/* mobile /* end mobile MEDDESKTOP: May 2007

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Google is good for Search, but not for health

Patients and doctors disagree on some essential issues according to three new surveys conducted by Consumer Reports National Research Center. The survey of 39,090 patients and 335 primary-care physicians revealed discrepancies between doctors’ and patients’ perceptions of following medical advice, the role of prescription drug ads in the exam room, and the value of online research of medical conditions. The full results of the survey as well as advice on how consumers can get better care from their doctors appearED in the February issue of Consumer Reports.
n total, 39,090 patients were surveyed about their doctor visits in two parts. Consumer Reports asked 25,184 respondents to its 2006 Annual Questionnaire about visiting the doctor for treatment of their most bothersome illness. During the summer of 2006, 13,906 online subscribers were polled about preventive-care visits. (CR acknowledges that its subscribers might not be representative of the population as a whole). Consumer Reports also questioned a random sample of 335 primary-care physicians about how things look from the other side of the table.

Consumer Reports’ survey results also reveal that doctors think the health-care system works much better for drug and health-insurance companies than for primary-care doctors and their patients.

CR notes that the pharmaceutical industry spends billions of dollars marketing prescription drugs directly
to patients; and wining and dining doctors so they’ll prescribe them.

-- Knowing the side effects. Among patients who received prescriptions from their doctors, 31 percent reported that their doctor didn’t adequately explain possible side effects, so Consumer Reports recommends that patients should ask questions about drugs prescribed during the visit. Also, nine percent of patients said their doctor did not review their other prescriptions to check for potentially harmful interactions with the newly
prescribed drug.

-- Requesting prescription drugs. According to the survey, patients most frequently ask about advertised drugs for acid reflux, impotence, allergies, and insomnia – mainstays of the television ad lineup. Only seven percent of patients admitted to asking for advertised drugs for their most bothersome conditions.

-- Knowing the cost. Two-thirds of patients reported that doctors never brought up the costs of treatments and tests.

Consumer reports Article

Oral contraceptive Lybrel, approved by FDA

FDA as expected on Tuesday approved Wyeth's oral contraceptive Lybrel, which is designed to eliminate monthly menstrual periods, the Los Angeles Times reports (Kaplan, Los Angeles Times, 5/23). Lybrel, which contains a lower dose of synthetic hormones in a daily dose than traditional oral contraceptives, is taken 365 days a year with no placebo pills. The usual regimen for oral contraceptives is 21 active pills taken consecutively, followed by seven placebo pills. According to Wyeth, 59% of women taking Lybrel stopped bleeding after six months, but 18% of women participating in a clinical trial dropped out because of bleeding or spotting (Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report, 5/22). A European trial found that the drug prevented pregnancy in all 323 women who took it, according to Wyeth (Los Angeles Times, 5/23).

Kaiser Network

Thursday, May 17, 2007

David Creek Meats recalls beef for suspected E. coli O157:H7

The beef products were made by David Creek Meats based in Kalamazoo, Michigan, between March 1 and April 30 for Gordon Food Service. They were dispatched to distribution centers in Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

The items under recall include boxes of mechanically tenderized steaks and ground beef of different weights.

The possible E. coli contamination was discovered by the Michigan Department of Public Health. No illnesses associated with using the affected beef products have been officially reported.

Medical news report

Mirth 1.4.0, open source cross-platform HL7 interface engine released.

Mirth is an open source cross-platform HL7 interface engine that enables bi-directional sending of HL7 messages between systems and applications over multiple transports. By utilizing an enterprise service bus framework and a channel-based architecture, Mirth allows messages to be filtered, transformed, and routed based on user-defined rules. Creating HL7 interfaces for existing systems becomes easy using the web-based interface and channel creation wizard which associates applications with Mirth engine components.

Mirth is free to use with no license or royalty fees. In addition, the Mirth File Repository provides an assortment of tested interfaces for a variety of health-care systems that can be downloaded and installed into Mirth free-of-charge.

Mirth can be configured to listen and send HL7 messages and connect to a variety of protocols:

* Database (MYSQL, Postgres, Oracle, MS SQL, ODBC)
* File (local file system and network shares)/PDF
* SOAP (over HTTP)

their open architecture allows for the easy addition of custom and legacy interfaces.

Interested? follow me to Mirth Project.


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