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
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