Health News Review
  • Jun 12 2013

    Giving talks at ISDM 2013 (Peru) and at WCSJ 2013 (Helsinki): crossover of health care journalism & shared decision-making

    This site will be on hold for the month of June because of other commitments. I will deliver one of the keynote talks at the International Shared Decision Making conference in Lima, Peru.  Dr. Victor Montori of the Mayo Clinic invited me.  Ironically, we will meet in Lima for the first time, even though we live only 70 miles apart in Minnesota. My topic: “What Consumer-Centered Journalism Could Do to Promote Patient-Centered Care.” …

  • Jan 24 2011

    Cochrane Review questioning statins = another shared decision-making moment

    …17;t make sense.” The Boston Globe covers the controversy today. But absent in any of the online reactions I’ve read to the Cochrane statins review is any discussion of what an important moment this is for shared decision-making. This is exactly the kind of issue that demands a deep discussion between patient and physician, and a clear communication of what’s known and isn’t known about the tradeoffs of benefits and harm…

  • Mar 3 2011

    Jack Wennberg on Bloomberg TV – shared decision-making in health care reform

    Dr. Jack Wennberg, founding director of the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, was interviewed on Bloomberg Television’s “Street Smart” program, addressing a range of health care reform issues, including the role of shared decision-making. …

  • Sep 4 2012

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

    aids, and is now distributing at the rate of about 900 more each month. It should also be noted that 5 years ago, Washington passed the first state legislation recognizing the use of patient decision aids and “shared decision making” as a higher standard of informed consent. The study was funded by the Commonwealth Fund. The implementation of decision aids was funded in part by the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation, which has been the sole su…

  • Mar 3 2010

    “Against backdrop of uncertainty and controversy” ACS updates prostate screening guidelines

    ve health insurance through Medicare, they should be discouraged from participating in community-based screening programs, and should be referred to a primary care provider.” The Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making (disclosure: they support this project) posted a video clip with its president, Dr. Michael Barry, reinforcing the shared decision-making message. For now, the Foundation’s shared decisi…

  • Feb 5 2009

    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Wins First Health Journalism Award from Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making

    WASHINGTON, Feb. 5 –The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is the first news organization to receive an award for Excellence in Health Journalism from the Boston-based Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making. The Foundation, which presented the award yesterday at its Research and Policy Forum in Washington DC, chose the Milwaukee newspaper because of its consistently high ratings by That web-based project, funded by …

  • 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 the eyes of the authors,  “leaving clinicians and patients in the dark a…

  • 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 live.“ …

  • Apr 23 2010

    Overdiagnosis in cancer & role of shared decision-making

    Gil Welch and Bill Black of Dartmouth address cancer overdiagnosis in a new review article in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Excerpt from the abstract: “We estimated the magnitude of overdiagnosis from randomized trials: about 25% of mammographically detected breast cancers, 50% of chest x-ray and/or sputum-detected lung cancers, and 60% of prostate-specific antigen-detected prostate cancers. We also review data from observ…

  • Aug 24 2010

    An important shared decision-making message in NYT story on breast imaging radiation risks

    This is a very important story. “Unfortunately,” as a Mayo Clinic physician says in the story, “this is something that isn’t well understood, not just by the public – but by physicians who order the tests.” Special focus was placed on the nuclear technologies of breast-specific gamma imaging and positron emission mammography. The story says a single exam with one of these tests “exposes patients to a …

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