Category Archives: Healthcare

Weekly Reading

Articles that Lady in Red found fascinating this week:

  1. When it’s okay to adopt the dialect of your audience: “It Wasn’t ‘Verbal Blackface.’ AOC Was Code-Switching.”
  2. David Frum elegantly documents Canada’s sweetheart stepping in it: “Justin Trudeau Falls From Grace”
  3. “Nobody wanted to hear me read ‘Ozymandias.’” Why are we all loving the Varsity Blues scandal?: “They Had It Coming”
  4. The best travel writing you may ever read: “Where Heaven and Earth Come Closer”
  5. “‘I am synthetic life form ‘Yoko K.,’ assembled in the US with components made in Japan…designed to assume the role of an ‘electronic musician.’ I am one of many secret agents sent to this time to plant magical thinking in people through the use of ‘pre-22nd century nostalgia Mars pop music.’” How to make hospital beeps more pleasant and more meaningful: “Anatomy of a beep: A medical device giant and an avant-garde musician set out to redesign a heart monitor’s chirps”

Face the Fax

One unintended consequence of the 2009 HITECH Act: American medicine’s overreliance on fax machines, which are obsolete in most other industries.  “Obama officials believed competing health systems would volunteer to share patient data. They now admit that was naive.”

Electronic medical record vendors also have incentive to not interface with other vendors’ products.

So where do we go from here?  If financial incentives were needed to make hospitals digital in the first place, it stands to reason that a government push will also be needed to get those digital systems talking.

Brother IntelliFAX High-Speed Laser Fax Machine (2840)

Give Us This Day Our Daily Mile

Many schoolchildren in the UK have adopted the “daily mile,” with positive results.  In addition to regular physical education, all students who are physically able must go outside together when called, in whatever they are wearing, and run around the neighborhood.

The movement started in Scotland and is most popular there. While empirical evidence of it reducing obesity and boosting concentration is still pending, students’ reported enthusiasm for more activity is enough to aid growth. One boy remarked that the exercise, “makes me feel like I’m proud of myself.”

Next stop, USA!?


Inside the Olympic Medical Clinic: The Global Need for Dental Care and Imaging Services

Rio’s Olympic Village clinic has been busy treating not just athletes, but their entourages as well–especially those from underdeveloped nations where first world care is hard to come by.

At halfway through the games, here was the clinic by the numbers:

-1,730 eye exams
-1,410 prescription glasses
-1,000 dental checks
-450 dental X-rays
-300 customized mouth guards

Daurio Speranzini Jr., of GE Latin America, says they will administer an MRI for athletes who have long-term, chronic pain.  Technologists have been conducting 60 MRI scans a day, in addition to X-rays and Ultrasound.  The Russian, Ukranian, and African visitors are especially in need of diagnostic imaging, as it may not be available to them back home.

And lastly–no Zika has presented.



The Victims The Public Mostly Ignores

The clinicians who treat victims of violence must face their own traumas.  As the country’s health systems become better and more studied at treating mass casualties and gun violence, healthcare workers’ depression, anxiety, and suicidal tendencies go unaddressed.

The medical profession is strenuous in general — in Dr. Pamela Wible’s TEDMED talk in Nov 2015, she stated that one million Americans a year lose their physician to suicide, and that young residents are particularly vulnerable.  Those who work in emergency settings that see a lot of urban violence are in an even more precarious situation, mentally and physically.  The article alludes to nurses and doctors fearing gang members coming into the hospital for retaliation against targets under treatment.

The Doctor: ‘In my experience, Miami was worse than Afghanistan’
Ryder (Trauma Center, Miami, FL) has the distinguishment of being a military training site for combat trauma surgery.  Since 2011, the facility has treated 2,753 gunshot victims…550 a year…more than one every day.  Ryder  has 40% of its patients arrive by helicopter.
“The demographic stays pretty constant—mostly young men, mostly poor, often people of color without any way to pay for lifesaving surgery. Of those 2,753 victims, 45% were uninsured.”

 Since the expansion of Medicaid, old means of federal government funding for treatment of low-income people are going away.  Except that in Florida, Gov. Scott declined expansion, causing this facility alone to lose $15 million in support this fiscal year.   ModCon condemns the state’s decision: our taxpayers’ money will go to other states because theoretical principle was put before operational reality.

Meanwhile, the urgency of addressing both the funding for trauma hospitals, and the wellbeing of its human capital, must await a stronger case for action.

Source: Modern Healthcare, June 2016

Walgreens to Treat Mental Health Like Physical Health

Walgreens (Nasdaq: WBA),  is putting itself out front of one of America’s most pressing problems: lack of mental healthcare services. A press release put out on May 10th details their plan to increase screenings, conduct telehealth treatments, conduct coordination of follow up care, and provide advanced education for its pharmacists and nurses.

“The Walgreens mental health platform aims to improve health outcomes through early screening and intervention, to heighten consumer awareness and reduce stigma associated with mental illness, and to connect more people with clinical resources in their community who can help.”

They also plan to conduct 3 million screenings by the end of next year!

20% of Americans have a mental health condition each year (more than either heart disease or diabetes), but half of those affected do not get treatment.

Thank you, Walgreens for continuing to be one of our favorite companies.


“Here’s How 8 Different Countries Officially Define What ‘Healthy Eating’ Is”

US                                                                                    South Africa



UK                                                                                  Qatar

UKF QatarF


Brazil                                                                          Canada

BrazilF CanadaF

China                                                                                   Japan

ChinaF JF

Source: The Huffington Post