Rothman Index: Quantifying Gut Instincts

The New York Times: “The Rothman Index is a commercial product that uses data from standard electronic health records — including lab values, vital signs, cardiac rhythms and key aspects of nursing assessments — to monitor hospital patients. It tracks their status as a graph that falls into a blue, yellow or red zone, based on whether they are at low, medium or high risk of an acute event … The goal is to identify those patients who might look stable but are in fact fragile; applied correctly, it allows medical teams to intervene well before a crisis hits. This saves lives, and money.”

“The Rothman Index empirically validates nurses’ gut feelings by showing that nursing assessments — what nurses see and document when they “lay eyeballs” on patients — offer crucial information about patient stability. It validates what nurses have known all along: that well-honed clinical instincts matter.”

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Social Media Buzz: Not Always Accurate

The New York Times: “On average, 19 percent of a brand’s sales — or between $7 trillion and $10 trillion in annual consumer spending in the United States — are driven by social conversations, both online and offline, according to a new study conducted by Engagement Labs, a Canadian company that analyzes conversations around brands. The study, which looked at 170 brands, found that companies often wrongly saw social media as an accurate and sufficient guide for tracking consumer sentiment. Often, though, that social conversation might be much different from what people are saying in private conversations with friends and family, the study said.”

Co-author Brad Fay comments: “The danger is you can make some pretty big mistakes if you assume the conversations happening online are also happening offline. Very often, they’re heading in different directions.”

“The most negative and most outrageous comments often get the most traction on social media. And sometimes, people post comments about a topic just to get a reaction or to reflect an ‘image’ or appear ‘cool’ to their social media followers, when their actual views may be the opposite.”

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Walmart & Zero-Based Shopping Bags

The Wall Street Journal: “Wal-Mart has started using zero-based budgeting in some corporate units and has made cost cuts as mundane as printing receipts on smaller strips of paper—a change that has saved $7 million so far this year … Wal-Mart expects to save $20 million this year by using slightly smaller plastic shopping bags.”

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