Health News Review
  • Dec 20 2012

    Suggestions for journalists on reporting Dartmouth Atlas data

    Each time the Dartmouth Atlas issues a new report, there’s a spike in news coverage about the work of the Atlas team.  That’s the way news usually works:  an announcement, an event – something is spoonfed journalists and they respond. Especially in these more difficult financial times in the news industry when story quotas remain [...]

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  • Dec 7 2012

    My talk to Knight Science Journalism Program at MIT’s Medical Evidence Bootcamp for Journalists

    For what I believe was the fourth time in the past five years, Phil Hilts of the Knight Science Journalism Program at MIT asked me to speak to their Medical Evidence Boot Camp.  It happened this week in Cambridge. I was honored and delighted to be on the same program with Drs. Steven Woloshin and [...]

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  • Dec 6 2012

    Incomplete MPR reporting on Mayo prostate cancer scan

    I’m a big fan of Minnesota Public Radio and usually a big fan of their health care news coverage. They’ve done some bold and innovative coverage in recent years. But when I heard (on the radio) and saw (online) MPR’s story, “Prostate cancer scan advance helps Mayo doctors with early detection,” I saw some red [...]

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  • Nov 29 2012

    One woman’s search for a “good” colonoscopy

    On WBUR Boston’s Healthcare $avvy: The Health Care Consumer Experience website, Martha Bebinger is determined to be more informed before she goes in for her second colonoscopy (the other one was 10 or so years ago).  So she’s posted a list of questions she wants answered and she’s asking for suggestions for amendments to the [...]

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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 29 2012

    My Health Literacy Month blog series post – the potential for harm in the daily tsunami of health news

    For the second straight year, I’ve published a post in the Health Literacy Month blog series hosted by a company called Emmi Solutions. Shared decision-making was their focus this year, and my entry was entitled, “What is the Impact on Shared Decision Making of the Daily Tsunami of Health News?” ——————————— Every day for the past [...]

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  • Oct 18 2012

    Medical devices and shared decision-making: Daisy chains of decades of device approval without rigorous assessment

    The journal Arthritis Care & Research has accepted for future publication – and posted online (for subscribers) – an unedited paper, “Preceding the Procedure:  Medical Devices and Shared Decision-Making.”  The paper builds on a hypothetical example of a man in his 50s with hip arthritis who is facing a decision about total hip replacement.  Excerpts: [...]

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  • Oct 9 2012

    The evolution of a story: hospital “selling scans” makes it into final headline

    I had never met Jim Walsh of the Star Tribune, but he called me recently about a story he was working on.  I’m glad he did, because I think our conversation (and subsequent conversations with people to whom I referred him) may have altered the direction of the final product. I hadn’t realized that Walsh [...]

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  • Oct 1 2012

    Two pieces on related themes of geographic variations in health care on need for shared decision-making

    Shannon Brownlee and Joe Colucci write in The Atlantic, “The Cost of Assuming Doctors Know Best” – “patient decision aids are powerful quality-improving, cost-cutting tools — but change is stalled by bad financial incentives.” And, on Ezra Klein’s Wonkblog for the Washington Post, Sarah Kliff writes, “Will your doctor prescribe antibiotics? Depends on where you [...]

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  • Sep 4 2012

    Use of patient decision aids may lead to “sharply lower hip/knee surgery rates & costs”

    A paper in Health Affairs (subscription required for access) shows what can be done with decision aids in clinical practice in what the authors describe as “the largest (observational study) to date of the implementation of patient decision aids in the context of quality improvement for elective surgery.” A team from Group Health Cooperative in [...]

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