Hospitals should beware employees on social media, not patients
A hospital without an engaging social media presence soon may be viewed with the same suspicion as a business that has no website,"
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To be effective in relieving suffering, doctors must strike a balance between paucity and excess of empathy.
As a young doctor working in the E.R. my capacity for compassion, and that of my colleagues, was often stretched; this was particularly the case when my patients could be said to have brought misfortune on themselves. I saw drug addicts suffering overdose, teenagers retching after self-poisoning, thieves injured through being arrested, all treated more brusquely than other theoretically more blameless patients.
I tried hard to maintain empathy, reflecting that the overdosed, self-poisoned and criminal may no more have brought their problems on themselves than those with skiing or horse-riding injuries or heart palpitations through overwork.
But it’s complicated: I’ve stitched up many slashed wrists cut not through willfulness but as a release from intense anguish; I’ve attended alcoholics for whom alcohol was clearly a substitute for love.
I may not have always succeeded, but I always hoped that my humanity, or my professional duty to provide a high standard of care, would step in when my compassion was running low.
By GAVIN FRANCIS
Via Edwin Rutsch
It is not enough to write monographs. It is not enough to publish. Today, scholars must understand what happens when our research is distributed, and we must write, not for rarified audiences, but for unexpected ones. New-form scholarly publishing requires new-form scholarly (digital) writing. Digital academic publishing may on the surface appear as a lateral move from print to screen, but in fact it brings with it new questions about copyright, data analysis, multimodality, curation, archiving, and how scholarly work finds an audience. The promise of digital publishing is one that begins with the entrance of the written, and one that concludes with distribution, reuse, revision, remixing — and finally, redistribution.
Digital publishing is a field worthy of rigorous research and deep discourse. In a post-print environment, for example, social media — Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, WordPress, or Tumblr — have supplanted the static page as the primary metaphors for how we talk about the dissemination of information. Digitized words have code and algorithms behind them, and are not arrested upon the page; rather they are restive there.
Via Pierre Levy
In some workplaces, reorgs and personnel changes are constant, which means that you might be getting a new boss every few months. How do you develop an effective relationship with your manager when the person filling that role keeps shifting? How much of an investment should you make? How can you get what you need to succeed and grow in your role? And is maintaining continuity your responsibility?
The United States stands at a crossroads as it struggles with how to pay for health care. The fee-for-service system, the dominant payment model in the U.S. and many other countries, is now widely recognized as perhaps the single biggest obstacle to improving health care delivery.
Fee for service rewards the quantity but not the quality or efficiency of medical care. The most common alternative payment system today—fixed annual budgets for providers—is not much better, since the budgets are disconnected from the actual patient needs that arise during the year. Fixed budgets inevitably lead to long waits for nonemergency care and create pressure to increase budgets each year.
We need a better way to pay for health care, one that rewards providers for delivering superior value to patients: that is, for achieving better health outcomes at lower cost. The move toward “value-based reimbursement” is accelerating, which is an encouraging trend. And the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), to its credit, is leading the charge in the United States.
That doesn’t mean, however, that health care is converging on a solution. The broad phrase “value-based reimbursement” encompasses two radically different payment approaches: capitation and bundled payments. In capitation, the health care organization receives a fixed payment per year per covered life and must meet all the needs of a broad patient population. In a bundled payment system, by contrast, providers are paid for the care of a patient’s medical condition across the entire care cycle—that is, all the services, procedures, tests, drugs, and devices used to treat a patient with, say, heart failure, an arthritic hip that needs replacement, or diabetes. If this sounds familiar, it’s because it is the way we usually pay for other products and services we purchase.
We need a way to pay for health care that fosters the delivery of superior value to patients.
Emerging social media sites targeting patients are increasingly playing a vital role in societal “information sharing” research announced today by the University of Warwick, Coventry, U.K.Sites such as HealthUnlocked in the U.K. allow patients to tap into a community with the same health challenges for moral support, shared information about health care providers and practical advice to manage their medical condition.
People say that one day, perhaps in the not-so-distant future, they’d like to be passengers in self-driving cars that are mindful machines doing their best for the common good. Merge politely. Watch for pedestrians in the crosswalk. Keep a safe space.
A new research study, however, indicates that what people really want to ride in is an autonomous vehicle that puts its passengers first. If its machine brain has to choose between slamming into a wall or running someone over, well, sorry, pedestrian.
In this week’s Science magazine, a group of computer scientists and psychologists explain how they conducted six online surveys of United States residents last year between June and November that asked people how they believed autonomous vehicles should behave. The researchers found that respondents generally thought self-driving cars should be programmed to make decisions for the greatest good.
