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Cannon W.D.,University of California at San Francisco | Nicandri G.T.,University of Rochester | Reinig K.,Colorado School of Mines | Mevis H.,usa practice management | Wittstein J.,Network-1
Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery - Series A | Year: 2014

Background: Several virtual reality simulators have been developed to assist orthopaedic surgeons in acquiring the skills necessary to perform arthroscopic surgery. The purpose of this study was to assess the construct validity of the ArthroSim virtual reality arthroscopy simulator by evaluating whether skills acquired through increased experience in the operating room lead to improved performance on the simulator. Methods: Using the simulator, six postgraduate year-1 orthopaedic residents were compared with six postgraduate year-5 residents and with six community-based orthopaedic surgeons when performing diagnostic arthroscopy. The time to perform the procedure was recorded. To ensure that subjects did not sacrifice the quality of the procedure to complete the task in a shorter time, the simulator was programmed to provide a completeness score that indicated whether the surgeon accurately performed all of the steps of diagnostic arthroscopy in the correct sequence. Results: The mean time to perform the procedure by each group was 610 seconds for community-based orthopaedic surgeons, 745 seconds for postgraduate year-5 residents, and 1028 seconds for postgraduate year-1 residents. Both the postgraduate year-5 residents and the community-based orthopaedic surgeons performed the procedure in significantly less time (p = 0.006) than the postgraduate year-1 residents. There was a trend toward significance (p = 0.055) in time to complete the procedure when the postgraduate year-5 residents were compared with the community-based orthopaedic surgeons. The mean level of completeness as assigned by the simulator for each group was 85% for the community-based orthopaedic surgeons, 79% for the postgraduate year-5 residents, and 71% for the postgraduate year-1 residents. As expected, these differences were not significant, indicating that the three groups had achieved an acceptable level of consistency in their performance of the procedure. Conclusions: Higher levels of surgeon experience resulted in improved efficiency when performing diagnostic knee arthroscopy on the simulator. Further validation studies utilizing the simulator are currently under way and the additional simulated tasks of arthroscopic meniscectomy, meniscal repair, microfracture, and loose body removal are being developed. Copyright © 2014 by the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated.

Pines J.M.,George Washington University | Newman D.,Mount Sinai School of Medicine | Pilgrim R.,usa practice management | Schuur J.D.,Brigham and Women's Hospital
Health Affairs | Year: 2013

The acute care system reflects the best and worst in American medicine. The system, which includes urgent care and retail clinics, emergency departments, hospitals, and doctors' offices, delivers 24/7 care for life-threatening conditions and is a key part of the safety net for the under-and uninsured. At the same time, it is fragmented, disconnected, and costly. We describe strategies to contain acute care costs. Reducing demands for acute care may be achieved through public health measures and educational initiatives; in contrast, delivery system reform has shown mixed results. Changing providers' behavior will require the development of care pathways, assessments of goals of care, and practice feedback. Creating alternatives to hospitalization and enhancing the interoperability of electronic health records will be key levers in cost containment. Finally, we contend that fee-for-service with modified payments based on quality and resource measures is the only feasible acute care payment model; others might be so disruptive that they could threaten the system's effectiveness and the safety net. © 2013 Project HOPE-The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc.

Hendricks E.J.,usa practice management | Greenway F.L.,Louisiana State University
American Journal of Therapeutics | Year: 2011

