News News News
MORE THAN ONE THIRD OF PRACTICES SHUT DOWN THEIR ELECTRONIC MEDICAL RECORDS WITHIN A YEAR
Barry Hendrix M.D., of Paragould, AK., spent more than $100,000.00 for an EMR for his two doctor practice, but stopped using it within two weeks. The American Medical News of December 11, 2006 details the travails that physicians face when forced to incorporate unproven technology.
Despite endless propaganda from politicians and the medical industrial complex regarding the value of these expensive and error-prone systems, these electronic boondoggles will not improve patient care or reduce medical errors. Ironically in an age where "evidence-based" practice is the fashionable delusion of the moment, there is no credible evidence to suggest that electronic medical record technology is beneficial in any way.
Simply put, converting information from paper to electronic format does not make you a better doctor, or for more effective medicine, any more than allowing writers to move from typewriters to word processors made for better literature. New types of technologic errors also have been created by software and operator mistakes.
These systems are also less safe than paper records, and state laws often require backup, printed, copies of prescriptions and other records, adding to an already staggering paperwork and storage burden. The “paperless” office is another example of medical industry double talk.
The American Medical News of 12/11/2006 also details the five most common reasons why EMR’s don’t work in the real world, but the bureaucrats of the AMA are still pushing for another layer of complex technology to burden the medical system.
Could it have anything to do with the income that the AMA derives from their monopoly on computer codes to document payment information?
FIVE GIANT COMPANIES PLAN TO COMPEL EMPLOYEES TO HAVE ELECTRONIC RECORDS
Wal-Mart, Intel, BP America, Pitney Bowes and Applied Materials have created an initiative as a “step towards business squeezing out physicians who don’t accept information technology” (American Medical News December 18, 2006 page 1).
Employers should not have the power or opportunity to restrict patient access to physicians in order to improve their own profits, but money trumps medical care in our modern “business” system.
The doctors who warned against allowing centralized control of medicine in the mid 1960’s are probably all dead now, and can’t remind us of the accuracy of their predictions. The ghost of the failed economy of the Soviet Union lives on in our medical industrial complex.
SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR CHARITABLE PRACTICE OF MEDICINE
In a cover up of its own inadequate health care system and its centralized policies which have resulted in epidemics and premature death, the government of Libya has tried to shift the blame by sentencing a group of volunteer nurses and a doctor to death. Link
The six defendants have already served 7 years in jail and face little hope that the "international community" will come to their aid.
COUGH MEDICINES PROBABLY USELESS FOR KIDS
Commonly used over-the-counter cough medicines for children which contain dextromethorphan and diphenhydramine have been found to be no more effective than placebo. (Pediatrics 2004; 114: e85-e90).
DIET & COUGH
Eating a diet which is high in soya and fruit and other high fiber foods may reduce the likelihood of chronic respiratory disorders, especially cough with phlegm. (American Journal of Respiratory Critical Care Medicine, 2004;170:279-287).
PELVIC FLOOR EXERCISE & LABOR
It has previously been thought that strong pelvic floor muscles, as a result of horse riding for example, can hinder labor. A new study, however, suggests the opposite. Of 301 women approaching their first labor, half took part in pelvic floor muscle training between the 20th and 26th weeks of pregnancy. Once in labor, these women were less likely to have a prolonged second stage of labor than a control group who had not done the exercises.(BMJ 2004;329:378-380).
CHINESE ANTI-CANCER HERB
Ban Zhi Lian (Herba Scutellariae Barbatae) has been used in recent years in China in the treatment of cancer. Now researchers at Salford University in the UK have found in laboratory trials that the herb destroys the blood vessels supplying tumours.
Conventional anti-cancer drugs attack cancer cells themselves but have the side effect of harming healthy cells. The effect of Ban Zhi Lian appears to be very specific and the “very exciting” findings will be tested in live trials within 18 months and human trials within 3 years, subject to funding. (http://news.scotsman.com/).
