Heard around the Web

Rating hospital quality
released findings today from a national study that identified 270
hospitals, out of 5,000, where patients are on average 27 percent less
likely to die and 8 percent less likely to suffer a major complication (adjusting for hospital case mix).

Open philanthropyBill Gates writes a 10-page letter discussing progress of his health care foundation and future challenges to reducing the global burden of disease.

The future of researchObservational studies using electronic medical record databases offer significant promise for future research, according to a study published today in The British Medical Journal. The University of Pennsylvania researchers replicated randomized controlled trials using the databases and found the results were mostly similar, particularly when applying a new statistical method to control for confounding.

Major Pharma mergerPfizer's plan to buy Wyeth Pharmaceuticals for $68 billion would create the fourth largest company in the U.S. The NY Times explores the impact, management changes and golden parachutes.

OctupletsA California woman gave birth to eight babies at once. The six boys and two girls are alive and said to be doing well. Wow.

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