Neither clinicians nor patients like the idea of “one-size-fits-all” health care. Recently, the concept of “personalized medicine,” also called “precision medicine,” has been popularized. Personalized medicine involves tailoring the diagnosis and treatment to the risks of disease and likelihood of response to treatments for individuals, rather than populations.
Read more about what “personalized medicine” really means
In April 2015, President Obama signed into law the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, simply called MACRA. Unlike the Affordable Care Act (“ObamaCare”), the MACRA bill had rare, overwhelming bipartisan support, with a final vote of 392-37 in the House and 92-8 in the Senate.
Read more about how patients and families can benefit under MACRA
I recently returned from the American College of Physicians (ACP) annual meeting in Washington, DC. The ACP is the largest medical specialty organization in the world, with 147,000 members spanning the spectrum from medical students starting off on their careers to seasoned clinicians in practice and medical school professors.
Read more about the ACP’s commitment to patient-centered care
Prostate cancer screening has been in the news again lately, and it continues to merit the label of “the controversy that refuses to die.” Let’s review some of the reasons for the recent resurgence in attention around the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test.
Read more about why the prostate cancer screening debate continues
With shared decision making on the lips of many in health care conversations these days, I’d like to address five common myths about using shared decision making to make care more patient-centered.
Read more about the myths of shared decision making
In 2010, Dr. David Ring, a hand surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), courageously published an article about performing the wrong operation at the wrong site on a patient. The patient was scheduled for a trigger finger release procedure, and instead received a carpal tunnel release. He and his colleagues analyzed the causes of the error and recommended solutions.
Read more about why preference misdiagnosis is a medical error
Last month, the Association of Health Care Journalists (AHCJ), with funding from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), offered the AHCJ Fellowship on Comparative Effectiveness Research. A group of 12 health care journalists from around the country spent four days in Washington DC at the PCORI offices getting a “crash course” in comparative effectiveness research (CER) and how it can be used to improve health and health care.
Read more about the value of unbiased health care journalism
I attended the 6th annual Wennberg International Collaborative (WIC) Fall Research Meeting in London September 2–4, 2015. This invitation-only meeting is a collaboration between The Dartmouth Institute (TDI) and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). The WIC is a research network committed to improving health care by examining organizational and regional variation in health care resources, utilization, and outcomes. The goal of the collaboration is to better understand the causes and consequences of unwarranted variation—that is, variation in health care not explained by differences in population needs or preferences—around the world, leading to clinical improvement and policy change.
Read more about an international conference on unwarranted variation
The following exchange is a conversation between Patty Skolnik and Michael Barry regarding the current controversy about physicians’ maintenance of their licensure and certification.
Read more about the controversy regarding physicians' maintenance of certification
In a 2012 report for The King’s Fund, Foundation cofounder Al Mulley and colleagues described the problem of misdiagnosis of patients’ preferences. “Preference misdiagnosis” may be the most common form of medical error in health care. It can occur when a person has more than one medically reasonable course of action open to him or her. A clinician, sometimes supported by recommendations from clinical practice guidelines, may prescribe or withhold a treatment based on what the evidence best supports and what he or she thinks the patient would want. However, research shows that among fully informed patients who understand a certain treatment’s possible benefits and risks, some would want that prescribed treatment, and some would not want that treatment prescribed. While there is evidence that preference misdiagnosis occurs, its epidemiology and solutions have not been well described.
Read more about how we hope to study preference misdiagnosis for low bone mass