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'Sequester' cuts to hit healthcare hard
Los Angeles Times
As the Obama administration begins to implement $85 billion in cuts to federal spending this year, no part of the budget other than defense will take a bigger hit than healthcare. And the so-called sequester appears likely to have a disproportionate effect on areas of the health system already hobbled by years of retrenchment or underfunding, including public health and medical research.
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Don't put that controller down — Nintendo Wii trains future surgeons
Los Angeles Times
When you're playing Nintendo you may be learning more than how to control a voracious gorilla, rescue a kidnapped princess or negotiate a go-cart course, according to a new study. You just may be learning skills to help you perform laparoscopic surgery.
Patient-surgeon matchmaking platform wins innovation challenge
Med City News
A health IT startup that sets out to help people find the most desirable surgeon by price range, quality ratings and location has won an innovation challenge that marked tax company H&R Block's first foray into the healthcare sector.
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.
Innovative approach to obtaining pre-physician assistant hours
By Michael J. Smith, MS, and Ronald H. Byerly, PA-C
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Employment of physician assistants is expected to grow 39 percent from 2008 through 2018, much faster than the average for all occupations.” Due to this rapid growth, the desire to attend school to become a physician assistant has also increased. In order to apply to a physician assistant program, a prospective student is required by most schools to complete pre-physician assistant observation/shadowing hours. Some schools require up to 1,000 direct patient-care shadow hours. This has become a process that is difficult to accomplish.
Industry Pulse: What will be the biggest driver of job growth for physician assistants?
Software assistants for doctors are making progress
The New York Times
Doctors have long been in the high-stakes information management business. They must quickly sort through a patient's symptoms, comments, test results, records and history to come up with a diagnosis. Medical information is estimated to be doubling every five years, and surveys show most doctors can find only a few hours a month to read medical journals. So it is not surprising that automated assistance for doctors has been pursued by researchers and companies for many years. Decision-making in medicine, after all, involves not just time and money, but also human lives.
Surgical robots probed by US in surgeon survey
Bloomberg via Delaware Online
Intuitive Surgical Inc., the provider of robots used in surgery, is being probed by U.S. regulators over the safety of its products. The regulators have asked surgeons at key hospitals to list any complications they may have seen with Intuitive's robots, which cost $1.5 million each and were used last year in almost 500,000 procedures.
Interested in sharing your expertise?
In an effort to enhance the overall content of AASPA Newsline, we'd like to include peer-written articles in future editions. As a member of AASPA, your knowledge of the industry lends itself to unprecedented expertise. And we're hoping you'll share this expertise with your peers through well-written commentary. Because of the digital format, there's no word or graphic limit and our group of talented editors can help with final edits. If you're interested in participating, please contact Ronnie Richard to discuss logistics.
Sensor technology could help paralyzed patients better control movement
Engineers at Brown University have developed an implantable brain sensor aimed to eventually help people with severe paralysis gain more control of their movement — a significant advancement for brain-machine interfaces.
Could an antibiotic from human sweat fight hospital superbugs and TB?
Medical News Today
An antibiotic created from human sweat might fight off hospital superbugs and deadly strains of tuberculosis, scientists reported in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The researchers, from Scotland, Germany, France and Spain explained that a protein found on human skin — Dermcidin — is activated in sweat (slightly acidic and salty environments) and kills harmful microbes by perforating their cell membranes.
Ways EHRs can lead to unintended safety problems
American Medical News
In spring 2012, a surgeon tried to electronically access a patient's radiology study in the operating room but the computer would show only a blue screen. The patient's time under anesthesia was extended while OR staff struggled to get the display to function properly.
Improve patient satisfaction with leadership, frontline support
Despite the push toward patient-centered care, hospital management fails to actively engage physicians and nurses in enhancing patient experience, according to new research, ultimately hurting patient satisfaction scores.
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