Social Media + Health Care – A Match Made in Heaven? Ever heard of Patients Like Me, Practice Fusion or maybe Zocdoc? Whether you have or haven’t, healthcare related social media sites are beginning to take off in the health sphere. Ryan Bradley, senior editor at Fortune Magazine, gives us a view into how the [...]
Cost Effectiveness of Percutaneous Coronary Intervention in Optimally Treated Stable Coronary Patients
A recent study evaluated the relative cost and cost-effectiveness of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in the COURAGE (Clinical Outcomes Utilizing Revascularization and Aggressive drug Evaluations) trial.
Resource use was assessed by looking at the diagnosis-related group for hospitalizations and by current procedural terminology codes for outpatient visits and tests and then converted to costs by use of 2004 Medicare payments. Life expectancy beyond the trial was estimated from Framingham survival data.
The added cost of PCI was approximately $10,000, without significant gain in life-years or quality-adjusted life years. A larger minority of the distributions found that medical therapy alone offered better outcome at lower cost.
According to a new study, a physician’s attitudes and personality traits may affect the tendency to diagnose mood swings or depression. Some physicians apparently are sensitive to certain topics such as depression or suicide and are reluctant to discuss these issues with patients regardless of need.
According to Dr. Duberstein, co-author of the study, depression is frequently not diagnosed and suicidal tendencies are not explored even went quite evident. Physicians should reflect on the possibility that their personal traits might taint their diagnosis – or lack thereof – in mental health situations.
In a precedent offering, the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.) has compiled a Patient Nutrition Support Education Manual to assist with healthcare professionals’ verbal explanations concerning nutrition therapy options and procedures. This publication is a compilation of over 200 fact sheets from prestigious organizations and institutions.
The purpose of the 427 page manual is to provide clinicians (i.e. nurses, pharmacists, dietitians, pharmacists, health educators, etc.) with a compilation of some of the best patient education resources in the nutrition support arenas broadly encompassing enteral nutrition, parenteral nutrition, surgical procedures, medical conditions and pediatrics. Specific areas covered include parenteral and enteral access, complications of nutrition support, Medicare and Medicaid, enteral access devices and feeding methods, coping, care of feeding tubes, medication, surgery including gastrointestinal and transplant, medical conditions including gastrointestinal(G.I.) and diets to promote weight gain and maximize protein intake, nutrition considerations for patients with cancer, nutrition in the elderly, pediatric issues and Spanish materials that include parenteral and enteral nutrition, general nutrition and home nutrition support issues. A CD-ROM is included with the manual to assist with customization of the educational handouts.
My cardiac and pulmonary patients often ask me, “How will I know if it’s too hot to exercise outside?”
My answer to someone who is physically compromised in some way is, ”When the sum of the ambient temperature and the relative humidity is greater than 150, it is best to move exercise inside into an air conditioned room or wait until later in the day when those numbers go down.” For example, a noontime temperature of 93 degrees Fahrenheit and relative humidity of 88 percent far exceed this guideline for safe outdoor exercise.
Individuals living with chronic disease, including heart disease, pulmonary disease, diabetes, or cancer, should use extra caution when exercising – especially outdoors. Excess heat and high humidity can tax the heart and lungs and make it difficult for these organs to keep up with the increased demands of exercise. Other outdoor exercise rules also apply: drink more water, wear sunscreen and light, breathable clothing, and modify your routine so that your heart rate remains in your training zone.
If you have a chronic illness, it is best to get your doctor’s clearance before you begin and to consult with an exercise professional to determine safe parameters for your exercise routine, i.e. heart rate, blood pressure, duration, intensity, frequency, and conditions for exercise.
So, researchers have finally done it. They have created a pill you can take instead of doing dreaded exercise.
Well, not so fast; don’t sell your treadmill yet. The newly developed exercise pill speeds the transformation of sugar-burning fast-twitch fibers to fat-burning slow-twitch ones — the same change that occurs in distance runners and cyclists through training – only WITH exercise. So, unless you’re already getting off the couch to exercise, the pill is useless! To boot, the pill has no effect on the muscles of people who already exercise.
So, unless you are a couch potato with your heart set on an Olympic medal , this pill is a waste of money.
Several lines of the page in all sorts of media have been devoted to the evaluative concepts of healthcare organization ratings and physician provider ratings. Many websites dot the web with such databases for patients of all types to delve into and either look for a new provider or submit a subjective evaluation based on their most recent healthcare experience.
The June 10th health section of the New York Times caught my eye with an interesting piece describing a pediatrician’s difficult decision to “fire” a patient because of the poor relationship between the provider and the patient’s mother. Clearly not a daily occurrence in the healthcare world, but it does happen and we all know many patients that have switched “fired” their own doctors and have obtained new ones.
Information technology (IT) specific to healthcare has become a hot item on a national scale as well as in the international healthcare community. It is safe to say I think that the electronic medical record (EMR) has come of age and before long all healthcare organizations will be utilizing various software platforms to document clinical findings, patient hospitalization courses, and a host of other patient related items that are now done with ink and paper. Healthcare IT will clearly ensure software engineers job security well into the future and will open several doors for clinicians desiring to make the transition from the bedside to a desk.