Summer is on the way out and with those scorching hot days goes your constant awareness to stay hydrated via water. But should it? We acknowledge that occasionally chugging a bottle of Gatorade when competing in a sporting event or working long hours in the sun is good. You need those electrolytes!
But Physicians First Messages is here to remind you there’s no better way to stay properly hydrated than by drinking
H2O, every day, all year long.
And lots of it.
Here’s a handful or reasons why the consumption of water should be a priority:
1. Did you know drinking water could help prevent cancer? According to breakingmuscle.com, staying hydrated can
reduce risk of colon cancer by 45 percent, bladder cancer by 50 percent and possibly reduce breast cancer as well.
2. Drinking water can help you think clearer and by happier! According to research, dehydration can affect your
mood and make you grumpy and confused.
3. Here’s an old favorite … drinking water can help you lose weight! Drinking plenty of H2O can serve as an
appetite suppressant and help with weight loss.
4. Our digestive systems need water to properly function. Because waste is flushed out via urine and sweat, if we
don’t drink enough of water, it’s not flushed out properly. What’s more, if we don’t flush out waste, it collects
in our body and could potentially cause problems. Combined with fiber, water can help prevent constipation.
5. Finally, drinking water can prevent headaches! Because dehydration can cause that annoying head pain, consuming
aqua may spare you the pounding associated with headaches.
Remember, you’ll stay hydrated by drinking 64 ounces of water a day. Need a reminder? Constantly carry a water
bottle with you and keep in mind, raw fruits and vegetables are dense in water. So eat up!
Owner and operator
If you haven't manned the outdoor grill already, the unofficial last days of summer are upon us with the upcoming Labor Day weekend, so now's your chance.
Summer, after all, is the best time for it. And that means you'll be barbecuing for a number of reasons, most notably parties, get-togethers or simply because the food just tastes better on that outdoor grill.
To barbecue to the best of your ability, Physicians First Messages is here to offer you a few simple tips that may very well make you feel like Bobby Flay.
For starters, it should be noted there are different levels of 'hot' and in order to determine what your flame's temperature is, you simply hold your hand just above the grill and count, according to Derrick Riches of thespruce.com.
If it takes five seconds before you begin to feel intense heat, it's at low; four seconds (medium); three seconds (medium high); two seconds (high) and one second (crazy high).
Now keep in mind, for food like hot dogs, burgers, thinly cut steak, kebabs and chops, you want the heat high in order to cook quickly. Set your fire high when cooking the aforementioned foods.
Next, although the popular belief is you shouldn't flip your food too frequently, the rule of thumb is flip it when you feel necessary. Even cooking, after all, is important.
Also, don't hesitate to move your food around on the grill. Among other things, it will help prevent flare-ups.
For such foods like fish, chicken and vegetables, you need to control the heat. It's better to grill them in lower temperatures and that's why medium is your best choice. Obviously, you'll be grilling longer.
Finally, when using oil, make sure you oil the food, not the grill. And remember, clean your grill frequently. Follow these tips and you'll be a grill master serving up a great food and a great time at your end-of-summer cookouts!
Owner and operator
June 1st to November 30th is hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and Central Pacific Ocean. This weekend's big news story is the year's first major storm: Hurricane Harvey as it threatens the Texas Coast. According to the National Weather Service, over a typical 2-year period, the U.S. coastline is hammered by an average of three hurricanes, one of which is classified as major (winds of 111 mph or greater), and numerous tropical storms. Is your practice prepared for power outages and possible closure that comes with these storms?
There is a lot of information out there on hurricane preparedness and it can be overwhelming to sift through. However, Physicians First Messages wants you to know there are five important things you can focus on to make sure you and your practice can properly continue to help your community in the event of hurricane or storm.
1. Protect Your Property
The office building, renovated house, or state-of-the-art hospital you practice in are all susceptible to damage. Make sure windows are properly covered using plywood, shutters, or anything else that will protect them from windblown debris. Clear the area around your building of branches or dead trees that could damage your building. Secure computers and other electronics with straps or velcro and raise them if possible. Do the same to water heaters, gas tanks, and heaters within your ability. Turn off all utilities prior to the hurricane making landfall. If you rent or lease the space, make sure that management has proper protocols in place to keep your office as secure as possible.
