public health

During the Coronavirus Pandemic Trump Shows He is the Enemy of the Public’s Health – Health Article

Introduction: Health Care Dysfunction We have been talking about health care dysfunction for a very long time, starting with a publication in 2003: Poses RM.   A cautionary tale: the dysfunction of American health care.  Eur J Int Med 2003; 14(2): 123-130. (link here).  In that article, I postulated that US physicians were demoralized because their core values were under threat, and identified five concerns: 1. domination of large organizations which do not honor these core values2. conflicts between competing interests…

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Coronavirus and the Finger of G-d – Health Article

Health Care Renewal presents a guest post from Dr Michael Fine, a writer, community organizer, and family physician. He is the chief health strategist for the City of Central Falls, RI, and Senior Clinical and Population Health Services Officer for Blackstone Valley Community Health Care, Inc., and recipient of the Barbara Starfield Award, the John Cunningham Award, and the Austin T. Levy Award. He was director of the Rhode Island Department of Health, 2011–2015.  He is author of Abundance and…

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Trump Organization Revenue vs Lives Lost to Coronavirus – Health Article

Introduction: Conflicts of Interest and the Trump Administration We have been discussing the pervasiveness of conflicts of interest in health care for years.  Recently,  we have worried how conflicts of interest and corruption in health care could be combated under an administration with such severe conflicts of interest and corruption at the highest levels, most recently here. President Trump and his family’s conflicts of interest and alleged corruption centered on their ownership of the Trump Organization, a multi-national privately held…

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Can Community Be a Medicine? – The Health Care Blog – Health Article

By ARAS TOKER Analysis on peer accountability focused community building efforts in making lifestyle changes through digital therapeutic programs Before we jump ahead to the medicine piece, what the heck does a community even mean? In the past, communities were more likely associated with a group of people living in the same physical location such as a neighborhood, school, or a town. I remember my neighborhood soccer community very well, for instance. Instead of being born into or trying to fit in, community is…

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Fentanyl tops drug overdose death rates – Healthcare Economist – Health Article

RAND has an interesting report titled “The Future of Fentanyl and Other Synthetic Opioids.” What is truly startling is the rise in deaths due to synthetic opioids like fentanyl in the last 5 years: from 3,000 in 2013 to approximately 30,000 in 2018. In fact, synthetic opioids are now involved in twice as many deaths as heroin. https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR3117.html#download Further, synthetic opioid-related overdoses often occur when individuals use fentanyl along with other illegal substances. https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR3117.html#download Fentanyl truly has become a top…

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Did the Conflicts of Interest Generated by President Trump’s Ownership of the Trump Organization Cause His Enthusiasm for the Premature Reopening of the Economy, and its Deadly Results? – Health Article

Introduction: Trump’s Personal Incentives to Push Rapid Reopening Back in March, 2020, we posted about the possibility that President Trump’s already growing enthusiasm for “easing restrictions on movement sooner than federal public health experts recommend” was due to his personal financial interests.  By that time, the Trump Organization, in whom Trump has the largest ownership share, had closed six of its seven biggest revenue producing properties, and was likely dreading the need to refinance considerable outstanding debt. We wrote at…

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Pediatric opioid poisoning – Healthcare Economist – Health Article

Some people use opioids as a recreational drug. If people choose to ruin their own life, that is their problem. Others take opioids when prescribed from physicians and unwittingly become addicted. In either case, there is one scourge that may not fully be appreciated: parents who take opioids risk having their kids go into their medicine cabinets and–intentionally or unintentionally–use them. A recent paper by Toce et al. (2020) in JAMA Pediatrics uses the National Poison Data System (NPDS) and…

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AHCJ backs public data about COVID-19 hospitalizations – Health Article

Photo: Norman Mosjos via Flickr The Association of Health Care Journalists strongly urges the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to keep public all data related to COVID-19 hospitalizations and to post the numbers as soon as they are available. The Trump administration ordered hospitals to stop reporting COVID-19 data to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and send patient information to a central database in Washington, D.C., starting this week. The data tracks hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients,…

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How Can We Fight the Coronavirus Pandemic Under Political Leaders Who Enable the Spread of the Virus? – Health Article

The Trump administration has written the book about how not to prepare for a pandemic, and how to mismanage the response once one occurs.  We have previously posted about how President Trump and his administration have hindered pandemic management in the US and around the world.  We have noted the President’s support for such counter-productive policies as allowing vulnerable elderly people to fly, keeping passengers cooped up on cruise ships in which the virus was spreading, and reducing testing for…

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We Are in Store for the Greatest Change to Our Healthcare System Since the Affordable Care Act. Here’s Why. – The Health Care Blog – Health Article

