THE POLICY THINKSHOP "Think Together"

Public Policy is social agreement written down as a universal guide for social action. We at The Policy ThinkShop share information so others can think and act in the best possible understanding of "The Public Interest."

Is your doctor happy? With Poll from: Gallup.Com

When you visit your doctor does (s)he look happy?  At the end of the day healthcare is a one on one personal experience.  All the insurance coverage or fancy machines in the world won’t improve medical care if the doctor patient relationship is not optimal.

So what is our healthcare system doing to address physician happiness?  The Gallup organization took a closer look at hospitals, one place where physician practice is defined and sustained–for better or for worse…

“When doctors are frustrated, patient care and hospital revenues suffer. Heres how hospitals can engage their physicians — and make a positive impact on patients and the bottom line.”

via Gallup.Com – Daily News, Polls, Public Opinion on Politics, Economy, Wellbeing, and World.

Filed under: ACA and Medicaid, Behavioral Health Outcomes, Blogosphere, Cancer Treatment & Success, Health Literacy, Health Policy, Healthcare Reform, Maternal and Child Health, Medicaid, Medicaid Expansion, Medical Research, Medicare, New American Electorate, Polls and pollsters, Public Health

The Who, What, Where, When & Why of Health Care Social Media | Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project

Information is to behavior as technology is to understanding.  Let me clarify.  Technology is increasingly making it more “mobile” and convenient to obtain, process and include health related information in our daily activities and decision making.  In fact, physicians and patients are likely to increasingly benefit from recent advances in more mobile and popular forms of social media tools–such as Apps–in their need to manage health related information as providers of care and consumers, respectively.  Take for example Apps and search engines.  These two increasingly popular and used tools for accessing and managing health information are increasingly impacting a physician’s ability to learn and deicide and a patient’s ability to “get a second opinion” or increase their health literacy as they are more able to ask question and get immediate answers from numerous sources without having to rely on the often limited patient doctor relationship.  The Pew foundation does a nice job of keeping us up to date on how the internet is changing every aspect of our lives–including healthcare.

“Susannah Fox will deliver a keynote address to a symposium hosted by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University. She will discuss the Pew Research Center’s latest findings related to technology adoption and use in both the U.S. and abroad, with a particular focus on the social impact of the internet on health and health care.”

MORE via The Who, What, Where, When & Why of Health Care Social Media | Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.

Filed under: Blogosphere, Changing Media Paradigm, consumers, Health Literacy, Health Policy, Healthcare Reform, Medical Research, News, Public Health, Social Media, Technology and You, Technology Trends

In U.S., Less Than Half Look at Restaurant Nutrition Facts | Gallup Poll

The Policy ThinkShop is expanding its policy analysis and research resources in response to the current  healthcare reform challenges faced by the states and communities.  We will be posting periodic articles and resources addressing the numerous variables that define the nation’s current healthcare challenges which go well beyond putting a health insurance card in a person’s hand.

Visit our health policy and research blog at:

http://healththinkshop.com

for more health specific resources and to share with us which areas of health you want us to address for your daily health administration, policy and planning needs.

The restaurant industry can be seen as fitting into a continuum.  At one extreme are the restaurants that focus on providing easy to make menus, easy to store foods, easy to please customers.  By easy to please we might mean people who are looking for the basic satisfying elements producing the classic “addictive” flavors from sweets, salts and fatty foods.  At the other extreme, difficult to call it “extreme” since it is probably the more reasonable in terms of healthy lifestyle, there is the fresh vegetables, fish and light fowl, moderately portioned cuisine  served in prestigious and select culinary establishments for the educated palate.  Home cooking has historical and culturally embedded positive meaning in our culture but truth be told most home cooking is not very healthy either…  In this case, it probably goes outside our initial restaurant continuum because cooking at home requires skill, time and appropriate ingredients.  Of course, in the available ingredients we find the most difficult challenge.  Keeping fresh vegetables, fish and fowl on hand is to often cumbersome and expensive.  Although budget is often the decisive factor here, time, a more universally unavailable commodity, is often the thing that makes or breaks home cooking.

Aside from the mechanics, logistics and administrative aspects of culinary efficacy there is, perhaps equally decisive as time, health literacy.   That is, knowledge of the relationship between food and health.  That is not the only aspect of health literacy but it just as well aught to be.  According to the Gallop Poll, knowledge about what we eat is woefully missing in the American culinary mind.

The Policy ThinkShop is expanding its policy analysis and research resources in response to the current  healthcare reform challenges faced by the states and communities.  We will be posting periodic articles and resources addressing the numerous variables that define the nation’s current healthcare challenges which go well beyond putting a health insurance card in a person’s hand.