Phentermine is the most widely used antiobesity drug in the United States. Although no evidence of phentermine addiction has been published, fear that phentermine has addiction potential has contributed to curtailment of its worldwide use in clinical practice. The aim of this study was to evaluate the abuse and addiction potential of long-term phentermine pharmacotherapy in patients in a weight management program. Thirty-five patients in a weight management program who abruptly stopped taking prescribed phentermine on their own initiative were examined using the 18-item Kampman Cocaine Selective Severity Assessment scale modified for phentermine. The Kampman Cocaine Selective Severity Assessment scale has also been modified by McGregor for amphetamines to assess withdrawal from amphetamine in amphetamine-addicted subjects. For comparison, 35 new patients were examined with the same scale before any treatment was initiated. Data from the treated and untreated groups were compared by t test with each other and with published data from amphetamine-addicted subjects. There were no significant differences in individual items or total scores between the patients who stopped phentermine abruptly and the patients who had never taken phentermine. There was a striking and significant difference in individual and total scores between the phentermine-treated subjects and the amphetamine-dependent subjects. Cravings for the substance abused, the hallmark characteristic of substance dependence and withdrawal, were entirely absent in the phentermine-treated subjects. Abrupt cessation of long-term phentermine therapy does not induce amphetamine-like withdrawal. Long-term phentermine therapy does not induce phentermine cravings. Symptoms observed after abrupt phentermine cessation represent loss of therapeutic effect and are not withdrawal. © 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Much of diabetes care needs to be carried out by patients between office visits with their health care providers. Yet, many patients face difficulties carrying out these tasks. In addition, many adults with diabetes cannot count on effective support from their families and friends to help them with their self-management. Peer support programmes are a promising approach to enhance social and emotional support, assist patients in daily management and living with diabetes and promote linkages to clinical care. This background paper provides a brief overview of different approaches to mobilize peer support for diabetes self-management support, discusses evidence to date on the effectiveness of each of these models, highlights logistical and evaluation issues for each model and concludes with a discussion of directions for future research in this area.

Ubel P.A.,usa practice management
The oncologist | Year: 2010

Many medical decisions are "preference sensitive," where the best choice depends on the values a specific patient places on relevant outcomes. For example, a decision may require a patient to make a trade-off between a small increase in chance for survival and a large out-of-pocket expense. In such situations, patients need to understand the costs and benefits of the health care alternative, in order to decide the best course of action. However, findings from decision science research have demonstrated that people's decisions are often influenced not only by their perceptions of these costs and benefits, but also by subtle contextual factors that trigger intuitive and emotional decision processes. In this article, I describe some of these contextual factors, and lay out the challenges these factors raise for clinicians' efforts to help their patients make informed decisions.

Langa K.M.,University of Michigan | Langa K.M.,usa practice management
Alzheimer's Research and Therapy | Year: 2015

Background: The number of older adults with dementia will increase around the world in the decades ahead as populations age. Current estimates suggest that about 4.2 million adults in the US have dementia and that the attributable economic cost of their care is about 200 billion per year. The worldwide dementia prevalence is estimated at 44.3 million people and the total cost at 604 billion per year. It is expected that the worldwide prevalence will triple to 135.5 million by 2050. However, a number of recent population-based studies from countries around the world suggest that the age-specific risk of dementia may be declining, which could help moderate the expected increase in dementia cases that will accompany the growing number of older adults. Discussion: At least nine recent population-based studies of dementia incidence or prevalence have shown a declining age-specific risk in the US, England, The Netherlands, Sweden, and Denmark. A number of factors, especially rising levels of education and more aggressive treatment of key cardiovascular risk factors such as hypertension and hypercholesterolemia, may be leading to improving 'brain health' and declining age-specific risk of Alzheimer's disease and dementia in countries around the world. Summary: Multiple epidemiological studies from around the world suggest an optimistic trend of declining population dementia risk in high-income countries over the past 25 years. Rising levels of education and more widespread and successful treatment of key cardiovascular risk factors may be the driving factors accounting for this decline in dementia risk. Whether this optimistic trend will continue in the face of rising worldwide levels of obesity and diabetes and whether this trend is also occurring in low-and middle-income countries are key unanswered questions which will have enormous implications for the extent of the future worldwide impact of Alzheimer's disease and dementia on patients, families, and societies in the decades ahead. © 2015 Langa; licensee BioMed Central.

