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Latest Posts

Does Healthcare Reform Involve Research On Human Subjects?

Every time an experiment on human subjects in proposed in our hospital (or any hospital in the United States for that matter), there is an exquisitely sensitive tuning fork that exists to protect human subjects: the investigational review board or “IRB.” Any researcher who has ever brought a research proposal before an IRB knows that any hint of potential harm to a human subject that exists in a research project will kill the proposal faster than you can say “boo.”

An IRB submission is required for all research projects using human subjects in accordance with the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Rights 45 CFR 46, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations 21 CFR 50, 56 , and with the Federalwide Assurance granted by the H.H.S. Office of Human Research Protections (OHRP). Every doctor, nurse, hospital administrator, drug or device company involved in human research knows this. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Wes*

The Problem With The Newly-Launched “Healthcare.gov”

If a website touted misleading healthcare information, you’d hope the government would do something about it. But what do you do when the government is the one feeding the public bad information?

Last week the Obama administration launched the new Healthcare.gov. It’s mostly an online insurance shopping website. It’s very much a federal government version of sites like eHealthInsurance.com or Massachsetts’ HealthConnector site, which have been around for years.

So when HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, in announcing the new site, claims it gives consumers “unprecedented transparency” into the healthcare marketplace, you should wonder what she means. But that’s not the big problem with this site. Read more »

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

Preventive Health In HD: A Video Just For Men

Check out this darkly humorous advertising campaign from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. How do you convince men to go to the doctor and get the preventive healthcare that’s known to save lives?  You make it all about television. Men + HD TV = “Yes.” This video is funny on so many levels.

*This blog post was originally published at The Happy Hospitalist*

Medical Information Shared Machine-To-Machine

Check out John Halamka’s post on some of the excellent work one of the workgroups convened by the feds is doing. Here’s the complete quote:

Imagine if every EHR could send data to every other EHR using a simple addressing mechanism like email, a consistent REST implementation or a well described SOAP WSDL. Interoperability would follow rapidly because novel packages of data will be sent to support real business needs without any barriers of how to get the data from endpoint to endpoint.

The “addressing” part of the NHIN (Nationwide Health Information Network) Direct specifications is almost complete. The “implementation” workgroup is part of the fast moving NHIN Direct project which is developing lightweight standards for machine-to-machine communication of medical information. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at a few thoughts from a tumor surgeon*

Trauma Surgeon Flees Chaos Of Haiti: Needed Protection Of Jamaican Soldiers With M-16s To Escape Alive

Dean Lorich, MD

Dean Lorich, MD

I received this letter from a medical colleague today. It was written by Dr. Dean Lorich, Associate Director of the Orthopedic Trauma Service at NYC’s Hospital for Special Surgery. I hope to interview him for Better Health soon. Stay tuned for the audiocast…

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I believe we went in with a reasonably comprehensive service we wanted to provide acute trauma care in an orthopedic disaster.  Our plan was to be at a hospital where we could utilize our abilities as trauma surgeons treat the acute injuries involved in an orthopaedic disaster.  We expected many amputations however came with a philosophy that would reasonably start limb salvage in what we thought was a salvageable limb.

David Helfet put a team together which included: Read more »

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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