2. Protect Important Documents and Information
Your practice holds a lot of information that you don’t want lost or damaged. Ensure hard copies of information are backed up elsewhere. If you can’t remove these files from the location, seal them in waterproof containers onsite. Take a look at what important contacts you might need for business operation, such as lawyers, insurance companies, and utilities, and make sure you have all of that information with you. You can’t depend on a cell phone or computer to have electricity or cell signal to retrieve that information.
3. Develop a Plan
The American Society of Safety Engineers recommends you create an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) if you don’t already have one. The plan should include policies and procedures for employee safety and contingency plans for facility damage and dealing with patients. Make sure everyone is sure about the conditions that activate the plan, what the chain of command is, and who will perform what emergency functions that are need.
4. Communication with Patients
In the wake of disaster or even something as simple as a power outage, the communication you are accustomed to may not be available. After significant hurricanes, there have been problems with internet, land-line telephones, and cell service. Posting hand-painted signs and word of mouth is helpful. An answering service, like Physicians First Messages, would be imperative for your practice. Our system is on two separate, secure servers and our off-premise site has three generators and is monitored at all times of the day and night by our on-site staff. Additionally, the phone company has direct lines into our off premise site and our employees can access the system regardless of location. So, whether a hurricane hits your office or ours, your answering service will not fail.
5. Take Care with Vaccines and Other Medications
Vaccines represent a significant financial investment and require special storage. There may also be other medical supplies that require similar consideration. Check with local hospitals, health departments or other regional facilities that have significant generator capabilities. They may agree to store vaccines and other medical supplies. Alternatively, a medium or large generator at the physician’s house may enable storage at the home and can be packed in insulated shipping boxes or coolers to transport them there.
Hurricanes and other storms can create chaos if your facility is shut down or out of power. Make sure you have a plan in place and you and your staff are as prepared as you can be. This will ensure an easier time recovering after the disaster and make you more effective in providing essential services to the community around you.
Stay Safe Out there!
Owner and operator
So you're bummed knowing the last of the four major pro golf tournament's ended on Sunday, Aug. 13? Feeling the doldrums knowing The PGA Championship came and went and The Masters is eight long months away?
Hey, don't fret.
You still get to play, right? And Physicians First Messages is going to perk you up by letting you in on something
you probably don't know: August is National Golf Month!
That's right. Golf has its own national month. And as someone who thoroughly enjoys the game and coaches it on the high school level, I'm going to give you a handful of ideas to help you celebrate this wonderful game.
For starters, maybe you don't have the time to hit the links, but sooner or later you will and how about preparing by hitting the range? You can work out the kinks on those hooks and slices with some practice shots off the tee.
Why not plan a golf trip with some buddies, perhaps to a place you've never been to before and, furthermore, why not get into more competitive golf by getting a USGA handicap?
Hey, would you consider playing on a par-3 course for a change where you can focus on irons and mid-irons for the day?
Here's something different: Grab that first tee time for a change. There's nothing like the morning dew and waiting on just the grounds crew before you hit your next shot.
Maybe consider keeping stats on yourself the next time you go out, and I'm not just talking about strokes. Why not keep tabs on how many fairways and greens you hit?
Use your imagination, there's other ways to celebrate the game that's shared by so many. But regardless, just get
out there. Hey, it's National Golf Month ... there's no better reason to hit the links.
See you out there,
Owner and operator
That cooking aroma is unmistakable. Linguine and crab sauce!
Just makes your mouth water, no?
But have you ever caught them yourself?
Physicians First Messages is here to remind you that, when done properly, crabbing is easy and fun. And we’re going to give you a few handy tips on how to crab using standard box or pyramid crab traps off a pier.
For starters, the list of things that will make your crabbing experience better includes the following: A cooler or bushel, the traps, bait, a pocket knife, paper towels and gloves.
Saltwater marshes, bays and inlets are the best places to crab when you’re going to set up shop from a pier.
The most common type of fish used for bait is bunker, but you may also use chicken.
It’ll be in your best interest to cut the bunker in two, then fastening it to wire or a clip in the middle of the trap.
As soon as your bait is secured, make sure the doors open properly. When ready, toss the trap into the water and make sure it lands flush to the bottom.
Once the trap is in the water, you must now exhibit patience. It’s recommended the trap sits for 5-8 minutes. When retrieving the trap, grab the slack before quickly pulling it to the surface.
