Friday, October 8, 2010

Health Care Weekly Updates - Justmeans

Commonwealth Games vs. Common Health goals in India - Ano Lobb

Along with the expected fanfare accompanying the opening of the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India this weekend there was a generous serving of controversy. While there are many good reasons for skeptics to raise concerns, this post will briefly consider three: Public health, dengue fever, and malaria.

Bluntly stated, health equals wealth. More specifically, greater inequalities in national distribution of wealth are correlated with worse measures of population health. Rapid economic gains in India have not been shared by all; one telling statistics is that the personal wealth of the richest 49 Indians accounts for a whopping 31% of India's entire gross domestic product, according to the newspaper Financial Express.

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Race (still) Matters: Innovation needed to tackle health disparities - Ano Lobb

A recent posting looked at a new study of health technology being overused in breast cancer care.  Another study presented this month at the American Association for Cancer Research Conference sheds light on the importance that race plays in health outcomes, regardless of insurance status.

Assistant Professor Heather Hoffman and colleagues from George Washington University's School of Public Health performed a retrospective analysis of 983 women who underwent breast cancer examinations at six hospitals in Washington D.C. They measured diagnostic delay, the span of time between the detection of a breast abnormality and a definitive diagnosis, for women who were white, African American, or Hispanic, stratified by whether they were insured or not.

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Is questionable medical information technology putting patients at risk? - Ano Lobb

There's been a lot of good news in cancer care lately: The American Cancer society recently reported a decrease in cancer deaths, medical information delivery harnesses technologies such as interactive patient-information kiosks, and nano-technology verges on a breakthrough for more targeted treatments. All of these, combined with more vigorous prevention and detection efforts and more effective standard treatments has helped to make cancer an increasingly survivable journey.

Technology, however, is not a panacea. A striking example is the increasing usage of computer-aided detection (CAD) for both screening and detection mammography. Rather than depending on the seasoned eyes of radiologists, CAD uses a computer program to analyze radiographic images.

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The Evolution of Primary Care: Part 4 - Sam Wertheimer

Delivery of primary health care services in the U.S. used to involve a physician and a patient. The physician would see the patient in a clinic, conduct an examination, enter notes in a paper record, prescribe a follow up appointment, and say goodbye until the next scheduled visit. Usually this process occurred within a 15-minute window arranged by the physician's front office staff. Although this type of health care visit still occurs, it is fast becoming an exception to the new rules of primary care. This column, the fourth in a series on the players changing primary care, focuses on non-physician health care providers.

One of the targets of change in the evolution of primary care is the 15-minute visit. This is because many find visits this short do not allow enough time to provide comprehensive health care.

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