As a healthcare provider, you are all too familiar with the complications that arise in acute care and long-term care facilities. C. diff, sepsis, and pneumonia are just a few that strike individuals with immune systems weakened by age and other medical conditions.

C. diff is particularly problematic. In 2013, the Centers for Disease Control named C. diff the most urgent of all superbug infections. Each year, C. diff is responsible for more than 250,000 infections and 14,000 deaths in the United States. Eighty percent of those who contract C. diff do so in a healthcare facility, first because it spreads easily, and second, because patients on antibiotics are vulnerable to infections.

Pneumonia and sepsis are two other deadly conditions prevalent in healthcare facilities. Each year, 48,000 Americans succumb to these illnesses. The cost to treat? More than $8 billion annually. This includes 2.3 million additional hospital days required for treatment.

Thanks to organizations like the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, healthcare facilities have become much more vigilant in preventing the spread of infections and disease. Simple things like hand washing as well as new technologies to limit the spread of bacteria are helping. These efforts are focused on the environment and caregivers. Shouldn’t we also look at improving the overall health of patients and residents as a means of reducing potentially deadly complications?

Here’s a Suggestion: Introduce Probiotics to the Diet

Antibiotics are designed to kill bacteria and do so in an indiscriminate manner, killing “good” bacteria that fight infection and weakening a person’s natural defenses. Probiotics on the other hand,  re-populate the good bacteria that can help fight infection. Studies show that using high-dose probiotics to re-populate intestinal flora with healthy bacteria can have some powerful health benefits.

How are probiotics delivered to patient and resident populations? Traditionally, yogurt is used to reintroduce good bacteria to a person’s system. Some people readily accept yogurt in their diet, others don’t. There is, however, a new option with near universal acceptance among patients and residents: Thrive Ice Cream for Healthcare.

Developed as complete nutrition for use as a meal supplement, dessert or snack, Thrive Ice Cream’s formulation is backed by science. It contains four active probiotics, including patented GanedenBC30. This efficacy of this probiotic is supported by more than 25 peer-reviewed published studies and has an exceptional safety record through the FDA (GRAS) among all ages, infant through adults. This includes safety testing in immune compromised populations.

Why add probiotics such as GanedenBC30 to ice cream and patients’ diets?

The mountain of benefits of ice cream enhanced by probiotics may surprise you. First, the medical benefits:

  • Promotes digestive and immune health;
  • Inhibits pathogens such as C. diff , E. coli and salmonella;
  • Boosts immune response by up-regulating protective cytokines when challenged by a virus;
  • Reduces diarrhea, gas and bloating;
  • Metabolizes a broad range of carbohydrates;
  • Produces a broad spectrum of enzymes; and
  • Decreases pain and increase mobility in patients with arthritis by reducing CRP-blood marker for inflammation.

Next, the health system benefits;

  • Reduces hospital stays;
  • Reduces cost of disposables and labor; and
  • Reduces cost of treating preventable complications.

The final benefit of probiotic-enhanced Thrive Ice Cream: patient satisfaction.

Thrive Ice Cream, with its natural flavors and creamy texture, is enjoyable to eat. Patients, residents, and anyone else who eats Thrive won’t know it’s “good” for them; they’ll simply enjoy the creamy vanilla, chocolate and fresh strawberry flavor. In addition to a beneficial dose of four active probiotics, a six-ounce serving of Thrive contains nine grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber, and 24 vitamins and minerals.

And, Thrive is “clean” nutrition – made with REAL Dairy certified milk protein, Thrive contains no HFCS, no palm oil, no fillers, no artificial colors or flavors, and no hormones in the milk. Thrive also offers a no sugar added vanilla for those on low sugar diets. It melts to a nectar consistency.

Take the Next Step to Reducing High Cost Complications at Your Institution

Thrive Ice Cream’s complete nutrition is suitable for a wide range of medical conditions – cancer, dysphagia, Crohn’s disease and colitis to name a few – and can be used as a supplement, snack or dessert. A growing number of GPOs across the United States have Thrive available at contracted pricing. For more information on Thrive or to order online, visit our website.

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