By LOGAN CHO The COVID-19 pandemic has been harsher and lasted longer than many of us would have predicted. While our media has been inundated with updates on death tolls and economic depression, there has been little conversation of healthcare beyond the era of COVID-19. The first question that we ask when we hear of deaths: was it COVID? We have grown to expect the primary cause of death to be of coronavirus. But the impact of COVID-19 will extend…

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Health Care Renewal: “No Skin in the Game” – Health Article

Introduction: Very Important Patients Most codes of ethics for health care professionals stress that taking the best possible care of each individual patient should come before all other concerns.  Yet access to health care has been a problem for many patients in the dysfunctional US health care system. A particularly egregious aspect of this problem has been the preferential treatment of “very important patients.” In 2007 we first posted about a prestigious academic medical center that maintained an “A-list” of…

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At the “Reopen America” Protests, Vilifying Health Care Professionals to Protect the New Robber Barons – Health Article

After the Trump administration’s delayed and ineffectual efforts at containment failed (see relevant coverage here, here, here, here), the curve of exponentially increasing coronavirus cases and deaths may finally have started flattening due to social distancing.  The first responders, health care professionals and hospitals in the reddest zone, New York City, may be slightly less besieged.  But the pandemic is hardly over. Vilifying Health Care Who Objected to Prematurely “Reopening” the Country Nonetheless, supposedly popular protests, albeit very small, broke…

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What Happens When Politicians Disregard Health Care and Public Health Professionals During a Pandemic – Health Article

Introduction: Health Care Professionals Vilified After They Caution Against Premature Reopening During the Pandemic As we discussed in April, 2020, after the curve of the coronavirus pandemic began to flatten in the first heavily affected areas in the northeast US, supposedly popular protests, broke out calling for the end of onerous social distancing measures, ostensibly to let the economy recover.  President Trump then jumped in, calling for the “liberation” of multiple states from these  measures. Trump wrote: ‘LIBERATE MINNESOTA’ and…

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And We Thought Pandemics Were Bad – The Health Care Blog – Health Article

By KIM BELLARD Those of us of a certain age, or anyone who loves classic movies, remember the famous scene in “The Graduate” when Benjamin Braddock is given what is intended as a helpful clue about the future.  “Plastics,” one of his father’s friends says.  “There’s a great future in plastics.” Well, we’re living in that future, and it’s not all that rosy.  Plastics have, indeed, become an integral part of our world, giving billions of us products that we…

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More Attempts to Intimidate Health Care Professionals Who Try to Educate About Coronavirus – Health Article

Introduction Physicians and other health care professionals are sworn to put patients’ interests ahead of all else, and to uphold the integrity of education and science in health care.  This may put them in the uncomfortable position of speaking up when doing so offends vested interests.  Whistle-blowing is never easy for health care professionals.  Those who do so have been ostracized, lost jobs or been subject to lawsuits.  So we were not surprised when cases appeared of health care professionals…

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Millennium Health to provide HHS with drug testing data – Health Article

The Department of Health and Human Services has entered into an agreement with Millennium Health to provide real-time drug testing data to help counter overdoses nationwide. According to HHS, data donated from Millennium Health’s Emerging Threat Intelligence Program will include regular reporting of drug use trends from definitive urine drug-test results obtained from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and multiple medical practice types. “The Trump Administration recognizes the power of current data in the multi-pronged efforts to curb…

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Pollution is a big deal – Healthcare Economist – Health Article

You may know that pollution is bad for your health, but how bad is it? Patrick Collison has a nice blog post summarizing the evidence. Wired also has an interesting article on the cognitive impacts of pollution in China. In short, if we are a society that values innovation and improved cognitive functioning, we need to insure our air and water remains clean and pollution levels fall over time. This is only a snippet of a Health Article…

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CODE BLUE: Sequel to The Social Transformation of American Medicine – Health Article

Posted on | November 22, 2019 | No Comments Background: www.codeblue.online “Code Blue should be in every college Public Health and Health Policy syllabus in 2020!” In the preface to his 1984 Pulitzer Prize winning book, “The Social Transformation of Medicine”, Princeton sociology professor Paul Starr states, “History does not provide any answers about what should be done… My hope is that this historical analysis may help to illuminate our present predicament even for people of diverse sympathies. I have…

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HealthPopuli.com – Health Article

Two separate and new OECD reports, updating health and the global economic outlook, raise two issues that are inter-related: that gains in longevity are stalling, with chronic illnesses and mental ill health affecting more people; and, as wealth grows more concentrated among the wealthy, the economic outlook around most of the world is also slowing. First, we’ll mine the Health at a Glance 2019 annual report covering data on population health, health system performance, and medical spending across OECD countries.…

