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Latest Posts

Managing Information Overload In The Age Of Unlimited Information

Perhaps the biggest challenges facing the next generation of physicians is information overload.  The problem: Unlimited information on limited human bandwidth.  There’s simply too much to read and see.  For physicians the problem is compounded by a perceived responsibility to keep up.

But the idea that we actually can have our hands around everything is reflective of a time when doctors actually could know all there was to know.  Many of today’s physicians were raised at a time when a paper inbox and a pile of journals represented their only information inputs.  But things are very different now.

Here are a few ideas on controlling your inputs: Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at 33 Charts*

Does Google+ Have The Potential To Be Used In Medicine And Pharma?

There have been some articles and blog entries lately focusing on whether Google+ could be used in medicine or pharma. I’ve been trying to use it more actively in the past couple of days and it’s still a question for me to figure out whether I should separate my professional Facebook and Google+ activities. A few comments from fellow bloggers:

Google+: the ultimate tool for social geeks

My first impressions are enthusiastic. Google+ has enormous potential and can become the future of private and social communication. Fresh and slim design, no gaming distractions, no 140 word limit. Yes, it sets itself between facebook and twitter. There is a necessary condition: people willing to adopt this new tool and even migrate from other platforms. If I really have to say, I think its competing more with facebook, since twitter can be easily synced with Google Buzz, which I have ultimately activated today. In few words Google+ has given me an excellent impression of being a professional and versatile platform.

Could Google+ be Pharma’s Answer to Social Media Marketing? Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at ScienceRoll*

How To Take Back Control Of Your Google Searches

Eli Pariser talks at TED about how we’re losing the internet to algorithmic gatekeepers at Google, Yahoo, Facebook and even our news sites, which tailor search results to what they think we want to see. Which is why I often start exploring my search results on page 10 instead of page 1. But what if some search results don’t even make it onto my queue?

The side by side comparison of two different users’ internet search on the term “Egypt” during the crisis there is a stunning example of how computerized gatekeepers choose for us what we see (and don’t see) when we log on.

You can’t have a functioning democracy if citizens don’t have a free flow of information.

I encourage you to watch the entire video, and hope the big mahoffs of the internet sitting in the TED audience heard Pariser when he told them this  - Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at The Blog That Ate Manhattan*

Will Our Healthcare System End Up Looking Like An Apple Or Android Product?

The future direction of American health care is unclear.  Certainly the cost trend as it exists is unsustainable with health care costs being a major concern of the private sector, the government, and individuals.  How does the nation manage costs while ensuring high quality medical care, access, and service?  Proposals include increasing competition among insurers, providers, and hospitals to drive down prices or giving more financial responsibility to patients via higher deductibles and co-pays with the belief that they will demand price transparency, shop around for the best price, and as a result slow health care costs.

What if both ideas are wrong?

While it is possible these plans might work, I cannot help but notice the similarities in the challenges for patients in navigating the health care system and consumers figuring out how to purchase and use technology.  Walk into your neighborhood electronics store.   Individuals are overwhelmed with the number of product choices, manufacturers, differences in technical specifications and features.  In the majority of situations, consumers are unsure of what they are purchasing.  They want something that just works, whether surfing the internet, making home movies, or being connected with loved ones.  The gap in knowledge between an expert and a consumer is great and often unintentional and unapparent. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Saving Money and Surviving the Healthcare Crisis*

11 Healthcare Predictions For 2011

Here are 11 things that are absolutely going to happen* in 2011 (they’re in no particular order….or are they?):

1.  There will be no big compromise between President Obama and the Republicans on healthcare reform. Why? Because the law is such a massive collection of, well, stuff, that it is pretty much impossible to find pieces of it that you could cut a deal on, even if you wanted to. And no, the federal district court decision on the individual mandate doesn’t change my mind…and in fact may breathe new life into other parts of the law). State governments, insurance companies, and private businesses have made all kinds of important and hard to reverse choices based on the law as is. There’s not much of an appetite outside of people trying to score political points for making big changes.

2. No major employer will drop their health benefits. No major employer is going to outsource their healthcare benefits to the government any time soon. Employers — particularly the big self-insured employers that pay for healthcare costs as a bottom-line expense — see their benefits as an integral part of their business and competitive strategies. As Congress looks at this issue more closely, they will learn this.

3. Time that doctors spend with patients will be less in 2011 than earlier years. It’s a long-term trend, and the factors that create this problem aren’t getting better. The latest government data show that the average doctor visit features face to face time with the patient of 15 minutes or less. With an aging population, increasing numbers of people getting health insurance, and no influx of new doctors, this problem will keep getting worse. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at See First Blog*

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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