Posts tagged ‘Pathology’

Movin’ Out!

We are outta’ here!

….and moving to our new location on our website – www.mtuitive.com/blog/

There we’ll have our opinions about the latest from the world of surgery, pathology, evidence-based medicine, structured data, synoptic reporting, and a whole host of other issues. There will be more writers covering more areas of discussion. So please head on over to learn more about us (although it may take a few days for it to stop looking so wonky).

www.mtuitive.com/blog/

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August 2, 2011 at 3:35 pm Leave a comment

Behavioral Economics, Insurance and Making Healthy Choices

I was reading this piece on Dark Daily, entitled “Behavioral Economics Likely to Push Up Utilization of Clinical Pathology Laboratory Tests” which suggests that laboratory usage will increase due to a trend in insurance companies to lower premiums through proactive intervening tests instead of costly reactive procedures. These tests would measure and inform certain healthy/unhealthy behaviors and would influence the price of coverage for individuals.

The piece’s author, Michael McBride, believes that more people will choose for less expensive coverage in exchange for living healthy, which will result in more testing sent to clinical and pathological labs.

While I thought it was interesting – especially as we at mTuitive have a pathology product – I was unsure about the validity of McBride’s assumptions. Luckily, I’m fairly familiar with behavioral economics as my friend Ryan has been studying it for years and is currently in the economics PhD program at Duke University. I asked Ryan if he could clarify for everyone the definition of behavioral economics and provide any examples that either support or contradict McBride’s findings. Here is Ryan’s response:

Behavioral economics is a burgeoning field due to its robust nature in explaining economic decisions. Where many view standard economics as too rigid, relying on assumptions of consistent preferences, full information, and unbounded rationality, behavioral economics use of flexible concepts like social/cultural framing, the status quo, and loss aversion seem to be more representative of the “real” world. Due to its accommodating assumptions and straightforward approach, though, there is a tendency for people to simplify or generalize the predictions of behavioral economics. An example of this trend can be seen in the Dark Daily article, “Behavioral Economics Likely to Push Up Utilization of Clinical Pathology Laboratory Tests.”

The article presents a well thought-out premise; new insurance schemes which incentivize improving health will have large take-up and thus subsequently lead to major increases in clinical lab tests. To motivate this discussion the author states, “given a choice of either unhealthy activities (e.g., smoking, eating badly, not exercising) coupled with an expensive health benefit plan, or an inexpensive, even zero cost, health plan that promotes healthy choices, behavioral economics theory predicts that consumers eventually choose the latter. That choice should lead to improved health while driving down the cost of healthcare.” This statement though is not completely valid. Nothing inherent in “behavioral economics”, or standard neo-classical economics for that matter, makes a costly insurance program with no behavior related stipulations necessarily the preferred choice over a cost-less but regulated alternative.
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February 14, 2011 at 1:02 pm Leave a comment

Animated Differences Between Pathologists & Surgeons

(some language NSFW)

A video highlighting what Pathologists mean vs. what Surgeons mean when they’re talking about the same case:

How can we get both parties speaking the same language?

October 1, 2010 at 9:29 am Leave a comment

mTuitive’s New Website!

Self-Promotion Alert!

The Internet's Inner Workings...Revealed!
(click image to see it in motion)

mTuitive recently updated our website. Please check it out today – we’ve made some changes to the content, the layout and other aspects. Let us know what you think! You can either go to http://www.mtuitive.com/ or click on the button below!

(Thanks and regular/non-brand plugging posts will continue shortly)

September 16, 2010 at 12:28 pm 1 comment

Introducing the OpNote Consultants: Carl Brown, MD, MSc, FRCSC

While creating our surgical reporting product, the OpNote, we at mTuitive have been working with many highly skilled surgeons.  These surgeons are from a diverse group of specialties and backgrounds and help to shape the future and efficacy of the OpNote.  We’re introducing these consultants to all of you in the coming weeks.

Dr. Carl Brown completed medical school at McMaster University in 1995 and his general surgery training at the University of Calgary in 2003.  He subsequently worked as a general surgeon at the Peter Lougheed Centre in Calgary.  In 2004, he moved to Toronto to train as a sub specialist in Colorectal Surgery. Concurrent with his fellowship, Dr. Brown completed his master’s degree in clinical research at the University of Toronto.   In 2006, he joined the surgical staff of St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver.

Dr. Brown is the chairman of the Research and Outcomes Evaluation Committee at the British Columbia Cancer Agency and an active member of the Colorectal Cancer Outcomes Unit. He is a member of the Surgical Oncology Network of British Columbia Executive. The goal of these groups is to improve the outcomes of patients with colorectal cancer through research initiatives.

Dr. Brown is the assistant program director of the general surgery residency program at the University of British Columbia. He coordinates the Surgery Leadership Program for general surgery trainees.  Over the past three years, Dr. Brown has published several studies on surgery for colorectal cancer, the ileal pouch procedure and surgery for Crohn’s disease. Furthermore, he has taught courses in laparoscopic colorectal cancer surgery.

How did you get interested in medicine?

I was always interested in science but, more importantly, I like interacting with people and helping people.  While it may seem cliché, [medicine] has turned out to be everything I had hoped it would be.  I do get to help people every day.  There’s never a day that I go home after work without feeling satisfied that I’ve accomplished something.

Wow – that’s great.

Yeah, it’s really true.  You know, it sounds kind of clichéd and maybe even a little cheesy, but it is so true.

What attracted you to surgery?  What made you go with that specialty out of all the possible paths in medicine?

Firstly, I’m a fix-it kind of guy.  I like to fix things.  It’s always been something I’ve been fairly strong at – growing up in a small town, we always took it upon ourselves to fix things around the house.   A lot of what we do in medicine is tweaking things: giving a little medication to make someone feel a little bit better.  And that is very important.

But I like the “fix”.  I like the stress and the pressure of having someone who has a life threatening illness and taking on the incredible responsibility and trust of that person by operating on them.  Many times what I do cures the person of that problem.  It’s very gratifying – very immediate.  It’s sort of what I think medicine’s all about.

How did you first hear about mTuitive and the OpNote product?

I’m an academic surgeon at a major Canadian university.  My main research interest for over seven years now has been synoptic reporting and improving processes of care in surgery.  About 6 years ago I published an article in the journal Surgery about synoptic reporting and its benefits.  It’s always been an interest of mine.

Concurrently, as I’ve worked through my career, I’ve become more interested in cancer.  There’s a big push to have synoptic reporting in cancer surgery – much like there is excellent synoptic reporting in cancer pathology.  I feel strongly that [synoptic reporting in surgery] is a simple thing that we can add that can potentially improve patient care and save lives.

Through my work with the provincial organization in British Columbia I was introduced to the mTuitive products.  I saw it as a possible solution to a lot of our problems.

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March 26, 2010 at 4:18 pm Leave a comment


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