The Dreaded PCA Key

Last week I had the pleasure to, once again, meet and deal with our health care system. Due to an undisclosed condition (my health, my choice), I had to have open/classic liver surgery (the kind that comes with a hefty scar and recovery period). And while I came out safe, sound, and pleased with the results, there’s one little caveat that I will forever keep at the forefront should I ever need to revisit it again. I’m not talking about things to know regarding hospitals, insurance or procedures. It’s a simple tool called Patient Controlled Analgesia (or PCA for short).  Continue reading…

Publication Bias: Enemy of the e-Patient

As a student of Public Health, I’ve had the opportunity to critically understand our research system and the way our nation’s academics take on the pursuit of knowledge and discovery. Through my years as an undergraduate student/researcher and now a graduate student/researcher, I’ve seen examples of great research papers and examples of papers that quickly find their way to the fireplace. It’s probably fair to say that all papers that get published into journals have some sort of contribution to make, yet many of them contribute the wrong type of knowledge, frequently misleading the industry and the readers. Remember that paper you read yesterday about coffee and cancer? Read another one today that contradicts it.

Continue reading…

Public Health Alert: High Return on Investment

In a recent article written in The Nation’s Health, the American Public Health Association’s (APHA’s) newspaper, public health experts give reason to increase efforts in prevention and education as a better alternative to decreasing health care spending over simply investing in the treatment/medical sector. Titled “Bolstering public health investment can improve U.S. health,” the article advocates for doubling public health funding, from $11.6 bil to $24 bil per year, as a starting point, to meet needs of public health departments. As Dr. Marthe Gold, MD MPH mentioned: “Until we can turn off the flow of Americans who need to enter the medical system by changing social and physical environmental conditions that make them unhealthy, we are just going to keep putting more and more pressure on an expensive system and create needless suffering for people.” Continue reading…

In Review: Fitbit

A few months ago, I made the decision to invest in a FitBit and start tracking my daily walking habits. I knew for a long time that I wasn’t getting enough walking done in a day….I just needed to have it confirmed with tangible evidence. I’m a hard numbers guy so I needed proof! I’ve been wanting to do a review for this thing for a while and I feel like I’ve experienced this little gadget enough to have a say in it. So…without further delay, here’s Fitbit in review! Continue reading…