Physician Practice Roundup—Just 45 minutes of patient education improves chronic disease management

doctor patient consult
More time with patients can help manage chronic diseases. (Rawpixel)

45 minutes of patient education improves chronic disease management

A new study found that just 45 minutes of education made a difference for patients with chronic diseases.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, reported on “The Other 45” project, which allowed patients with a chronic disease to meet with a second-year medical student for 45 minutes following a traditional 15-minute visit with their physician.

The extra time allowed the medical students to discuss with the patients their diagnoses, prescriptions and other preventive health measures to improve their health outcomes. (JAOA article)

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Study finds link between air pollution and autism diagnosis

A study has added to evidence that rising autism rates are connected in part to prenatal exposure to air pollutants. The study, published in JAMA Pediatrics, looked at 132,256 births in Vancouver, Canada, and found maternal exposure to environmental nitric oxide during pregnancy was associated with increased risk of autism spectrum disorder in children. (JAMA Network study)

Former HHS Secretary Tom Price jumps back into politics in Georgia

Tom Price, M.D., who was forced to resign as U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary, has been picked for Georgia Governor-elect Brian Kemp’s transition team, according to the Associated Press.

Kemp announced his transition team yesterday and named Price, a former orthopedic surgeon and longtime Georgia congressman who was named HHS secretary by President Donald Trump, to help with policy planning. Price resigned his cabinet position in 2017 amid controversy over his use of costly private charter planes for official travel. (Associated Press article)

Doctors can influence parents’ decision about flu vaccine for their child

With a national online poll indicating that one-third of parents in the United States plan to skip flu shots for their children this year, doctors are being urged to educate parents about the benefits of the vaccine.

The poll by C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Michigan found 34% of parents said their child was unlikely to get the flu vaccine. Children whose parents base their decision on what they read or hear are less likely to get a flu shot than in families who consult with a doctor, the survey found.

“Child health providers are a critical source of information to explain the rationale for annual flu vaccination and to address parents’ questions about flu vaccine safety and effectiveness,” said the poll’s Co-director Sarah Clark. “Without clear guidance from the provider, parents may be left with misinformation, such as the suggestion that flu vaccine causes the flu.” (Release)

Why Toby Cosgrove thinks voice recognition is healthcare's next 'killer app'

In addition to new technologies like artificial intelligence that are already gaining a foothold in healthcare, former Cleveland Clinic CEO Toby Cosgrove, M.D., said he thinks the next big technology in healthcare will be voice recognition. 

“Voice recognition is the killer app,” said Cosgrove, who was offering his perspective on the future of healthcare delivery and innovation during the U.S. News & World Report Healthcare of Tomorrow conference on Friday. Cosgrove, who now advises Google on its healthcare initiatives, was offering his firsthand look at how tech can transform the industry, even though Google itself is still settling on the exact role it wants to play. 

Of course, these voice recognition tools are already being developed and improved by Silicon Valley’s biggest names, including Google, Amazon and Apple, with tools such as Google Home, Alexa and Siri. But their applications could offer the path to simplifying the administrative burdens caused by electronic health records, Cosgrove said. (FierceHealthcare article)