NEW ANTIMALARIAL DRUG
Artemisinin, extracted from the Chinese herb Qing Hao (Herba Artemisiae Apiaceae) has been one of the most significant discoveries of recent years in the fight against malaria. However artemisinin is slow to produce (the plant takes 18 months to grow) and expensive. Now a synthetic form of artemisinin, OZ277, has been developed, and, because it is factory-made, will be cheaper, more consistent and quicker to produce. (Nature 430,838-839). (Ed. Note: the plant is still the most economical form for use world wide in 2006, but few physicians are trained to use plants as medicine)
Erythromycin, a commonly-prescribed antibiotic, is associated with a doubled risk of sudden death from cardiac causes when taken alone, and a fivefold risk when taking other drugs at the same time (CYP3A inhibitors: nitroimidazole antifungal agents, diltiazem, verapamil,and troleandomycin). (New England Journal of Medicine,351:1089-1096).
ACUPUNCTURE FOR BREECH PRESENTATION
An Italian study into breech presentation compared 112 randomly selected women who were given acupuncture and moxibustion at Zhiyin BL-67, with 114 women who were simply observed. All were at 33-35 weeks of gestation. The proportion of caesarean sections required in the acupuncture treatment group was significantly lower than in the control group (52.3% versus 66.7%). (Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine, 15; 4:247-252).
ACUPUNCTURE FOR PERIPHERAL NEUROPATHY
In a clinical trial of 21 HIV infected individuals with peripheral neuropathy treated by acupuncture, it was found that the treatment significantly reduced pain, aching, burning, pins and needles and numbness of the hands and feet. 10 treatments were given over a 5-week period. (J Altern Complement Med. 2004 Jun;10(3):449-55).
ACUPUNCTURE FOR BACK PAIN IN PREGNANCY
A Brazilian study which compared the levels of low back and pelvic pain in women treated by acupuncture compared to non-treated controls, found that the acupuncture group showed a greater reduction in overall pain, maximum pain and pain at the time of interview, reduced use of analgesics, and greater capacity to perform general activities, to walk and to work. (Acupuncture in Medicine, 2004 vol 22(2), 60-67).
SUMMER BORN WOMEN HAVE FEWER BABIES
A study of 3000 Austrian women has found that those who were born between June and August had fewer children than women born at other times of the year. (Hum. Reprod. 2004 19: 1081-1082).
Studies involving widely different animal species have shown that eating less (caloric restriction) reduces the risk of cancer, diabetes, stroke and heart disease. Now a group of American researchers reports that caloric restriction (CR) also benefits humans.
They compared a group of 18 volunteers who had been practicing CR (1112 to 1958 calories daily) for an average of six years with a group of 18 people eating a normal diet (between 1976 and 3537 calories a day). The CR group were found to have significantly lower levels of triglycerides, cholesterol and C-reactive protein (a marker for inflammation of the arteries), significantly lower blood pressure and no atherosclerotic plaque in their arteries. (New Scientist, April 24-30, 2004, pp. 12-13).
KILL THE LAND, KILL THE PEOPLE
Argentina has been an enthusiastic pioneer of GM technology, and by 2002 nearly half of its entire arable land was planted with (mostly) GM soya. As a result, from 1997 to 2003 annual sales of Monsanto’s weedkiller Roundup Ready (glyphosphate) had risen from 14 million liters to 150 million liters.
The result is the emergence of ‘superweeds’ which are almost impossible to eliminate, inert soil due to the death of beneficial bacteria, and a proliferation of slugs, snails and fungi.
It is estimated that around 150,000 small farmers have been driven off the land due to their crops being killed or contaminated by neighborhood spraying of massive quantities of weedkillers. The consequence is a sharp decline in production of staple foods such as rice, maize, potatoes, lentils and milk. (New Scientist, April 17, 2004, pp. 40-43).
BREAST CANCER & POWER LINES
A 24-year Norwegian study of 5500 women has found that women who live near a high-voltage power line have a 58% greater risk of developing breast cancer than women who live away from power lines. The researchers suggest that the magnetic field lowers the level of melatonin in the body, raising estrogen levels and stimulating the proliferation of breast tissue and hence breast cancer. (American Journal of Epidemiology, May 1, 2004, pp. 852-61).
ACUPUNCTURE & ITCHING
This interesting little study compared the effects of needling Quchi L.I.-11, placebo acupuncture and no acupuncture on experimentally induced itch (1% histamine stimulus). Itch intensity was recorded on a computer-aided visual analogue scale (VAS) and skin wheals and flaring were objectively measured. Results showed most measures of itching symptoms were significantly lower in the Quchi L.I.-11 group compared to the two other groups, as were the flare/wheal sizes. (11th Annual Symposium on Complementary Health Care 2004).