Health News Review
  • Aug 9 2010

    Kudos to Star Tribune for raising spinal surgery questions

    And for doing so in the heart of Medtronic country, as the Strib reminds readers: The state is home to Medtronic Inc., the world’s largest maker of devices used in spine surgery, as well as Abbott Northwestern Hospital, which performs more spine fusion surgeries on Medicare patients than any other hospital in the country, according [...]

    1 Comment
  • Aug 3 2010

    Rating/choosing your doctor: what are we looking for? How do we know when we find it?

    Ratings by individual health plans or by HealthGrades or by RateMDs.com or by Angie’s List? (That’s where I just found a roofing contractor!) Michelle Andrews reflects on the dilemma consumers face in choosing a doctor and in trying to make sense of physician ratings. She wrote on the Kaiser Health News site. And on the [...]

    1 Comment
  • Aug 2 2010

    St. Louis & Boston media monitoring medical mistakes

    Medical errors, safety and quality issues are highlighted in several new health journalism efforts. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has a “Who Protects the Patients?” series underway. The latest story profiles a teenager who died after being suffocated at a hospital that had been warned that its restraint policies weren’t safe. A sidebar to the latest [...]

    No Comments
  • Aug 2 2010

    Chicago Tribune reports on concerns about kids’ CT scans

    An important story, well told by the Tribune and veteran writer Judith Graham. Excerpts: “Families have reason to be alert to risks associated with diagnostic tests such as CT scans. Kids’ changing bodies and brains are especially sensitive to ionizing radiation from X-rays used in the exams. And because children have longer to live than [...]

    1 Comment
  • Jul 28 2010

    Strike may have been averted, but staffing issue still riles MN nurses

    This is NOT just a Minnesota issue. What’s happening in Lake Wobegon country may have ramifications nationwide. A nurse and a nurses’ union governmental affairs specialist co-authored an opinion piece in the Star Tribune this week, showing how raw some nurses’ nerves still are over this summer’s labor dispute. The one-day strike was held and [...]

    No Comments
  • Jul 26 2010

    Checkup on evidence-based treatment of stroke (or not)

    Another excellent piece by John Fauber of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, “Drug that could stop stroke isn’t always used.” This story also includes good graphics and reminders for readers on warning signs of a stroke, how to be prepared for a stroke emergency and what to do in such an emergency. And, in that newspaper’s partnership [...]

    1 Comment
  • Jul 13 2010

    More questions about measuring the quality of cancer care

    Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society, blogs about the question, “Can You Really Measure The Quality Of Cancer Care?“ Dr. Len concludes: “…emphasizing that just because someone says one place is better than another, or one doctor is better than another it is important to keep in mind what [...]

    1 Comment
  • Jul 9 2010

    Resisting evidence when it doesn’t jibe with our personal or institutional wishes

    Former US Senator David Durenberger (R-MN), in his monthly commentary from the National Institute of Health Policy at the University of St. Thomas, writes about an example of a patient and a provider balking at evidence and outcomes data. The commentary is built on the back of a story in the St. Paul Pioneer Press [...]

    2 Comments
  • Jun 28 2010

    AP overtreatment series turns to last 6 months of life

    From today’s latest addition to this excellent series: “Americans increasingly are treated to death, spending more time in hospitals in their final days, trying last-ditch treatments that often buy only weeks of time, and racking up bills that have made medical care a leading cause of bankruptcies. More than 80 percent of people who die [...]

    3 Comments
  • Jun 14 2010

    The over-radiated American – red, white & blue – and glowing

    Another in the excellent Associated Press “overtreatment” series. Excerpt: “Americans get the most medical radiation in the world, even more than folks in other rich countries. The U.S. accounts for half of the most advanced procedures that use radiation, and the average American’s dose has grown sixfold over the last couple of decades. Too much [...]

    4 Comments