Lastly, here’s four important things to remember about your catch:
1. For starters, always throw females (a pouch-like bottom) back into the water.
2. Make sure the crab is big enough to keep (most standards are at least 4 ½ inches point to point)
3. Next, do NOT put water in the cooler, you’ll suffocate them
4. Lastly, if the crab dies before you’re ready to clean it, throw it away for the meat almost immediately spoils.
Owner and operator
Everybody loves a holiday!
And with Memorial Day approaching fast, plans are being made by the minute, no doubt. A quick, getaway vacation for the weekend; barbecues; the opening of beach houses down at the shore; day trips to the shore, etc., etc., etc.
And you know what? All the best to everyone, because most people deserve to have a good time with family, friends and the like.
But with that said, Physicians First Messages is here to remind you that although it’s certainly encouraged to
enjoy the long weekend and holiday, everyone should also remember the true meaning of Memorial Day as well.
Because the truth of the matter is, due to apathy, that true meaning sometimes gets lost.
For those of you who don’t know, Memorial Day, which became an official federal holiday in 1971, is always observed on the last Monday of May. The purpose of the holiday is to honor the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military.
Unofficially, of course, it marks the beginning of summer as well. But as it pertains to the official holiday, we should all remember that there’s a number of other things we can do to honor those who lost their lives before we hit the beach or spark up the outdoor grill.
I’d personally like to offer some suggestions on what you and others can do:
For starters, any voluntary service you can provide at a cemetery can without question provide solace to those who might have lost a loved one. For instance, help clean up or place flowers and/or flags on graves or even take it a
step further and adopt a gravesite where you can occasionally keep maintenance for a fallen soldier’s grave.
Do you play the bugle? How about playing Taps for the family who might be visiting the grave of a loved one who
died in combat? Outside the cemetery, you might be able to make a donation to a worthy cause in the name of a fallen military member. Or you can send a ‘thank you’ bouquet through the National Memorial Day Foundation. Those flowers will be placed at the local war memorials.
Other things that could make for a great tribute include inviting a service member over to your barbecue; make your barbecue a red, white and blue fest; observing a moment of silence before you eat; fly your flag, albeit with
proper flag etiquette; attend a parade or Memorial Day Service.
I think you get the picture. The possibilities are endless.
Look, in my view, Memorial Day is a celebration to those lives that were lost while serving in the U.S. military. And a celebration should be spent with family and friends. But I also believe we should make an extra effort to say thank you to our fallen military personnel and the aforementioned suggestions more than fit the bill.
Physicians First Messages believes those are proper ways to say ‘thank you.’
Owner and operator
OK, ladies … the days of procrastinating are over.
Over as in O-V-E-R.
Listen, we’ve all done it. We make promises to ourselves to improve our health, only to find the littlest excuse to
put it off for another week, or month, or even a year. Need some motivation? And need it immediately? Well Physicians First Messages is here to remind you that we’re in the midst of the 18th annual National Women's Health Week, which kicked off on Mother’s Day.
What is it, you ask? Well, according to womenshealth.gov, National Women’s Health Week is an observance led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health. The goal is to empower women to make their health a priority.
And, let’s face it ladies: You rarely make your health a priority.
Well, there’s no better time than the present to start making your health No. 1 on the priority list.
So what should you do to make yourself healthier? Well, for starters you should visit a doctor or a nurse for a well-woman, or a check-up, and preventive screenings. In addition, get active, eat healthy, get enough sleep and work on managing stress.
Now that we got your ear, how about participating in National Women’s Health Week in one capacity or another?
For instance, how about spreading the word through social media or easy-to-use resources? (Don't forget the #NWHW hashtag!); Or you can join the National Women’s Health Week Thunderclap. Quite frankly, any kind of involvement is another stepping-stone to becoming a healthier you.
And that’s what it’s all about in the first place. Ladies, please stop procrastinating. The time is now to do what’s best for you. Why not start by getting involved during one of the most important weeks of the year?
Physicians First Messages guarantees you won’t regret taking part. But remember, we just gave a little nudge.
You’re the one that’s got to take the next step and get involved.
Owner and Operator
She’s the one that used to wait on line for hours, just to get the closest seat possible for your school play. She’s also the one who used to get up at 6 a.m. to make your favorite baloney and cheese sandwich for lunch at school.
