Archives for December 3, 2008

Ease ER overload – Opinion –

Ease ER overload – Opinion –
Reforms needed to improve doctor access

By Kevin Pho

Emblematic of soaring health care costs, which are projected to reach $3 trillion by 2011,is the nationwide crisis of emergency department overcrowding. More than $18 billion is wasted annually on unnecessary visits to the ER,with volume rising by 32% and wait times almost doubling to one hour during the past decade.Relieving this strain will be critical to any health care reform.

Contrary to popular belief, it is not just the uninsured who are utilizing emergency services. A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that patients with health insurance were primarily responsible for the increase of emergency services over the past decade. Lack of access to an available doctor is the major reason.

Kevin, MD continues his takeover of the bedblogosphere with another well-written Op-Ed in USA Today.

Good work, Kevin!

PalmPistol is now an FDA recognized medical device

via Medgadget I was made aware of the PalmPistol, a single-shot 9mm weapon apparently intended for contact-wound distance self defense.  One of their marketing focuses is for the disabled, with amputations, arthritis, etc.

Images from the PalmPistol website.

The trigger is on the top and is thumb-activated, and I’ve got to assume the buttons in the front have to be depressed as a safety, which seems like it’d be hard to use unless you’ve got a decent grip, a thumb and at least two fingers.  How that’d make it easier to use for people with hand problems I don’t know.  I think a derringer type pistol would do the same thing, but Medicare won’t pay for a Derringer (and I sincerely hope they don’t start paying for this).

I also don’t know of any other firearm that’s been approved as a medical device (but I don’t follow that, either).  It is ATF recognized as a firearm, so it’s got the same restrictions on ownership, transportation and prohibited facilities as any other firearm.

There is a market for this sort of thing.  I would bet the disabled and frail are targeted by our permanent criminal class, and they should be able to use any legal means of self-defense available.  If the look of a conventional firearm drives them away, maybe this will help.

I won’t be writing any prescriptions for one, however.  When used the prescriber is going to get a brush with an attorney (especially if used in a suicide); doctor, did you screen the patient formally for homicidal or suicidal tendencies?  Did you make sure they knew how to use it properly?  Fill in your second-guessing here.

So, interesting marketing.  Best of luck with it.

Apple backtracks: no AV necessary for the Mac

via CNET, alerted by Slashdot:

Apple removed an old item from its support site late Tuesday that urged Mac customers to use multiple antivirus utilities and now says the Mac is safe "out of the box."

"We have removed the KnowledgeBase article because it was old and inaccurate," Apple spokesperson Bill Evans said.

"The Mac is designed with built-in technologies that provide protection against malicious software and security threats right out of the box," he said. "However, since no system can be 100 percent immune from every threat, running antivirus software may offer additional protection."


So, they want it both ways: you don’t need it, but it’s a good idea.  Corporate-speak gibberish.

The End is nigh. Is it time to move on?

The End is nigh. Is it time to move on?

When PalmDoc recognises the end is near for Palm, game over.

You’ll be surprised at his answer for a successor platform.