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Living in the shadows of domestic violence – Society for Public Health Education – Health Education Article

When I was a child, we never discussed spanking. We received them and were never to challenge them. It was what was to be expected if you did something wrong or did not do what you were supposed to. I remember my mother or grandmother saying, “Pick a switch and I mean a tender green one with leaves.” That meant for me to go out to the weeping willow tree and get a small long branch for my whipping. I…

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HealthPopuli.com – Health Article

My cousin Arlene got married in Detroit at the classic Book Cadillac Hotel on July 23, 1967, a Sunday afternoon wedding. When Daddy drove us back out to our suburban home about 30 minutes from the fancy hotel, the car radio was tuned to WWJ Newsradio 950, all news all the time. As soon as Daddy switched on the radio, we were shocked by the news of a riot breaking out in the city, fires and looting and gunshots and…

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Getting answers from a chatbot: Empowering patients through artificial intelligence – Health Article

Last year, I posted about Alexa being able used to access complex health information. Microsoft, on the other hand, has taken a different approach to the use of a chatbot/AI for healthcare. Instead of the chatbot being able to access your health record, why not have it answer routine questions patients have prior to an appointment? With this goal in mind, Microsoft has created the Microsoft Healthcare Bot, which is a service that allows healthcare organizations to streamline their processes,…

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Googling for health information: A needle in a very, very, large haystack – Health Article

Previously, I talked about smart speakers , how they can be used as a way to find health information, and some of the implications this has for the delivery of healthcare. I want to switch gears a little bit now, and discuss how we, as patients, search for information prior to going to the doctor. To talk about that, I’m going to focus on a recently published report by KRC Research, titled “The Great American Search for Healthcare Information,” which…

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Everyone Has a Part to Play in Ending Vaccine Hesitancy – Health Article

Felicia D. Goodrum Sterling Heidi L. Pottinger By FELICIA D. GOODRUM STERLING, PhD and HEIDI L. POTTINGER, DrPH, MPH, MA The measles outbreak in Washington state this week has brought new attention to the anti-vaccine movement.  In fact, the World Health Organization recently identified “vaccine hesitancy” as one of top threats to global health. In the US, the number of unvaccinated children has quadrupled since 2001, enabling the resurgence of infectious diseases long-since controlled.  In fact, the WHO claims a…

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CES 2019 – Healthcare innovations to look out for – Health Article

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is an annual event that attracts over 180,000 attendees each year, showcasing the most cutting edge, revolutionary technology imaginable. Of interest to readers of PHP however, will be the Digital Health Summit, which focuses on how technology can revolutionize healthcare and wellness. In fact, healthcare has become so ingrained in CES, that attendees can now earn CME (continuing medical education) credits for some of the sessions. I’ve highlighted a few of these innovations below; it…

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New year, new trends: What to watch for in healthcare in 2019 (Part 1) – Health Article

As we start a new year, every company and healthcare professional starts to think about what innovations the new year could bring. While some have very positive and innovative results, there are also risks we have to consider. Below, I’ve listed what I think are the five trends to watch in 2019. 1. Putting patients at the centre of our healthcare system The patient perspective has been one that has been discussed for a long time, and is slowly becoming…

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HealthPopuli.com – Health Article

Most patient visits to doctors result in a prescription written for a medicine that people retrieve from a pharmacy, whether retail in the local community or via mail order for a maintenance drug. This one transaction generates a lot of data points, which individually have a lot of importance for the individual patient. Mashed with other patients’, prescription drug utilization data can combine with more data to be used for population health, cost-effectiveness, and other constructive research pursuits. At HIMSS19,…

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New year, new trends: What to watch for in healthcare in 2019 (Part 2) – Health Article

Last week, I discussed the five biggest health trends to keep an eye on in 2019. To recap, the first three items were: Putting patients at the centre of our healthcare system Using data effectively to improve outcomes Disrupting existing care paradigms Today, I’ll be continuing on that theme, with items 4 and 5 on that list. 4. Ensuring that data are kept secure A fully integrated, fully connected data warehouse is a wonderful idea that has a lot of…

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The planetary diet: How humans need to eat to sustain a population of 10 billion – Health Article

We’re reaching a breaking point as a species, with our population growth rapidly outstripping what the Earth is capable of supporting. UN population estimates state that, in the last fifty years, our population has gone from 3.7 billion to 7.8 billion; and in the next fifty, it will increase to a whopping 10.6 billion people. However, concomitantly with this population change, has been a change in our diets. Globally, we have shifted to unhealthy foods that are high in calories,…

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