Health News Review
  • Mar 6 2015

    Lown Institute Right Care conference: we’re treating lab results – not patients

    I’ll be attending the Lown Institute’s Right Care conference in San Diego next week.  Come back to this blog for future blog posts and maybe even some video interviews from this event. On the Institute’s website, I found a Q & A with Allen Frances, MD, professor emeritus and former chair of psychiatry at Duke. [...]

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  • Sep 4 2014

    See it, stent it: the Oculostenotic Reflex

    A small, but important study was summarized in JAMA Internal Medicine last week, “How Cardiologists Present the Benefits of Percutaneous Coronary Interventions to Patients With Stable Angina.” It was an analysis of 40 discussions between patients and cardiologists about whether to pursue angiograms (catheters inject dye into the heart arteries so imaging can show blockages) [...]

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  • Dec 11 2013

    Failing grades for physician quality report cards

    A “state report card on transparency of physician quality information” says that despite much work on the issue of physician quality ratings, “finding information on the quality of physicians remains elusive for most consumers.” It goes on to state: “Close to 15 years after the Institute of Medicine’s Crossing The Quality Chasm (report), we have [...]

  • Sep 4 2013

    Unaccountable health care…underreporting of robotic surgery problems

    A paper published online first by the Journal of Healthcare Quality, “Underreporting of Robotic Surgery Complications,” raises questions about how accurate a safety picture is publicly available. The paper is authored by Dr. Marty Makary of Johns Hopkins and two colleagues.  Makary is a frequent critic of the proliferation of robotic surgery systems. I found [...]

  • Mar 26 2013

    Robotic surgery safety/marketing concerns in Boston Globe & NY Times stories

    The Boston Globe reports that: Reports of complications from robot-assisted surgery are rising, according to Massachusetts health officials who sent hospitals an “advisory” letter last week alerting them about their safety concerns. In some cases, it appears that doctors have used the aggressively marketed robots to perform hysterectomies and colorectal operations that were too complex [...]

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  • Mar 17 2013

    New site –

    The Association of Health Care Journalists launched a new website – – that has something to offer not only journalists but the general public as well. AHCJ says the site: “…aims to make federal hospital inspection reports easier to access, search and analyze. This site includes details about deficiencies cited during complaint inspections at [...]

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  • Nov 9 2012

    BMJ analysis: Stop the silent misdiagnosis

    Three authors from the Dartmouth Center for Health Care Delivery Science authored an analysis in the BMJ, “Stop the silent misdiagnosis: patients’ preferences matter.” I’ll only provide the bookends of what they wrote. The beginning: In recent decades, rapid advances in the biosciences have delivered an explosion of treatment options. This is good news for [...]

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  • Oct 24 2012

    “ the elephant in the hospital”

    Pacific Standard reports, “Why Patients Leave Hospitals With a Bad Taste In Their Mouths.” It’s a reminder of the work of Lucian Leape of the Harvard School of Public Health.  Excerpts: he believes “that disrespectful behavior—our ability to tolerate it, and not do anything about it—is the root cause of the dysfunctional culture we have [...]

  • May 2 2012

    Patient satisfaction surveys don’t tell the whole story about health care quality

    The following is a guest post by Harold DeMonaco, one of our expert editors for and director of the Innovation Support Center at the Massachusetts General Hospital. ———————————————————— A recent study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine is turning a few heads in the health policy arena.  The cost of satisfaction: A national [...]

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  • Mar 21 2012

    “Too much ownership of data and secrecy involved”

    That’s what one author writes in a series of papers published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes this month addressing issues involving the integrity of research data. Yale’s Harlan Krumholz writes: “Patients facing a decision deserve information that is based on all of the evidence.”  Further excerpt: Every day, patients and their caregivers are faced [...]

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