Ana Todorovic reflects on the things that helped her when facing the death of her unborn daughter Nadia
The key factors that determine our health and mortality often lie outside the healthcare system, says Sir Michael Marmot, President of the World Medical Association. Just look at life expectancy in two different neighborhoods in the same city. In Baltimore's inner-city neighborhood of Upton/Druid Heights, a man's life expectancy is sixty-three; not far away, in the Greater Roland Park/Poplar neighborhood, life expectancy is eighty-three.
Poverty alone doesn't drive dramatic differences in health, but inequality does, argues Marmot. He talked to Leonard about why access to guns should be considered a public health issue, how poor education and healthcare affect life expectancy, and why, despite rampant inequality, he is still optimistic. His latest book is The Health Gap: The Challenge of an Unequal World.
When a doctor takes out his or her pad and writes a prescription, patients typically take it for granted that they are being guided towards the most effective medicine available for their problems, regardless of the price.
But a new study by ProPublica, the independent, non-profit news organization, discovered an intriguing finding: Doctors who receive payments from the pharmaceutical and medical device industries tend to prescribe brand-name medications far more than physicians who don’t accept payments, gifts or other honoraria.
Moreover, the larger the payment, the more doctors tend to steer their patients to brand-name drugs instead of less expensive generic drugs that have essentially the same effect, the study found.
“Doctors who got money from drug and device makers—even just a meal– prescribed a higher percentage of brand-name drugs overall than doctors who didn’t, our analysis showed,” according to the report released on Thursday and authored by Charles Ornstein, Ryann Grochowski Jones and Mike Tigas. “Indeed, doctors who received industry payments were two to three times as likely to prescribe brand-name drugs at exceptionally high rates as others in their specialty.”
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One woman is walking topless across the country to draw attention to the tough, but all-too-often hidden realities of breast cancer.
Paulette Leaphart is a breast cancer survivor, who had her breasts removed in a double mastectomy in 2014. On May 1, she began a 1,000-mile walk from Mississippi to Washington, D.C. — completely topless.
Her goal is to raise awareness about breast cancer, and to show other survivors that there is no reason to be ashamed of their scars.
“We have scars for a reason,” she says in the teaser for “Scar Story,” an upcoming film documenting stories of breast cancer. “They’re our story of survival. Scars let us know that hey, yes, I had cancer — and I kicked its ass.”
When pop star Beyoncé caught wind of Leaphart’s mission, she featured her in the video for her visual album “Lemonade,” according to Business Insider. The singer met Leaphart on set, and even offered to walk a mile of the journey beside her.
Il concetto alla base di WellSpringboard, piattaforma di crowdsourcing e crowfunding, è quello di collegare direttamente i pazienti e le loro idee sulla ricerca con i ricercatori che possono realizzarle
“Vogliamo portare la voce del pubblico nel mondo della ricerca sanitaria, per dare risposte alle domande che sono più importanti per i pazienti di qualunque età e per le persone che si occupano di loro” – racconta Matthew M. Davis, ricercatore dell’Università del Michigan -. Allo stesso tempo vogliamo dare la possibilità ai ricercatori di scambiare idee che possono attirare l’attenzione del vasto pubblico e degli investitori”.
Da questa doppia volontà è nata la piattaforma di crowdsourcing e crowdfunding WellSpringboard.org dell’Università del Michigan che, in pratica, chiede l’aiuto del pubblico per decidere le linee di ricerca, sostenere idee di altri in modo che acquistino valore e, una volta che un ricercatore accetta la presa in carico di un’idea, contribuire donando online o partecipando come volontario.
Un pannel composto da revisori esperti e membri del pubblico sceglie il vincitore che viene finanziato attraverso la piattaforma unica.
Il sito accoglie qualunque proposta, ma sono cinque le aree su cui si focalizza in particolare: cardiologia e oncologia infantile, disturbi del sonno, diabete, malattie intestinali infiammatorie come morbo di Crohn e colite.
“Sappiamo che il pubblico in generale, e in particolare i pazienti e le loro famiglie, possono essere una grande fonte d’ispirazione e di supporto per i nostri ricercatori – sottolinea Davis, alla guida del team che ha aiutato WellSpringboard a decollare – e la nostra piattaforma fornisce un nuovo modo per realizzare questi obiettivi”.
Piccole quantità di denaro che, insieme, possono fare accadere grandi cose. Il concetto alla base di WellSpringboard è quello di collegare direttamente i pazienti e le loro idee sulla ricerca con i ricercatori che possono realizzarle.