Visit our health policy and research blog at:

http://healththinkshop.com

for more health specific resources and to share with us which areas of health you want us to address for your daily health administration, policy and planning needs.

“Even as more U.S. restaurants list nutritional information on their menus, less than half of Americans, 43%, say they pay a “great deal” or a “fair amount” of attention to it. Americans are much more likely to take note of nutritional labels on food packages, with 68% saying they pay at least a fair amount of attention to this …”

via In U.S., Less Than Half Look at Restaurant Nutrition Facts.

Filed under: access to education, Aging, Behavioral Health Outcomes, Blogosphere, Health and Exercise, Health Literacy, Health Policy, Healthcare Reform, Medicaid, Medicaid Expansion, Medical Research, Medicare, News, Policy ThinkShop Comments on other media platforms, Public Health, Public Policy, , , , ,

Stem-cell therapies: Prometheus unbound | The Economist

Greek myths, philosophy and architecture are often presented as the wellspring of Western civilization.  However, science and reason are universal–so this time the wellspring is Yokohama City University in Japan.

The most hopeful use of stem cell research thus far and a breakthrough in growing cells in a way that now promises the increased possibility of full organ growth, brings us the amazing potential of curing much disease that currently cuts lives short.

“PROMETHEUS, a Titan bound to a rock by Zeus, endured the daily torture of an eagle feasting on his liver, only to have the organ regrow each night. Compared with this spectacle, a video on the website of Nature this week seems decidedly dull. It shows a collection of pink dots consolidating into a darker central glob.But something titanic is indeed happening. The pink dots are stem cells, and the video shows the development of a liver bud, something which can go on to look and act like a liver. Takanori Takebe and Hideki Taniguchi of Yokohama City University, in Japan, who made the video, have created working human-liver tissue.”

via Stem-cell therapies: Prometheus unbound | The Economist.

Filed under: Blogosphere, consumers, Death and Dying, Health Literacy, Health Policy, Medical Research, News, , ,

Medication vs. stents for heart disease treatment – Harvard Health Publications

What’s the best way to “fix” a narrowed coronary artery? That question was the crux of a multimillion-dollar trial dubbed COURAGE, short for Clinical Outcomes Utilizing Revascularization and Aggressive Drug Evaluation. Its results, presented in the spring of 2007, stunned some doctors and seemed to shock the media, but we hope they won’t come as a surprise to readers: For people with stable coronary artery disease (clogged arteries nourishing the heart), artery-opening angioplasty was no better than medications and lifestyle changes at preventing future heart attacks or strokes, nor did it extend life.

via Medication vs. stents for heart disease treatment – Harvard Health Publications.

Filed under: Aging, Blogosphere, consumers, Death and Dying, Health and Exercise, Health Literacy, Health Policy, Healthcare Reform, Medical Research, News

States’ Policies on Health Care Exclude Poorest – NYTimes.com

It is dumbfounding!   It paralyzes the brain, the heart and almost all hope–without need for audacity.

Ph.D.s, advocates, health professionals, and good old moms and dads come to the agreement that healthcare needs changing and that sick people should get help–especially those who have difficulty getting it.  Presumably, it is logical and reasonable to think that many of these people are what we, all of us for hundreds of years, have called “the poor.”

Yet for as long as there have been those with and those without, those with often have the efficacy to get more and those without, perhaps by definition, get even less–always…

So here we are well into healthcare reform and the NYT is sounding the whistle on the haves once again–millions have been spent and the poor are somehow invisible once again when it comes to targeting the needs of those who are hurting and are having a difficult time getting good, reliable, continuos, patient centered, medical home care!  Go figure… or better yet, go read the New York times…

“The refusal by about half the states to expand Medicaid will leave millions of poor people ineligible for government-subsidized health insurance under President Obama’s health care law even as many others with higher incomes receive federal subsidies to …”

More via States’ Policies on Health Care Exclude Poorest – NYTimes.com.

Filed under: access to education, Aging, Behavioral Health Outcomes, Blogosphere, Children and Poverty, consumers, Death and Dying, Economic Recession, Feminization of Poverty, Health and Exercise, Health Literacy, Health Policy, Healthcare Reform, Maternal and Child Health, Medical Research, Medicare, News, Parenting, Policy ThinkShop Comments on other media platforms, Public Health, Public Policy, Public Service, WeSeeReason, , ,

Could Statins Raise Diabetes Risk? – WebMD

Drugs have serious, and sometimes fatal, side effects and too often unintended consequences.  But we are sick, and health professionals somehow perform a cost benefit analysis and risk assessment and recommend that we take this drug or that to help us deal with our health condition or else.

