Computer simulation of blood vessel growth; researchers develop heart survival calculator;

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> University of Utah bioengineers showed that tiny blood vessels grow better in the laboratory if the tissue surrounding them is less dense, and researchers created a computer simulation to predict such growth accurately--an early step toward treatments to provide blood supply to tissues damaged by diabetes and heart attacks and to skin grafts and implanted ligaments and tendons. "Better understanding of the processes that regulate the growth of blood vessels puts us in a position ultimately to develop new treatments for diseases related to blood vessel growth," and to better understand cancer metastasis, says bioengineering professor Jeff Weiss of the university's Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute. Announcement

> A UCLA team has developed an easy-to-use "risk calculator" that helps predict heart failure patients' chances of survival for up to five years and assists doctors in determining whether more or less aggressive treatment is appropriate. "Given that heart failure impacts more than five million Americans and numerous variables affect patient outcomes, this type of risk-assessment tool can be very helpful to physicians and patients in assessing prognosis over time and guiding medical decision-making," researchers say, according to an announcement. Their new risk model is featured in the January edition of the journal Circulation: Heart Failure. Article

Practice Management News

> Despite better public knowledge about antibiotic resistance and the difference between bacteria and viruses, many physicians still feel the pressure to prescribe antibiotics to patients who demand them. Article

> Practices are allowed to charge patients for paper or electronic copies of their records, but many fee structures used today are based on an older method and go against the spirit of Meaningful Use, according to Kim Murphy-Abdouch, clinical assistant professor at Texas State University, Healthcare IT News reports. Article

EMR News

> Physician practices, take note: while many vendors of ambulatory electronic health records are struggling to keep up with the Meaningful Use requirements, Epic, athenahealth and Greenway are "on top" and have "separated themselves from the rest of the field," according to the latest report from Orem, Utah-based research firm KLAS. Article

And Finally... There are worse problems to have than getting someone else's coffee. Article