Health News Review
  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

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  • 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 [...]

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  • 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 [...]

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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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