Find My Lost Sock in the Dryer for $10…Not

OK, not the contest you want to participate in, but this caught my attention from today's WSJ (gated): Amid a larger effort to use medical data to improve health care, one company is trying something new: offering $3 million in prize money for the algorithm that can best predict when people are likely to be sent to the hospital. (more…)

It’s Still Hard to Understand the System

A recent query to the blog from a reader states: "Most patients of Primary Care Physicians are not aware that if their PCP is affiliated with a teaching hospital, and his doctor sends that patient to the hospital, his care will NOT be supervised by the PCP who that patient knows, trusts and know the medical history of the patient.  That patient will be cared for by a 'Hospitalist' a resident and perhaps 2 or more students, and this combination changes the first of every month.  This takes away from the patient his or her freedom of choice.  In spite of this most PCP do NOT tell their patients that this is the procedure if they place him in the hospital.  Don't you think a patient has the right to know this information long before he or she is hospitalized?" (more…)

The Intrusion of Marketing Techniques into Healthcare

Jack Percelay writes... "I need to up my Press-Ganey Blog scores, so please, if there’s any reason you can’t rate me 5 out of 5 after reading this blog, please let me know before submitting your score so that I can make it right."  I don’t know about you, but I’m fed up with the intrusion of  marketing techniques into healthcare. Don’t get me wrong, I am a ferocious advocate of  patient and family-centered care and incorporating patient preferences into medical decision-making.  But all too often it seems to me that some marketing techniques are less about shared decision-making and more about “lies, damned lies, and statistics”,  “putting lipstick on a pig,” or a Goldman Sachs like inability to recognize one’s  professional and fiduciary responsibilities.  (Don’t get me going there.  That topic merits a stand alone column.) What stirred my dander is my 17 yo daughter’s (more…)