Apparently, NASA's temperature records are even less reliable than those of the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit. A 2007 e-mail from NASA's Dr. Reto Ruedy to a USA Today journalist reportedly states that NASA's measurements are not accurate, so East Anglia's data should be utilized. [more]
As a physician who has undergone the conversion to an electronic medical record (EMR), I have very mixed feelings about projections for EMRs. Obviously, the Federal mandate to go electronic is going to be a big boost for those companies that provide such technology. The question I have is "does an EMR actually help?" Thus far, my answer would have to be "No". Here's why:
Whether the makers of the services want us to believe it or not, EMRs are on the whole slower than paper charting. When I am charting on paper, I don't have to wait for computer lag time while the program is trying to call up previous notes or labs that I need to review while the patient is present. I also don't have to flip back and forth between several template tabs (abdominal pain, dysfunctional uterine bleeding, contraceptive management, etc.) when I am dealing with a patient who has more than one issue going on during her visit. It would be nice if patients limited their problems to just one problem a visit, but that's not how the real world works. Every time I click on a new template, I have to wait for the computer to catch up plus it's not as easy to concisely express my thought process. I could go "template free" and just type my charting in the free text areas, but the systems don't recognize diagnoses and treatment plans in the free text areas, so then when I am trying to bill and code I have to spend additional time searching electronically for the proper diagnoses and level of service.
The argument for EMRs has been that they will lead to greater efficiencies in patient care, preventing duplication of services. Unfortunately, unless my EMR connects well with the referring physicians' EMRs, I can't readily access what testing has previously been performed on a patient. As a result, I still have to have my staff call the referring physicians' offices to obtain records.
Maybe the EMR conversion will help large group practices cut down on medical records staffing needs. It may also lead to greater efficiencies for multispecialty groups since all the records will be consolidated. But for the average physician practicing in a single specialty practice of 1-7 MDs, I have been underwhelmed with EMR capabilities. [more]
Let me preface this blog by saying that the current health care reforms have not taken effect, so the situation I am going to relate is not the direct result of recent legislation. However, due to the expected unfunded jump in Medicaid patients, this scene is likely going to be repeated over and over. [more]
As an American physician, I have seen the "US Ranks 37th World Health Systems" information tossed around quite a bit to justify some of the proposed legislation in Washington. Prior to reading the report, I assumed the WHO was looking at life expectancy, infant mortality rates, cancer survival rates, pre-term delivery rates, myocardial infarction survival rates, and maternal mortality rates. Silly me. All of the following information is taken from the WHO's press release. My thoughts are in italics. [more]