Sunday, May 15, 2011

Recovering The Self

My latest podcast featuring Dr. Martha Grout, co-author of An Alphabet of Good Health in a sick world is mentioned in the new edition of Recovering The Self!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Medical Reporting

Medical reporting on TV news today really is pretty sad. Last night I happened to catch the same story on all 3 networks about an autism study done in South Korea. NBC had the most disjointed report, one that included several generalizations and unsubstantiated claims. ABC had the shortest take on the story. CBS had the best report but it implied that the autism rates in South Korea translated into a dramatic rise in undiagnosed autism in America.

Not one story recognized that the dietary, cultural and other differences between our two countries could make any extrapolation of the autism rate in South Korea meaningless in America. They were all happy to report the press release almost as written to create a sense of urgency in our country. This new sense of urgency will eventually translate into more prescriptions for drugs.

Watching the same story reported three different ways was an educational experience which only confirmed once again the sad state of journalism in America today, especially when the subject is medicine.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Billion-Dollar Patient Care Initiative

Some local news with national ramifications today. The Department of Health & Human Services announced a new $1 billion health care initiative called Partnership for Patients. The goal is to reduce hospital mistakes that injure or even kill patients. If successful the program could save up to $35 billion.

Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas has been chosen as the bulls-eye of this target to improve health care. Baylor was selected as one of the dozen locations for the program because their Dallas heart and vascular hospital has the nation's lowest readmission rate so it's starting from a higher plateau than most hospitals. The goal of the program is to reduce hospital mistakes by 40% and readmissions by 20%.

We're even going to get to look at the results of the program and judge its cost effectiveness for ourselves because the data will be posted at