And also the one who used to sit bedside when that high fever hit you.
Who is it? Auntie Em?
No, of course not, we’re talking about dear mom, Your Mom, and it’s that time of year when we all show our mothers how much we deeply appreciate the unconditional love she gave us as a child and the friendship we share as an adult.
Physicians First Messages is here to remind you that Mother’s Day, of course, is Sunday, May 14, and that there’s a number of things, small and large, you can do to make mom feel like the special person she is.
Remember, in most cases, mom is not looking to be taken on a 10-day cruise to the Caribbean or for a three-hour marathon at the local spa.
It’s mom, and there’s nobody that believes the expression ‘it’s the thought that counts’ more than her.
So, for starters, how about keeping it sweet and simple, and picking up a beautiful card to go along with freshly cut flowers or a colorful plant?
Want it a bit more elaborate? How about using the same flower/card gift with a gift certificate to either her favorite restaurant or department store?
Remember, more often than not, you’ll probably save your mom time by getting her a gift certificate because she’ll be able to purchase something she truly likes.
OK, so you want to make it somewhat of a bigger deal where she can share her gift with just you or you and your family? Hey, how about dinner and a movie?
Simple and you get to enjoy the day as well.
Want to get the grandchildren involved? Nothing warms mom’s heart more than homemade gifts, like a card.
Listen, the possibilities are endless, we’re just trying to make it simple, but meaningful for you at the same time. But keep in mind, regardless of whatever you do, Physicians First Messages wants to remind you the most important thing is making sure you reach out to your biggest fan one way or another.
Even if you can’t see her come Sunday, a phone call and an "I love you" will most certainly hold mom over until the next time you get to see her.
Enjoy Mother’s Day!
Owner and Operator
Love, joy, happiness and peace are the ingredients for a wonderful Christmas. We hope you find them all festive season. We at Physicians First Messages want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas!
Not many people like going to the doctor.
And when seeing your physician has to do with the prostate, you can double that notion.
Hey, we get it. The digital rectal exam is not like going to Disney World. There’s no need to get into details.
But Physicians First Messages is here to remind you that if you’re, obviously, a man that’s at least 50-years-old,
getting an annual exam and ensuing PSA test are not only important, but they could save your life.
Here’s a few facts and recommendations that could be helpful:
For starters, did you know prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men in the United States? Yes, it’s true.
And to boot, the risk of developing prostate cancer increases with age. In fact, according to WebMD, out of every
100 men over the age of 60, six will have prostate cancer before their 70th birthday.
Unfortunately, there’s no specific way to prevent prostate cancer, but many studies suggest diet plays a key role.
Here’s the first helpful tip: Did you know that men who consume tomatoes, watermelon and other red foods, all of
which include an antioxidant called lycopene, have a lower risk of getting prostate cancer?
Eating fish, drinking green tea and even coffee are also believed to be good in preventing prostate cancer as well.
And how about this one: Eat more garlic. The Journal of the National Cancer Institute recently published a study
that found men who consume 10 or more grams of garlic or scallions per day decrease their risk of developing
prostate cancer by approximately 50 percent compared to those who eat less than two grams.
Obviously, keep those breath mints handy if you decide to follow the previous recommendation.
No shock here … those who smoke are prone to get prostate cancer in a more aggressive form.
Another reason to kick the smoking habit!
And it is recommended that men at high risk, such as African American men and men with a strong family history of prostate cancer, begin testing at age 45.
Leading a healthy lifestyle, such as daily exercising, is also believed to help prevent getting prostate cancer.
Listen, following any of the previous suggestions can certainly help.
And if nothing else, eating healthy will help you physically in a number of ways, not just preventing prostate cancer.
But the most important thing is, get your annual examination and PSA blood test, no matter how much it makes you cringe.
Remember, the earlier you know, the better the chance you’ll survive.
Owner and operator
What Our Customers Are Saying
"I have used many answering services in my 30 years of practice. Since joining Physicians First Messages, I can finally sleep at night knowing my calls are being handled correctly."
- Dr. Cohen
"Thank you! Not only did I get a great answering service that understands my practice, but I save thousands of dollars a year, too! Flat-rate billing allowed me to plan my budget."
- Dr. Patel