Wednesday, July 18, 2012

News Round Up - July 20

Some interesting news pieces to review this week including


The Value of the EHR

"The Relationship Between Electronic Health Records and Malpractice Claims,” from the Archives of Internal Medicine on Jun 25 and featured in the AMED News: "EHR use linked to fewer medical liability claims" on July 16

A research letter published online June 25 in Archives of Internal Medicine found that the rate of liability claims when EHRs were used was one-sixth the rate when EHRs were not used. Researchers say their findings suggest there was a reduction in errors associated with EHR use.


That showed the following results before and after an EHR implementation:



A word about correlation and the fact this does not imply causality: …correlation between two variables does not automatically imply that one causes the other

But as the authors put it:

It’s entirely possible that there’s something still distinct and unusual about practices that adopted electronic health records earlier, and they just happen to practice in a way that reduces their risk of malpractice claims….But I think it’s equally plausible that there’s something about electronic health records that does reduce their risk.


Uncertain but an interesting positive development

High Price Variability in US Hospital Surgical Procedures



Calprig published a report "Your Price May Vary" that offered a view into the wide differences in pricing for the same procedure in California. For example for a knee replacement from $59,800 (Alameda County Medical Center) to $164,400 (Washington Hospital). But the variation doe snot necessarily track quality adn they pointed to an earlier study in the Archives of Internal Medicine that showed county hospitals usually charge the least and for-profit hospitals charge the most and did an an interesting analysis of the hierarchical model for percentage increase in median charge for various patient and hospital factors:


And the charges for Appendicitis:

The median hospital charge among all patients was $33,611, with a lowest observed charge of $1529 and highest of $182,955


Personal Health Records



This review of Kaiser's myHealthManager: Lab tests and knowing our numbers can inspire patient engagement:

Engaging patents and sharing laboratory data helping them understand their results can inspire patent engagement. As they put it it is not enough to share the data you have to engage with the patient:

That means patients need to knowing their numbers: what they mean, and how changing them can impact their future quality and length of life… where personal behavior change has the potential to do this


This is the start of patient engagement and one that I think we will see increase in the coming months and years

This and more on #VoiceoftheDr



Join me on Friday at 2:30 ET on VoiceoftheDoctor
There are three ways to tune in:

• Stream the show live – click the Listen Live Now to launch our Internet radio player.

• You can also call in. A few minutes before our show starts, call in the following number:  Call: 1-559-546-1880; Enter participant code: 840521#

•  HealthcareNOWradio.com is now on iTunes Radio!  Stream the show live – you’ll find this station listed under News/Talk