Matthew Holt

Grand Rounds

Welcome to Grand Rounds. It's been quite some time
since THCB hosted the medical blogosphere's major compendium. So sit
back and enjoy a stroll through the gardens of medical and health care

It's still a fresh political season, so we start with the wonks:

At TNR's The Treatment blog, Jonathan Cohn gets a top administration official to confirm
that health care will be a "central focus" of the budget proposal Obama
submits in a few weeks, signaling a major commitment to reform even
with Tom Daschle gone. He also runs down some possible successors to
Daschle and decides Howard Dean won't be the man, even though he'd do a great job.

Elsewhere on The Treatment, Harold Pollack says it's bad enough the U.S. opposes successful harm reduction strategies for drug addiction at home. Why do we have to use our clout to discourage other countries, too?

At Health Business Blog David Williams thinks that universal coverage
is a worthy goal, but says that if we get there by enrolling everyone in existing
public and private insurance schemes and maintaining existing levels of
utilization we’ll be doomed.

At the Covert Rationing Blog "Why Preventive Medicine Can Be Harmful To Our Health. Dr Rich (Richard Fogoros) begs forgiveness for his somewhat ironic voice,as he does indeed intend to make a serious point.

The ACPInternist is really concerned about the high cost of care for cancer patients–and so should we all be.

Let's move next to the Geeks:

The big fuss in the blogosphere in the last week or so was the purchase of Wellsphere by HealthCentral. Here's ChronicBabe's take, and she's not happy.

Ducan Cross is equally not happy. He takes a look, hard look at some of the finer points in the new Wellsphere FAQ.

At Highlight HEALTH Walter Jessen interviews Robert Shelton, founder and CEO of Private Access, a company developing
several web-based applications to address the challenges of protecting
consumers’ privacy and accessibility to confidential medical records
. And one we know well in the world of Health 2.0.

Amy Tendrich of DiabetesMine isn't really a geek but she plays one among patients, and spends this week telling us about social media use among those pharma companies we love to hate.

David Kibbe has been tearing it up recently on THCB and elsewhere discussing what he thinks the future of health care IT and policy concerning same should be. The answer is Clinical Groupware instead of EHRs.

if you really want to dive into the world of health care IT and
domestic pets, you might want to read your host (Matthew Holt's) piece
on Cats and Dogs and whether there can be unity in health care IT.

Then we move from the world of policy & technology to the everyday grind of medicine.

Doc Gurley has another in a series of posts about the effects of
pharmaceuticals on the environment
and the lack of any method to
control disposal. It's particularly nasty in India, but it's probably the developed world's fault.

At Medical Marginalia IcedLatte is a solo family practitioner, who hates Mondays. If you read the post,
wading through all the nonsense about pancakes, you'll see from a
financial point of view, why. He's just trying to bring home the bacon,
and what he finds is that he owes the pig.

At Musings of a Distractible Mind, Dr Rob writes about ear wax. Yes really.

And then there are those pesky people, but where would we be without patients?

Uber patient Kerri at Six Until Me turns the vlog camera on her own low blood sugar, showing how diabetes can be an invisible, yet still serious, disease.

At Survive the Journey Robin discusses how obese patients, especially the morbidly obese, are often referred for bariatric surgery
when they are unable to lose weight otherwise. She talks about two new
articles in the journal Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases which
encourage screening for Cushing's Syndrome and other endocrine
disorders prior to performing bariatric surgery.

Let's get seriously scientifically medical now:

At Allergy Notes Ves Dimov discusses how to predict risk of developing asthma in allergic rhinitis?
Apparently the trick is to use serum eosinophil granule proteins ECP
and EPO as apparently in patients with allergic rhinitis they can
predict later development of asthma.Meanwhile at Clinical Cases Ves talks about turning animals into walking drug producers.

Nancy Brown from Palo Alto Medical Foundation writes the Teen Health 411 blog and this week she writes about HIV testing which doesn't happen enough.

Finally PalMD at The White Coat Underground warns us that an epidemic of hooping cough is on the way

it for Grand Rounds for this week–props to my THCB colleagues John Irvine & Sarah Arnquist for keeping THCB going and working on
this Grand Rounds and also props to Colin Son and Val Jones for keeping the Grand Rounds drumbeat going.

Next week Grand Rounds is in the capable hands of Kim at Emergiblog

And lest you forget, Grand Rounds now has subscription options; you can follow by email or RSS feed. An aggregated feed of credible, rotating health and medicine blog carnivals is also available.

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7 replies »

  1. terrific grand rounds this week, folks – and thanks for including us (especially since the wellsphere situation is so much on the minds of bloggers right now!). great work – jenni

  2. “Fairness in Healthcare” is a ludicrous concept. What idiot thinks that disease is allocated fairly? What Neanderthal thinks people cannot get healthcare if they want it? What flaming a**hole thinks people will die instantly if they do not get the healthcare that their paranoid neighbor is getting? What arrogance to think that the government must insert itself in all our lives to save us from…what can they save us from?
    Everybody dies. Some people not soon enough. If you want to live forever, then see your favorite pastor or priest. Healthcare is not about lifestyle and healthy choices. It takes no care at all to eat right, get regular exercise, watch your weight, wear seatbelts, avoid smoking and avoid alcohol in excess, practice safe ses, and just be smart about living a great life free of unnecessary worry and stress.
    Healthcare is a defective product to be consumed carefully and sparingly.
    Wake up people! You don’t know what you are doing!

  3. Maggie Mahar blogged today over on HealthBeat Blog
    Uwe Reinhardt: “The U.S. is Not a Democracy; it’s an Aristocracy” –
    Implications for Healthcare Reform – Part 1
    My Comment-
    Of course the fundamental issue of fairness in health care is especially important as you, Reinhardt and others believe. We have betrayed a fundamental moral tenet of the profession of Medicine and our national values with what we have wrought in the business (former profession) of health care over the past several decades.
    But I am also convinced that we must apply the same kind of bold and creative thinking to health care reform/transformation as we are applying to energy and environmental reform. Sustainability seems common to all three.
    I don’t think there is much political support though from both parties or the public to accept the magnitude of change that I believe that we really need?
    Economic circumstances, as described by now OMB head Peter Orszag and former GAO head David Walker, however, may force our hand?
    Dr.Rick Lippin

  4. Agree with Ravi
    HIT/EMR is just a tool-IF THE SYSTEMS WORK?
    We need much bolder systemic health care reforms soon which I believe Obama knows if he is listening to new OMB Chief Peter Orszag
    Rick Lippin

  5. We missed out input. We are also a rising blog on healthcare transformation ( We were just rated as VERY GOOD.
    We firmly believe that the money put on the electronic health record is too much and also that the universal healthcare is not bold enough. The solutions need a inside out look at the entire healthcare system and my fear is that it is going to be another patch.