Health News Review
  • 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 [...]

    No Comments
  • 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 [...]

    4 Comments
  • Jul 30 2012

    Pearls from last week

    The pearl I experienced in person was the 14th annual Rocky Mountain Workshop on Evidence-Based Health Care, held last week in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.  It was the most intensive training in the evaluation of evidence that I’ve participated in.  The organizers planned excellent plenary sessions on topics such as bias in research and making policy [...]

    No Comments 1 Star
  • Jun 14 2012

    Boston Globe opinion piece on decision aids for dying patients on end-of-life care options

    Angelo Volandes, MD, a physician at Massachusetts General Hospital, wrote an opinion piece published in the Boston Globe today.  He tells the story of a patient dying of cancer, with whom he brought up the topic of end-of-life care options: “For the next hour I introduced a vocabulary as foreign to her as spondee and [...]

    1 Comment 1 Star
  • Apr 26 2012

    Grasping and even celebrating uncertainty

    Marya Zilberberg posted, “Fast science: No time for uncertainty.”  Excerpt: “…my anxiety about how we do clinical science overall is not new; this blog is overrun with it. However, the new branch of that anxiety relates to something I have termed “fast science.” Like fast food it fills us up, but the calories are at [...]

    No Comments 1 Star
  • 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 [...]

    3 Comments 1 Star
  • Mar 14 2012

    A doctor writes about “death panels”

    Dr. Kenny Lin writes on his Common Sense Family Doctor blog about “The reality behind ‘death panel’ rhetoric.” It’s based on an “On Being a Doctor” column in the Annals of Internal Medicine. It’s an important perspective.  Please read.

    No Comments 1 Star
  • Mar 9 2012

    Patient POV on waste, quality of care, imaging issues

    Journalist Laura Newman, on her Patient POV blog, posts, “MR Imaging, Electronic Test Ordering Creates Waste.” She writes: Waste is what you get with rampant, uncritical use of MRI and health information technology, according to two papers out this week.  The authors of a companion editorial to one of the papers even go so far [...]

    No Comments 1 Star
  • Mar 7 2012

    Important shared decision-making questions on knee replacement surgery

    MedPage Today (and a few others) report on an important article in The Lancet on knee replacement and how “Because replacement is increasingly considered for patients younger than 55 years, improved decision making about whether a patient should undergo the procedure is needed.” MedPage Today reports that long-term data on knee replacement is inadequate in [...]

    1 Comment 1 Star
  • Mar 5 2012

    Data on shared decision-making in prostate cancer surgery & coronary stents decisions

    A team from Dartmouth and the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation* published a paper in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, “Decision-Making Process Reported by Medicare Patients Who Had Coronary Artery Stenting or Surgery for Prostate Cancer.” It describes a survey of Medicare patients who had surgery for prostate cancer or stents put in place for [...]

    No Comments 1 Star