Category Archives: Uncategorized

Activating Patients to Achieve Better Health Outcomes: Spotlight on NYU School of Medicine

Highly activated patients take proactive, collaborative roles in maintaining their health. They are more likely to engage in healthy and preventive behaviors than their less activated counterparts, and incur lower health care costs. Higher activation often corresponds with improved health outcomes and greater patient satisfaction. However, increasing patient activation can be difficult, especially when patients face such additional challenges as low literacy, language and cultural barriers, and physical disabilities.

Patient activation is a fundamental component of the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH), a care model that increases patient engagement with a team of health care providers through coordinated care and the use of technology. A clinical education and research project team led by Adina Kalet, MD, MPH at the NYU School of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine, part of the NYU Langone Medical Center (NYU Langone) is developing and testing an innovative Patient Empowerment Program (PEP) within NYU’s PCMH and linking it to the training of primary care residents. This work was supported by a Clinical Care Innovation Challenge Award from the Association of American Medical Colleges. Continue reading Activating Patients to Achieve Better Health Outcomes: Spotlight on NYU School of Medicine

Medicine and Video Games: A New Approach to Engaging Diabetic Patients

Part one of a five part series on the 2014 AAMC Clinical Care Innovation Challenge Pilot Award Winners


Imagine this video game scenario:  a player explores a small town participating in everyday activities aimed to help them better understand and manage type 2 diabetes.  The player wanders into the local town café, and is asked to pick out a snack that is suitable to their dietary needs.

Dapper, the online video game that seeks to improve the health of type 2 diabetic patients

Continue reading Medicine and Video Games: A New Approach to Engaging Diabetic Patients

Health Wonk Review: Hot Summer Nights, Cool Summer Drinks

Originally posted July 16, 2015

By Hank Stern

Good morning, fellow Wonkers and Wonkettes, and welcome to the midsummer collection of refreshing blog posts. And now to quench our thirst for knowledge (amongst other things):

■ Joe Paduda, HWR co-founder and all-around nice guy, believes that there is no “Obamacare,” and offers some clarification about what PPACA is, and isn’t.

■ Our good friend Louise Norris reports on the Centennial State’s health insurance rate environment. She notes that, as always, “premium is king,” but that that’s always been the case. So what’s different now? Click through to find out.

By the way: When you get there, be sure to congratulate hubby Jay on his recent appointment to the Connect for Health Colorado board of directors. Mazel Tov, Jay!

■ Over at The Hospital Leader, Brad Flansbaum tells us about “super-utilizers,” folks who consume a disproportionate amount of health care, and what this means for the rest of us “normal” folks.

■ Jaan Siderov has always been one of my very favorite bloggers in this corner of the blogosphere, and his submission this week further cements that: we’ve all heard concern about the various carrier mergers; Jaan offers his own take, with some currently-under-the-radar concerns.

■ As usual, David Harlow casts an outsized shadow with his unique insights into something that, at first glance, seems so simple: patient reviews of their docs. David asks a simple question (“Where are the metrics to guide rational choice of provider?“) and then dives right in.

■ Uber-wonk Roy Poses takes to task former President WJ Clinton for touting a liver pill (no, not this one) that costs $1,000 a pop, yet shows little evidence of actually, you know, working very well.

■ Jason Shafrin, my favorite Health Care Economist, also asks a question: “What is the key driver of regional variation in the cost of treating patients with cancer?” Think you know? Well, then, click on through to check your knowledge.

■ The Health Affairs Blog sends along this post by Donald Light on the risks versus rewards of certain FDA-approved meds, and notes an “epidemic of harm from medications [that] makes our prescription drugs the fourth leading cause of death in the United States.” Talk about the cure being worse than the disease!

■ Another good friend, David Williams, wrestles with the conundrum [ed: what a great use of that term in this context] that capping insured patients’ specialty drug co-pays may actually do more financial harm than good, in the form of higher prices.

