Filed Under: UncategorizedTagged: PCORI, PCORnet Dec 5, 2014
Filed Under: UncategorizedTagged: PCORI, PCORnet Dec 5, 2014
In 2011, the New England Journal of Medicine reported results of the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST). Screening trials have to be big, because almost all the people who are screened don’t have the disease being investigated, and screening only helps people with silent disease.
The NLST had over 50,000 participants, all with a history of abusing their lungs through heavy smoking. Half were randomly assigned to have three annual low-dose helical chest computed tomography (CT) exams, and half were assigned to have three annual chest x-rays
All earlier trials had shown screening with x-rays to be ineffective, so many of us were surprised when CT screening proved to be effective, reducing death from lung cancer by 20 percent over the six years of the trial. Apparently, the CT proved to be effective at finding much smaller tumors than could x-ray.
Since publication of this study, the American Society of Clinical Oncology and other medical organizations have recommended screening for those at similarly high risk for lung cancer. The United States Preventive Services Task Force gave such CT screening a grade B recommendation, making coverage by private insurers mandatory and by public insurers likely.
Filed Under: UncategorizedTagged: Cost effectiveness analysis, CT, NLST, QALYs, Treatment creep, United States Preventative Services Task Force Nov 17, 2014
If another case of Ebola emanates from the unfortunate Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, the Root Cause Analysts might mount their horses, the Six Sigma Black Belts will sky dive and the Safety Champions will tunnel their way clandestinely to rendezvous at the sentinel place.
What might be their unique insights? What will be their prescriptions?
One never knows what pearls one will encounter from ‘after-the-fact’ risk managers. I can imagine Caesar consulting a Sybil as he was being stabbed by Brutus. “Obviously Jules you should have shared Cleo with Brutus.” Thanks Sybil. Perhaps you should have told him that last night.
Nevertheless, permit me to conjecture.
First, they might say that the hospital ‘lacks a culture of safety which resonates with the values and aspirations of the American people.’
That’s always a safe analysis when the Ebola virus has just been mistaken for a coronavirus. It’s sufficiently nebulous to never be wrong. The premise supports the conclusion. How do we know the hospital lacks culture of safety? ‘Cos, they is missing Ebola, innit,’ as Ali G might not have said.
They would be careful in blaming the electronic health record (EHR), because it represents one of the citadels of Toyotafication of Healthcare. But they would remind us of the obvious ‘EHRs don’t go to medical school, doctors do.’ A truism which shares the phenotype with the favorite of the pro-gun lobby ‘guns don’t kill, people kill.’Tagged: Big Data, Checklists, Ebola, Root Cause, Six Sigma Oct 12, 2014
One of the most compelling medical stories in the country is unfolding within the sprawling landscape of inland Southern California. The story centers on the University of California, Riverside School of Medicine where G. Richard Olds, MD, the school’s dean, is taking on one of the uber challenges in health care today: How to get doctors into areas significantly underserved by health care professionals.
The UC-Riverside School of Medicine is in its infancy having welcomed its first class of 50 students just last year. But it has embarked on an innovative program fueled by a passion not only to get doctors into geographic areas where they are most urgently needed, but also to make sure these physicians practice specialties most in demand. “There are 18 new medical schools in the United States and the vast majority are just like existing medical schools,” says Dean Olds. “We are substantially different than most other new schools. We are designed around a unique mission – to try and address the health workforce needs of inland Southern California. We need to train health care professionals who come from backgrounds and communities they will be taking care of.”
Filed Under: UncategorizedTagged: FutureMed, Medical Education, UC Riverside Oct 1, 2014
The term Big Data is ubiquitous and enigmatic. It’s so overused that it has practically morphed into a meme for using fancy math to make technology better. In a recent Center for Technology Innovation analysis of Big Data in education the term was defined as a, “group of statistical techniques that uncover patterns.” But, others disagree, so what is Big Data?
To answer that question Jenna Dutcher, Community Relations Manager for datascience@berkeley, the UC Berkeley School of Information’s online masters in data science, asked subject matter experts from industry, academia, and the public sector how they define Big Data. All of the answers are fascinating but there were several worth highlighting.
Filed Under: UncategorizedTagged: Big Data, Data.gov, Lucene based search engine, Natural language processing, Statistical methodology Sep 22, 2014
Well, it’s official: CVS has stopped selling cigarettes and other tobacco products.
