Health News Review
  • Feb 9 2012

    Do patients always get all of the information they need from their physician?

    The following is a guest post by Harold DeMonaco, MS, a member of our editorial team, and Director of the Innovation Support Center at the Massachusetts General Hospital.  A graduate of the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Sciences he holds a bachelors degree in pharmacy and a masters degree in therapeutics.  He has [...]

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  • Dec 22 2011

    Unwrapping early presents, wrapping up ’11 Health Wonk Review series

    A sleigh led by a dog. Hey, the red-nosed reindeer had nothing on this mutt.  Like Rudolph’s maiden voyage with the fat man, this is the Watchdog’s first time hosting the Wonk Review.  So buckle up for a wild ride.     Man, there’s a lot in Santa’s bag:  unbundling the bundle in the jungle, [...]

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  • Aug 4 2011

    Guest post: Where is the voice of consumers in “Top* Doctors/Best Hospitals” rankings?

    This is a guest post from one of our medical editors, Harold DeMonaco, director of the Innovation Support Center at the Massachusetts General Hospital. —————————————————————————————- There are approximately 800,000 practicing physicians in the United States and not all of them can be the best. Finding the best doctor is a hit or miss process and [...]

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  • Jun 14 2011

    A call for a radical shift in physicians’ prescribing attitudes and behaviors

    Researchers from Harvard and the University of Illinois at Chicago have published “Principles of Conservative Prescribing” in the Archives of Internal Medicine. They write: The concept sums up lessons from past experience as well as from recent studies demonstrating that medications are commonly used inappropriately, overused, and associated with significant harm–suggesting the need to more [...]

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  • May 25 2011

    Top 5 list to improve quality of primary care medicine

    On the NPR Shots blog, Scott Hensley writes, “Quality Prescription For Primary Care Doctors: Do Less,” about an article in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Excerpt: “A group of docs who want to improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of primary care tinkered with some Top 5 lists for of dos and don’ts for pediatricians, family [...]

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  • Apr 27 2011

    Excellent analysis of shared decision making as a health care quality issue in Health Affairs

    The April edition of Health Affairs is a theme issue, “Still Crossing the Quality Chasm.” It includes an article, “Informing and Involving Patients To Improve The Quality of Medical Decisions.” (subscription required for full text access) The authors conclude: “We argue that among the most important reforms needed to improve medical care are those that [...]

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  • Apr 27 2011

    Costly, non-evidence based interventions for coronary artery disease

    Larry Husten, on his Cardiobrief blog, reports: Drug-eluting stents (DESs) cost Medicare an additional $1.57 billion per year, according to a study published online in the Archives of Internal Medicine.…In an editor’s note, Rita Redberg wrote that “it is time to clearly define what the value of this extraordinary investment has been in terms of [...]

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  • Mar 18 2011

    Urologist confesses he was seduced by a robot

    Maggie Mahar’s Health Beat blog tipped me off about a Bloomberg opinion piece by an Oregon urologist that begins by stating: “The decision to opt for medical care that relies on the most costly technology is often based on blind faith that newer, elaborate and expensive must be better.” Later, he focuses specifically on robotic [...]

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  • Feb 21 2011

    The story of Michael Skolnik and Citizens for Patient Safety

    I was very sad and quite angry after watching a powerful video this weekend, “The Faces of Medical Error… From Tears to Transparency.” It was the story of Michael Skolnik. His mother, Patty, gave me the video when I met her recently. The story is that Michael had what may have been unnecessary brain surgery [...]

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  • Jan 17 2011

    Dallas and Las Vegas special journalism projects investigate local hospital quality/safety issues

    This is a Monday catchup effort – catching up on two big journalism projects that are worthy of more attention. Dallas Morning News deputy managing editor explains on the Nieman Watchdog site that the paper’s “First, Do No Harm” project published 15 times over 9 months on two local sacred cows. She writes: “Every place [...]

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