■ Workers Comp maven Tom Lynch has his sights on the alarming fact that injury rates for home health and personal aides is two-and-a-half times that of other workers, and that OSHA’s really failing these folks.

■ Long time HWR contributor Peggy Salvatore introduces us to the 21st Century Cures Act. Overall, she likes it, but is puzzled by the fact that its proposed funding mechanism is revenue not from Big Pharma and the NIH, but the oil industry. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but she wonders why the health care sector is turning to the energy sector for cash.

■ The folks at offer a post from Amy Lynn Smith extolling the virtues of the ACA as it relates to the LGBT community.

■ To finish up, I’m going to exercise Host’s Privilege and tout this two-parter from my co-blogger Mike Feehan. We spend a lot of time at IB correcting folks who conflate health care with health insurance, but Mike tackles new ground in his posts: despite popular usage, health care and medical care are not the same.

Mike makes a compelling case. Click here for Part 1, and here for Part 2.

Well, that’s it for this week. Hope you enjoyed the good reads and tasty concoctions. Don’t forget to drop by PeggySalvatore’s place on August 20th for the next edition.

Why Academic Medical Centers Should Be on Twitter. Right Now.

Originally posted June 6, 2015

By Steve Christiansen, MD

socialized_medicineEver since I began residency I have been encouraging, prodding, and at times, persistently pestering department leadership of my belief that our ophthalmology department should have a dedicated Twitter feed. After months of persistence combined with good timing and supportive leadership, the Twitter feed was finally launched on June 1, 2015 for the University of Iowa Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, with the Twitter handle, @UIowaEye.

Let me explain why academic centers and departments should join Twitter. Continue reading Why Academic Medical Centers Should Be on Twitter. Right Now.

Medicine in the Era of the Public Physician

By Jennifer J. Salopek

book-coverBryan Vartabedian, MD, pediatric gastroenterologist and clinical faculty member at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, is well-known in the world of health care social media. An early adopter, he has been blogging since he launched his first Typepad site in 2006. His current blog, 33 Charts, draws thousands of readers every month, and he has more than 24,000 followers on Twitter. In 2013, he penned the Socialized Medicine column for Wing of Zock. Vartabedian is strategic and intentional about his online presence. Yet, he asserts that even doctors with little or no social media involvement are, in the digital age, “public physicians.” To that end, he has authored a helpful guidebook, The Public Physician, available for free download on iTunes.

Continue reading Medicine in the Era of the Public Physician

BUSM+ Digital Badge Program Offers One-Click Medical Education

By Gail March, Ph.D.

BUSM BadgesMicro-credentialing with digital badges is a quickly growing and innovative area of training. This form of online education is very successful in corporate training to keep employees  updated on all new concepts, products, and processes and to recognize their time and effort in learning. Thinking that the technique could be applied to medical education, I started the Boston University School of Medicine Medical Education Digital Badge Program (BUSM+), an online, digital badge program for health care professionals who want to enhance their understanding of the fundamentals of teaching and learning. The idea program combines the openness of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) with the popularity of scout achievement badges.

Continue reading BUSM+ Digital Badge Program Offers One-Click Medical Education

Agents of Change

By Ulfat Shaikh, MD, MPH, MS

We held our 5th Annual UC Davis Quality Forum last month. In true pediatrician-style, as the Quality Forum turns five this year, let me reflect on some of our developmental milestones.

The Forum was conceived as a germ of an idea back in 2010 with the goal of enhancing the visibility of our local clinical quality improvement (QI) efforts. At that time, we thought it was a brilliant idea, of course. As 2011 grew closer, our nervousness as new parents grew and we realized that the risk of us falling flat on our faces was very real. I am glad to report that 25 whole abstracts were submitted that first year. About 60 committed people showed up. That was the year of many firsts. We started walking and talking, spreading the word to anyone who cared to listen. Learnt to follow directions from people across the health system, and understood the concept of “no”.

Continue reading Agents of Change