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With 2014 coming to a close, WSAUA would like to wish its members, partners and other industry professionals a very safe and happy holiday season.
As we reflect on the past year, we would like to provide WSAUA Insights subscribers with a look at the most-read news stories.
Your regular news publication will resume on Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015.
THE GIVING POWER OF UROLOGY: Western Section Urologists Can Improve the Environment while Redistributing Medical Supplies to Areas of Need
According to the 2006 Alameda County Recycling Plan, hospitals are the 4th largest producers of solid waste. At the same time, safety net clinics and remote clinics here and abroad are struggling to offer services for lack of medical supplies. Due to legal restrictions and other reasons, U.S. hospitals discard 5,000 tons of useful medical supplies every day.
Since 1998, MedShare has been the bridge between surplus and need to improve healthcare and the environment through the efficient recovery and redistribution of surplus medical supplies and equipment from hospitals, manufacturers and distributors. MedShare, a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, offers healthcare organizations a unique opportunity to divert this surplus from landfills and make it available to local community health clinics and hospitals in the developing world.
MedShare's Container Program delivers containers with medical supplies and equipment to the developing world. Last year, MedShare shipped 128 containers to recipients in 28 different countries and equipped 107 safety net clinics. In the Western region alone, MedShare equipped 295 medical mission teams and diverted 292 tons of medical surplus from Bay Area landfills. Watch how it’s done (put link in your browser): http://youtu.be/XEQBn53LYKk
Two Western Section urologists, Linda Shortliffe and Eric Engelman are members of MedShare’s Western Regional Council. We hope that Western Section urologists will join us in making a difference in our West and the world, and consider supporting Medshare to fund shipping a container of our medical surplus supplies to places of medical need.
The Power of One the Impact of Many. Follow us on Twitter #givingTuesday @MedShare, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
MedShare is recipient of Charity Navigator's top 4 star rating for 8 consecutive years, 2012 Acterra Environmental Innovation Award, Google’s 2014 Bay Area Impact Challenge Award, and the 2014 Volunteer Choice Award.
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University of Illinois Doctors Under Scrutiny for Surgical Robot Ad
From Feb. 27: When the makers of the da Vinci surgical robot asked University of Illinois doctors to appear in a national advertising campaign, their Chicago hospital saw an opportunity to promote its expertise with the device. But the plan backfired. Instead of gaining national publicity for being leaders in robotic surgery, the doctors and the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System are under scrutiny for endorsing a commercial product, a possible violation of policy.
Doc Drug-Testing Initiative Masks True Intent
From July 3: "Pee in a cup" is a phrase you should prepare to hear frequently this election season. A requirement that doctors be subject to random drug and alcohol testing is the curb-appeal provision in a measure that will be on the California ballot in November. The brains behind the initiative titled the Troy and Alana Pack Patient Safety Act clearly figured out that voters are more likely warm to the part that promises drug tests for doctors than the measure's more important provision, which would lift the state's $250,000 cap on medical malpractice awards to $1.1 million.
Physician Entrepreneurs Are Reinventing Themselves
From Feb. 27: As more physicians leave private practice to join hospitals and health systems as part of the employed workforce, some in the industry are raising questions about the disappearing identity of physician entrepreneurs. If the definition of a physician entrepreneur is limited to a resident who opens a private practice, then it is easy (in some parts of the country) to say the days of physician entrepreneurs are drawing to a close.
SGR's Days Are Numbered; Drug Shortage Persists
From Feb. 20: The biggest news story affecting physicians recently was the long-awaited announcement that a bipartisan deal has been reached to repeal and replace the sustainable growth rate formula. Once Congress figures out how to pay for it, the doc fix will done. While that story rightly got most of the media spotlight, other developments affecting physicians should not go unnoticed.
Vasectomy and Prostate Cancer: How Serious the Link?
From July 17: Men who had a vasectomy had a significantly greater risk of developing aggressive, potentially fatal prostate cancer, according to data from a 50,000-patient cohort study. Overall, vasectomy increased the risk of prostate cancer by about 10 percent, increasing to about 20 percent for high-grade and lethal cancers. A subgroup analysis showed more than a 50 percent greater risk of prostate cancer among men who underwent regular prostate-specific antigen screening for prostate cancer, as reported online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
New More Accurate Way to Pinpoint Prostate Cancer
From Jan. 2: Men who had a vasectomy had a significantly greater risk of developing aggressive, potentially fatal prostate cancer, according to data from a 50,000-patient cohort study. Overall, vasectomy increased the risk of prostate cancer by about 10 percent, increasing to about 20 percent for high-grade and lethal cancers. A subgroup analysis showed more than a 50 percent greater risk of prostate cancer among men who underwent regular prostate-specific antigen screening for prostate cancer, as reported online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
93 Percent of Hospital Executives Think Obamacare Will Make Healthcare Better
The Washington Post
From Jan. 16: Over at Health Affairs, Andrew Steinmetz, Ralph Muller, Steven Altschuler and Ezekiel Emanuel decided to see how health reform looked to hospital executives. They surveyed 74 C-Suite executives from institutions that, on average, employed 8,520 workers and saw annual revenues of $1.5 billion. The survey wasn't scientific by any means, but in a speculative conversation that's proceeding mostly by anecdote, these individuals have a better vantage point on the changes that health reform is making to actual healthcare systems than virtually anyone else.
Dogs Can Detect Prostate Cancer 4 Times Better Than Traditional Tests, With Low False-Positive Rate
From May 15: Dogs are renowned for their keen sense of smell, and researchers have tested their abilities and have found they are almost four times better at detecting prostate cancer than traditional tests. These specially trained animals, known as Medical Detection Dogs are trained in Buckinghamshire, U.K., and have the ability to accurately detect the cancer 90 percent of the time.
In Healthcare Experiment, Patients Pay More for 'Bad' Medicine
From Jan 2: When Tanner Martin, 17, developed excruciating back pain last year, he was sure he needed an X-ray to find out what was wrong. So was his mother, who worried that the pain might indicate a serious injury that could cause permanent disability. But Konnie Martin was no ordinary parent. As chief executive officer of San Luis Valley Regional Medical Center in Alamosa, Colo., she is at the center of an experiment, known as value-based insurance, that could transform American healthcare.
Doctors and EHR: Can This Shotgun Marriage be Saved?
From Feb. 13: David F. Carr writes, "There are many things about healthcare IT that I would like to understand or understand better. One of the most basic revolves around happiness and unhappiness, love and hate. When I wrote a column on 'Why Doctors Hate EHR Software,' I knew that was a gross oversimplification but hoped it would start a discussion. And it has."
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