Llewellyn D.J.,University of Exeter | Lang I.A.,University of Exeter | Langa K.M.,University of Michigan | Langa K.M.,usa practice management | Melzer D.,University of Exeter
Journals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences | Year: 2011

Background: Recent European studies suggest that vitamin D deficiency may be associated with increased odds of cognitive impairment in older persons, although findings from the United States are equivocal. Our objective was to investigate the association between vitamin D deficiency and cognitive impairment in the elderly U.S. population. Methods: Three thousand and three hundred twenty-five adults aged 65 years or more completed cognitive assessments, medical examinations, and physical performance measures and provided blood samples in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a nationally representative cross-sectional study of the U.S. noninstitutionalized population. We determined whether low levels of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) were associated with increased odds of cognitive impairment using logistic regression models. Cognitive impairment was assessed using measures of immediate and delayed verbal memory, orientation, and attention (impairment was defined as the worst 10% of the distribution of combined scores). Results: The multivariate adjusted odds ratios (95% confidence interval) of cognitive impairment in participants who were 25(OH)D insufficient (≥50 < 75 nmol/L), deficient (≥25 < 50 nmol/L), and severely deficient (<25 nmol/L) in comparison with those sufficient (≥75 nmol/L) were 0.9 (0.6-1.3), 1.4 (1.0-2.1), and 3.9 (1.5-10.4), respectively (p for linear trend =.02). Log-transformed levels of 25(OH)D were also significantly associated with the odds of cognitive impairment (p =.02). Conclusions: These findings suggest that vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased odds of cognitive impairment in the elderly U.S. population. Further exploration of a possible causal relationship between vitamin D deficiency and cognitive impairment is warranted. © The Author 2010.

Rogers M.A.M.,University of Michigan | Langa K.M.,University of Michigan | Langa K.M.,usa practice management
American Journal of Epidemiology | Year: 2010

Ophthalmologic abnormalities have been described in patients with dementia, but the extent to which poor vision and treatment for visual disorders affect cognitive decline is not well defined. Linked data from the Health and Retirement Study and Medicare files (1992-2005) were used to follow the experiences of 625 elderly US study participants with normal cognition at baseline. The outcome was a diagnosis of dementia, cognitively impaired but no dementia, or normal cognition. Poor vision was associated with development of dementia (P = 0.0048); individuals with very good or excellent vision at baseline had a 63% reduced risk of dementia (95% confidence interval (CI): 20, 82) over a mean follow-up period of 8.5 years. Participants with poorer vision who did not visit an ophthalmologist had a 9.5-fold increased risk of Alzheimer disease (95% CI: 2.3, 39.5) and a 5-fold increased risk of cognitively impaired but no dementia (95% CI: 1.6, 15.9). Poorer vision without a previous eye procedure increased the risk of Alzheimer disease 5-fold (95% CI: 1.5, 18.8). For Americans aged 90 years or older, 77.9% who maintained normal cognition had received at least one previous eye procedure compared with 51.7% of those with Alzheimer disease. Untreated poor vision is associated with cognitive decline, particularly Alzheimer disease. © The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. All rights reserved.

Rubenstein L.V.,usa practice management
Israel Journal of Health Policy Research | Year: 2015

Successful implementation of clinical guidelines for preventing complications of dyslipidemias has been an ongoing challenge. The article by Vinker and colleagues in this journal investigates the results of implementing risk-based guidelines for LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) management in comparison to the prior approach of using the same LDL cutoff for patients at all levels of risk. Results show LDL levels dropped across the primary care population using the new risk-based approach, suggesting that clinical decision aids that link to individual patient characteristics, rather than promoting a universal target for all, may provide a particularly strong stimulus for changing provider and patient behavior. Results also challenge healthcare organizations, providers and patients to learn more about the pathway from guidelines to clinical reminders and from reminders to lower LDL levels and better population health. © 2015 Rubenstein.

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