Happy Super Tuesday! Whether or not you live in one of the 24 states that cast their votes today, you probably agree that healthcare will be one of the major opportunities —- and major challenges -— for the next White House. Now for the first time in history, policy makers are facing a more outspoken, more organized medical and patient constituency than ever, due to the emergence of social media on the Internet, aka Health 2.0.
Welcome to the 4th volume, 20th edition of Grand Rounds, the weekly roundup of what's happening in the health and medical blogosphere. Since this group essentially resides at the heart of the Health 2.0 movement, today's review is organized around this very-same theme:
Canadian Medicine blogs about the rising popularity of doctors-only social networking websites, and that they're in the process of expanding by opening up their registration policies in 2008 to include Canadians physicians.
Graphic Courtesy of Scott Schreve
The Health Business Blog posts about an online social community that focuses on a sexual health condition for men. David Williams asserts that his post about a community about Peyronie's disease, aka penile curvature, is "a delicate subject, to say the least."
The Clinical Cases and Images Blog lists examples of podcasts useful for medical education. The post points to the fact that medical podcasts are becoming more popular as more quality programs are becoming available for free.
The sharp brains over at Sharp Brains have discovered the value of online newsletters vs. paper-based. Viva la Health 2.0!
PROS AND CONS
Fellow D-blogger Scott Strumello is skeptical of the plethora of newly fabricated patient communities on the Web. Already, he's introducing the concept of "social networking fatigue."
David Edelman of DiabetesDaily, on the other hand, sees lots of value in "micro-communities" designed to meet "the unique needs of the 1% groups."
While user-generated web content can be a blessing for those seeking quality health information on the Web, Highlight Health 2.0 blogs about a negative example: citing "YouTube as a Source of Health Misinformation." Ugh.
PsychCentral also takes a critical look at basic communication in the age of Health 2.0. They warn: "When you share and disclose aspects of your personal health with the world, it is something very different than when you share and disclose your favorite books or hobbies or musical groups."
Talk about opening the kimono. David Harlow at HealthBlawg illustrates that in the age of Health 2.0, you can even air the details of policy issues that dig deep into the healthcare bureaucracy.
Over at Donor Cycle, our friendly neighborhood organ transplant coordinator is all about transparency, with a few good stories illustrating that doctors don't know everything. For example, What's a Chimera?
NY Emergency Medicine's Peter Sheehy comments on a New York Times story about the Food and Drug Administration "reversing its decades-long habit of failing to investigate potential psychiatric side effects of medicines." Transparency trumps again.
WHY COMMUNITY MATTERS
Laurie Edwards of A Chronic Dose posts a personal perspective on how healthcare technology and Health 2.0 allow her to keep doing what she's doing, and to connect to other people.
Bongi at Other Things Amanzi illustrates why the blogging community is important. Where else can one get such insight into the psyche of a doctor dealing with terminally ill patients?
Similarly, Susan at Rickety Contrivances shares the difficulties of an ER chaplain witnessing everything from pysch/addictions issues to domestic violence cases.
In a technology funk and frustrated, Kerri Morrone of SixUntilMe turns to the blogosphere for inspiration and advice, tapping the true benefit of healthcare on the Web.
On How to Cope With Pain, the blogging doc is telling-all on what doctors really want. She advises on eight ways to be a good patient.
Speaking from personal experience as a mother of chronically ill children, Dayna at Look Through Your Own Eyes writes about the characteristics of a good doctor.
Nurse Terry at Counting Sheep offers five simple rules to optimize your anesthesia experience.
What's more, Jen McCabe Gorman of the Health Management Rx Blog is sharing some excellent tips on what consumers can do to prevent medication errors.
CALLS-TO-ACTION: IMPROVE HEALTH CARE OUTCOMES!
Dr. Val and The Voice of Reason posts about the shortcomings of our healthcare system. She points out that patients need more continuity in care, in order to have successful therapies.
Evolved and Rational has posted a highly critical analysis of homeopathy from a scientific perspective. Author Nick expresses concern about the popularity of this alternative medicine, saying that "the very basic foundations that homeopathy relies on does not stand up to any scientific scrutiny whatsoever."
And there's more bad news for alternative medicine. Rebuild Your Back posts an article that, according to the author, proves "how we sometimes fool ourselves into believing that something works when it really had nothing to do with [the cure]."
Nancy Brown at Teen Health 411 draws attention to the rising number of HIV-infected seniors and aging baby boomers. She states that the over-50 crowd "never got sexuality education in school and ignores HIV prevention messages."
InsureBlog's Bob Vineyard comments on a Washington Post story of folks with chronic, expensively treated, and rare diseases, and the challenges they face in obtaining -- and financing -- their health care.
JC at Healthline Connects draws attention to ethical questions related to organ donations and illegal organ trafficking in countries such as India.
And last but certainly not least, Paul Levy at Running a Hospital blogs about a major commitment from the hospital board, administration, and medical staff to set audacious quality, safety, and patient satisfaction standards, and in his words "perhaps most importantly, promising to publish our progress towards those for the entire world to see." A great example of both voluntary transparency AND the pursuit of better patient care.
Please join us next week for Grand Rounds hosted at HealthBlawg on Feb. 12, 2008.