Medicine is evolving, medicines are just one variable in a complex medical intervention process and people simply do not behave well or as needed very often.

Like variables that are introduced to repair a broken swiss watch, drugs enter our body system and fix some things yet disturb others.

Medical interventions, as drug therapies, change our blood chemistry and many of the vital functions of our major organs and personal health processes in some way…

As our body systems and organs fail under the weight of heredity, diet, behavior, etc., scientists perform research and through trial and error attempt to produce substances that can be introduced into our sick body systems to address a needed substance or desired cause and effect to make us better.

Our lives and bodies are similar, so research  has some success, in a controlled experiment, showing that symptoms can be changed or controlled.  However, implementing these medical solutions in the daily routine of our unique yet complex lives is another story.

Diet, exercise and behavior in general are also modified when we become sick and our body changes due to powerful drugs we are advised to take.

As each of us goes through life experiencing disease, we benefit from therapies, if we are “lucky” enough to have access to them, in varying ways.

“Certain statins — the widely used cholesterol-lowering drugs — may increase your chances of developing type 2 diabetes, a new study suggests.

The risk was greatest for patients taking atorvastatin (brand name Lipitor), rosuvastatin (Crestor) and simvastatin (Zocor), the study said.

Focusing on almost 500,000 Ontario residents, researchers …”

More via Could Statins Raise Diabetes Risk? – WebMD.

Filed under: Aging, Behavioral Health Outcomes, Blogosphere, Cancer Treatment & Success, consumers, Death and Dying, Health and Exercise, Health Literacy, Health Policy, Healthcare Reform, Medical Research, Medicare, News, Public Health, , , , , , , ,

The Policy ThinkShop on Facebook: How do you think Healthcare Reform is working in New Jersey? What about the poorest and most vulnerable in these time of change?

New Jersey is reorganizing its healthcare system, including urban hospital that are vital to New Jersey’s poorest and most vulnerable. What do you think?

MORE via Facebook.

Filed under: Health Literacy, Health Policy, Healthcare Reform, Immigration, Latinos, Maternal and Child Health, Medical Research, Minority Males, New American Electorate, News, Parenting, Policy ThinkShop Comments on other media platforms, Public Health, Public Policy, Unemployment, Women's rights

For Athletes, Risks From Ibuprofen Use – NYTimes.com

News about pain killers and their ineffectiveness and the possible damage they to your body when taking often…  Managing the bodies symptoms with artificial chemicals does not seem logically good… Now studies prove the truism…  Consumer be ware!!!

 

“Many active people use the painkiller ibuprofen on an almost daily basis. In surveys, up to 70 percent of distance runners and other endurance athletes report that they down the pills before every workout or competition, viewing the drug as a preemptive strike against …”

More via For Athletes, Risks From Ibuprofen Use – NYTimes.com.

Filed under: access to education, Blogosphere, consumers, Health Literacy, Health Policy, Healthcare Reform, Medical Research, News, , , ,

Stand-Up Desks Gaining Favor in the Workplace – NYTimes.com

Millions of Americans labor in an office chair most of their work day.  They may take a break or two and most take a lunch break between their a.m. and p.m. desk-bound sojourn.  To be sure, it’s no small stint at all.  In fact, it is also a huge part of their waking lives.  Between stress, lack of exercise and the unhealthy junk in the break-room snack machine, the health situation for most Americans is not good during their work day.  The NYTs article that follows, presents some interesting ideas for addressing the desk-bound work life condition that may be hurting so many …

“THE health studies that conclude that people should sit less, and get up and move around more, have always struck me as fitting into the “well, duh” category.

But a closer look at the accumulating research on sitting reveals something more intriguing, and disturbing: …”

More via Stand-Up Desks Gaining Favor in the Workplace – NYTimes.com.

Filed under: Blogosphere, Culture Think, Health Literacy, Medical Research, News, , , ,

Human genomics: The new world of DNA | The Economist

Stuck in with the nasty weather outside?  Here is a nice read while you’re wondering what to do with your unexpected day off:  A thoughtful article to get you caught up on what is happening in genome research …

“WHEN John Keats read George Chapman’s translation of Homer he felt, in his elevated, poetical way, like …”

 

More via Human genomics: The new world of DNA | The Economist.

Filed under: Blogosphere, Cancer Treatment & Success, consumers, Culture Think, Health Literacy, Health Policy, Healthcare Reform, Medical Research, News, Public Health, Public Policy, , , , ,

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