Just how many do we need?

For a host of reasons, at least half of patients fail to comply with the treatments their doctors prescribe. Dr. Edward C. Rosenow III of the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine calls compliance "the sixth vital sign," as important as respiration, heart rate, temperature, blood pressure and pain in evaluating a patient's medical status.

Some of "coma effects" probably doesn't film well:

Not showing typical coma-related effects such as muscle wasting, bed sores and incontinence may be a conscious decision on the part of filmmakers to "maximize entertainment but is a disservice to the viewer," they write in the journal Neurology.

Both sides of the tort reform debate are using this study as ammunition:

About 40 percent of the medical malpractice cases filed in the United States are groundless, according to a Harvard analysis of the hotly debated issue that pits trial lawyers against doctors, with lawmakers in the middle.

Many of the lawsuits analyzed contained no evidence that a medical error was committed or that the patient ...


This doc goes overboard while on vacation:

Even when I'm on vacation, I can manage my patient's care thanks to a program called pcAnywhere that gives me remote access to the office network. When I was in Aruba with my family last year, I used pcAnywhere to view lab results in my EHR and prescribe medications.

Microsoft’s EMR

Microsoft Word that is. This physician explains how he does it.

Fascinating story from the New Yorker. (via kottke.org)

Trephination is an ancient surgical procedure where a hole is drilled in the skull. This kit is circa 1750. (via Boing Boing)

That's pretty underhanded:

Five nonprofit Southern California hospitals alleged in a lawsuit Monday that Blue Cross routinely authorized surgery and other expensive treatment for its members and later refused to pay.

The suit is the latest development in an unfolding scandal over charges that the state's largest health plan operates a special department that illegally searches for excuses to dump individual policyholders after they develop costly conditions, such as ...


Kaiser relents

Regarding the kidney transplant scandal: "Let me put it this way, (Kaiser) will do what the patients want them to do."

To nobody's surprise, some are going overboard with fear after viewing the bird flu movie last night:

After watching the ABC movie '‘Fatal Contact: Bird Flu in America' last night, telephone helplines from all over the USA have been receiving calls from anxious viewers. At Medical News Today we have received 112 emails from people in the USA with questions ranging from '‘How could other countries be so selfish ...


See if you can tell the difference.

All signs point to Google Health coming tomorrow. Here is what the blogosphere is saying.

"'What constitutes credible health care information on the internet. Is there room for emerging and new discoveries, opinions, views of clinical experts?' These are good questions. Medicine is as much of an art as a science. Allowing people to access information from many sources is ...


Prescribing in the absence of any evidence occurs about 15 percent of the time. (via a reader tip)

A pilot program in Seattle is giving EMTs latitude when faced with DNR situations:

Now, under Compelling Reasons, EMTs will be allowed to withhold resuscitation provided the patient is in the final stages of a terminal condition and family members request - in writing or verbally - that CPR not be performed.
(via a reader tip)

Regarding ABC's bird-flu movie:

ABC will be showing a movie called'Fatal Contact - Bird Flu in America'. Isn't this like showing the film'Jaws' to a group of surfers, or'Titanic' to passengers on a cruise ship, or'The Exorcist' to a group of children just before they go to bed, or one of the many plane crash movies to passengers on an airplane?

The film shows total panic in the ...


Look for this trend to increase as cost becomes a bigger factor in whether a patient accepts a treatment plan:

The patient won temporary relief from a steroid injection after her ongoing shoulder pain didn't respond to anti-inflammatories. But when the pain returned, her internist recommended physical therapy.

"And then she said, 'I have a high-deductible health plan. How much will that really run me?' " said Robert ...


TBTAM writes about how the AMA's Physician Masterfile is licensed for big money - including big pharma. (via retired doc)

It may be as common as a cholesterol check soon.

And lost it all due to drug addiction.

An ad-free, evidence-based medical information site by the BMJ. Looks good, wish I can try it.