Source: Reuters, March 15, 2012
Scott Halpern and colleague Jason Wagner commented in the Archives of Internal Medicine on a research study done in Canada that showed no difference in patient mortality rates among patients referred to a medical emergency team at three hospitals when intensive care units (ICUs) were full and had to turn some patients away than when they were not. Overcrowding of ICUs with patients who do not need critical care is common, and, says Halpern, "it's much easier to transfer a patient to an intensive care unit whether or not they will benefit from it than it is to have a difficult discussion about the end of life...Work needs to be done to better understand how commonly ICU beds are not available, and how often that affects patients who could benefit from ICU admission."
Source: Forbes, December 19, 2011
Judd Kessler was selected by Forbes as one of 30 under 30-year-olds who are making their mark in the world of law and policy. Forbes chose Dr. Kessler for his work as an economist who studies how to get people to donate organs and give money to charity, work cited by Freakonomics in August, 2011.
Dr. Shea, who leads research process evaluation activities for CHIBE, received the 2011 SGIM Career Achievement in Medical Education Award from the Society of General Internal Medicine and this year's John P. Hubbard Award from the National Board of Medical Examiners for her work in advancing medical education and methodology of evaluation in medicine
A state-of-the science article on using financial incentives to change health behaviors featured research and commentary by Kevin Volpp. The piece suggested that incentive programs will need to be tailored to address specific behaviors and went on to note that such programs alone will not be enough to tackle behaviors that are strongly influenced by environmental factors, such as overeating.
According to George Loewenstein, Julie Downs and graduate student Jessica Wisdom at Carnegie Mellon University, part of the problem is that it is much easier to overeat than to eat well. Changes need to occur to make eating well easier and cheaper. When eating healthy is easier and eating unhealthy is harder, then people will choose the healthier foods.