These are my health links for December 30th through January 4th:
- Copying common in electronic medical records – Most doctors copy and paste old, potentially out-of-date information into patients’ electronic records, according to a new study looking at a shortcut that some experts fear could lead to miscommunication and medical errors.”The electronic medical record was meant to make the process of documentation easier, but I think it’s perpetuated copying,” said lead author Dr. Daryl Thornton, assistant professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland.Electronic health records have been touted as having the potential to transform patient data from indecipherable scribbles into easy-to-read, searchable, standardized documents that could be shared among hospital staffers and a patient’s various other health care providers.
- 2012 was worst year for whooping cough since 1955 – The nation just suffered its worst year for whooping cough in nearly six decades, according to preliminary government figures.Whooping cough ebbs and flows in multi-year cycles, and experts say 2012 appears to have reached a peak with 41,880 cases. Another factor: A vaccine used since the 90s doesn’t last as long as the old one.The vaccine problem may continue to cause higher than normal case counts in the future, said Dr. Tom Clark of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“I think the numbers are going to trend up,” he said. The agency provided the latest figures on Friday.
Last year, cases were up in 48 states and outbreaks were particularly bad in Colorado, Minnesota, Washington state, Wisconsin and Vermont.
- Julia Roberts to star in HBO film on early AIDS epidemic – Julia Roberts will star as a paraplegic physician treating patients early in the AIDS epidemic in the stage-to-screen adaptation of the Tony Award-winning drama “The Normal Heart,” U.S. cable television network HBO said on Friday.”The Normal Heart,” set to air on HBO in 2014, tells the story of the dawning of the epidemic in 1980s New York.Oscar-winner Roberts plays Dr. Emma Brookner, who treats several early patients infected with the HIV virus that causes AIDS. Co-star Mark Ruffalo plays Ned Weeks, an eyewitness to how the disease ravaged the city’s gay community.
- FDA proposes sweeping new food safety rules – The Food and Drug Administration on Friday proposed the most sweeping food safety rules in decades, requiring farmers and food companies to be more vigilant in the wake of deadly outbreaks in peanuts, cantaloupe and leafy greens.The long-overdue regulations could cost businesses close to half a billion dollars a year to implement, but are expected to reduce the estimated 3,000 deaths a year from foodborne illness. Just since last summer, outbreaks of listeria in cheese and salmonella in peanut butter, mangoes and cantaloupe have been linked to more than 400 illnesses and as many as seven deaths, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The actual number of those sickened is likely much higher.
- CrossFit Endurance’s Unconventional 12-Week Marathon Training Plan – Brian MacKenzie has a few pointed words about your endurance workout. “If you’re running five miles a day at the same speed and think you’re getting a lot out of that, you’re sorely mistaken,” says the founder of CrossFit Endurance. “If you’re not trying to improve, what’s the point?” MacKenzie, who lays out his radical philosophy in the new book Power Speed Endurance, believes that short, intense exercise can give you many of the long-haul benefits of classic distance workouts—and spare you the chronic injuries and boredom. To try this 12-week program for runners, seek out a CrossFit Endurance gym or coach (there are hundreds listed at CrossFitEndurance.com). “If you can’t make it through the first week, back off a little,” MacKenzie says, then add reps as your strength and stamina improve. Your performance should get better each week.