The sales ban will cost the multi-billion dollar pharmacy chain about $2 billion a year in profits. But the hope is that the move will provide a more consistent health promotion message to consumers (it has changed its corporate name to CVS Health) and lead to new business (for example, through visits to its in-store health clinics).
But will this move have any effect on smoking in the population? It’s difficult to say at this point.
The impact of the ban on overall tobacco sales nationwide will probably be negligible. Only a very small percentage of consumers buy their tobacco at pharmacies and there are plenty of retail options available beyond the local pharmacy.
CVS is also banning the sale of electronic or e-cigarettes. Advocates from this industry are predictably agitated: “It’s smoking that causes all the health problems, not the smokeless alternatives.” Others argue that e-cigarettes and other smokeless alternatives are effective aids for those wishing to quit-smoking.
Filed Under: UncategorizedTagged: CVS Health, E-cigarettes, Pharmacy, Vaping Sep 11, 2014
Want to reach THCB’s influential healthcare audience? Drop us a line.
Filed Under: UncategorizedSep 11, 2014
Its that time of year again! Time to choose your favorite panels for South by Southwest (SXSW) and we need your help again to get us into the select few!
In case you’re wondering what a panel at SXSW means, let us fill you in. Panels are a chance for companies to share ideas and each year companies duke it out for as many “thumbs up” as they can get for their chance to foster collaboration and innovation of the greatest minds in techs.
Health 2.0 is no stranger to the SXSW stage. In 2012, we hosted one of the most well attended health sessions at SXSW Interactive titled, “Sensor Technologies: The Future of Health” and we know that this year’s panel, “Turning a Pilot into a Success” is sure to be an even bigger hit!
That’s where you come in! We need you to cast your votes for our panel this year. While you’re at it, tell your friends, family and followers to vote for Health 2.0’s panel. With your help, we’ll deliver another great panel in 2015!
Filed Under: UncategorizedAug 18, 2014
In January 2013, LIMRA reported that 90% of industry executives it had surveyed believe that insurance companies will continue to form strategic alliances with “non-traditional organizations” to expand distribution. The example cited was MetLife’s trial alliance with 200 Wal-Mart stores. Then Accenture’s “Customer-Driven Innovation Survey” found that more than two-thirds of customers would consider purchasing home, auto and life insurance from businesses other than insurers—23% were open to purchasing from online service providers like Amazon or Google (which acquired auto insurance aggregator BeatThatQuote.com way back in 2011 in the UK).
Amazon has proven leadership as an e-commerce distributor, while Google is seen primarily as an information organization, so I would like to elaborate exclusively on the compelling reasons for insurers and Amazon to create a distribution model to match ever-evolving customer demands.
Every information source and every analyst report on insurance in the recent past points to changes in customer’s preferences. Generation X, Generation Y and Millennials prefer doing business with companies that provide:
So, insurers must innovate in personalizing products, providing transparency in the value of products and services and demonstrating excellence in on-demand distribution. Innovation must also touch “moments of truth” such as claims and policy changes. It is also critical that the distribution lifecycle should be an iterative process to consistently review the value of benefits and help customers fine tune the products and services they purchase.Tagged: Amazon.com, Benefits, E-commerce, Exchanges, Insurance models, VPP Insurance Jul 13, 2014
EMR adoption is skyrocketing, in no small part due to government incentives. The office of the national coordinator lauds this hockey-stick curve as a success. Advocates promise electronic records will improve patient care, reduce mistakes, and save healthcare costs. At the same time, doctors love to complain about implementation cost and poor usability. How can we reconcile these differing opinions? The truth is they are describing very different technologies. EMRs, the way they are implemented now, will not accomplish these goals. In fact, early adopters can become stuck at a rudimentary level of functionality, and the extensive feature lists described by meaningful use criteria fail to address the most basic needs for patient care.
I have been at medical institutions at different levels of technological development. Each has a different attitude toward the EMR; for some its loathing, others longing. Some devote resources to try to improve it, but others give up. I realized the parallels with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, people are motivated to attain something only after their very basic needs have been fulfilled. So are EMRs good or bad? Well, it depends on where you are on the hierarchy.
The figure above describes the steps to building a technology infrastructure that will lead to improved patient care. Yes, incentives help us achieve some very basic needs, but the problem is that decisions and investments we make now will determine the ceiling as well.
Filed Under: UncategorizedTagged: Aggregate, communication, Data, Digitial, Electronic Medical Records, Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, Paper Jul 3, 2014