shot, cleanliness is the best tool for preventing the spread of the flu.

    This video from the Sepsis Coordinator at West Hills Hospital covers some easy tips for fighting back against flu germs so you can stay well this season. You should always sneeze or cough into your elbow rather than your hands. Throughout the day, wash your hands with warm water and antibacterial soap, making sure to scrub for at least 20 seconds.

    For more flu prevention guidelines, visit the West Hills Hospital website. You can contact us for  up-to-date ER wait times  or get more healthy living tips by calling (818) 676-4000. 

  • Preparing Food Safely for the Holidays

    If you are in charge of hosting holiday celebrations at home this year, knowing the basics of food safety will help you ensure a delicious but wholesome meal for your guests. This video from the FDA offers some simple guidelines to help you keep foods free from contamination.

    Keep raw, ready-to-eat food separate from uncooked, raw food to prevent cross-contamination from harmful bacteria. When you cook, do not rely on what food looks like to determine when it is done. Use a food thermometer and cook foods to the proper internal temperature before serving. Remember that leftovers need to be reheated to 165 degrees.

    We sincerely hope it won’t be necessary, but if you do find you need medical care this holiday season, we are close by. You can text ER to 23000 for up-to-the-minute wait times for our ER . Data rates apply.

  • Exploring the Burn Hazards that May Be Lurking in Your Home This Holiday Season

    As you deck the halls in preparation for the holidays, you should make sure that you are not creating unintended burn hazards that could damage your property and lead to a visit to West Hills Hospital’s ER. Below is a look at the most common fire and burn hazards in the home during the holidays.

    Overloaded Outlets
    You will want to use a surge protector when you plug in festive lights and electronic decorations this year. Be sure to inspect all cords for exposed wires and discard any that are in poor condition. If you use an extension cord, check to see that it is rated for the desired purpose.

    Flammable Decorations
    If you have a real pine tree, you will want to vacuum up dried needles that fall from the tree, as they can pose a fire hazard. Real trees should also be disposed of before they dry out so they are not a risk after the holidays are over. Use caution with fake snow, Christmas tree scent, and other products that could be ignited by candles or other flames.

    Unattended Items on the Stove
    If you have long-cooking items on the stove or in the crock pot, you should keep kids out of the kitchen and check on these items frequently to monitor boil-over accidents. Always teach your children to avoid the stove top and stay away from areas where hot dishes are being passed around. This video from West Hills Hospital’s world renowned Grossman Burn Center offers scald prevention guidance for busy kitchens during the holiday season.

    Burning Candles
    LED candles are an excellent alternative to  wax candles  because they do not have the potential to ignite other items around them. If you prefer burning candles, never leave them unattended and only place them on flat, flame-resistant surfaces. Older adults may need additional reminders. This video talks about how we can safeguard this risk group from burn injuries.

    West Hills Hospital can provide excellent care for burn injuries that may arise this holiday season. For more tips on injury prevention, visit our website or call our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare information and physician referral line at (818) 676-4000.