Tag Archives: P4 Medicine Update 5/12/11

EHR Reminders Can Help Docs Avoid Unnecessary Treatments: Study

Captured by Modern Healthcare 

Electronic clinical-decision support reminders can successfully steer physicians away from ordering unnecessary treatments, according to results of a new study published in the journal Pediatrics.

Researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, both in Palo Alto, Calif., built automated alerts into the hospital’s electronic health-record system to determine whether they would help physicians adhere to recently updated guidelines for ordering red blood-cell transfusions.

The system alerted physicians ordering red blood-cell transfusions whenever a patient did not meet the clinical criteria for receiving the procedure. Researchers determined that the reminders prevented 460 unnecessary transfusions, for a total cost savings of $165,000 over one year.

“We demonstrated that having clinical-decision support baked into the fiber of ordering practices can have a significant, durable impact on the delivery of clinical care,” said Dr. David Cornfield, medical director of critical care at Packard Children’s Hospital and the study’s senior author.

The researchers were surprised at the reminders’ effectiveness, said Dr. Eloa Adams, a pediatric critical-care physician at the hospital and another of the study’s authors. He said the alerts are an easy and inexpensive way to accelerate change in clinical practice, particularly when guidelines change.

UGA Researchers Develop Non-Invasive Early Diagnostic Test for Gastric Cancer

Captured by The University of Georgia

Early detection of cancer may eventually become as easy as taking a home pregnancy test, according to new University of Georgia research.

Two studies recently published in the journal PloS ONE identified for the first time that certain proteins excreted in urine can indicate the presence of gastric cancer.

The researchers initially studied stomach cancer because it is the number two cancer killer in the world. They hope that with further study, the detection of abnormally abundant proteins in urine will lead to diagnosis of many types of cancer and other diseases, said Ying Xu, lead author of the study and Regents-Georgia Research Alliance eminent scholar of bioinformatics and computational biology in the UGA Franklin College of Arts and Sciences.

“In theory, the methodology that we developed should be applicable to other cancers,” said Xu, who also is a professor of biochemistry and molecular biology and director of the UGA Institute of Bioinformatics.

Xu and his colleagues, Celine HongJuan Cui and David Puett of the Institute of Bioinformatics, identified a protein called endothelial lipase that differed significantly in its abundance in urine samples of stomach cancer patients versus healthy people. Xu said the computational capability presented in the study for predicting which of the abnormally abundant proteins in diseased tissues can be excreted into urine is a key breakthrough in cancer detection. Using samples from already known excretory and non-excretory proteins, the study found that the classification system was more than 80 percent accurate.

Of the 21 urine samples of healthy people, only two did not have the protein. In the 21 urine samples of stomach cancer patients, only one sample was considered to have a relatively high level of the protein; levels in the rest were low or absent. “We are suggesting from this relatively small urine sample set that healthy people should have this protein in their urine,” Xu said. Read more…

Hospitals Pledge to Improve Nutrition to Fight Obesity in Michigan

Captured by The Detroit News

Fifty Michigan hospitals, including 15 in Metro Detroit, have joined a statewide initiative to improve the nutrition of food served to patients, staff and visitors.

Healthy Food Hospitals, organized by the Michigan Health & Hospital Association to curb obesity, was announced during a recent news conference today in Lansing. The goal is for all 140 Michigan hospitals to join the effort.

Medical costs associated with tackling obesity tally more than $3 billion in Michigan, where nearly one in three adults is obese, according to Trust for America’s Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Healthy Kids.

“Michigan hospitals are demonstrating community leadership in helping people live healthier lifestyles, one of the key actions necessary to improve quality of life and reduce health care costs over generations,” Spencer Johnson, association president, said in a statement. Read more…

Groups Unveil Vision of Patient-Centered Care

Captured by Health Data Management

A coalition of 27 health, aging, labor and consumer organizations has released a report, the “Consumer Platform for Health IT,” which they call a vision for a patient-centered health care system.

Members of the Consumer Partnership for eHealth represent 127 million individuals. The platform represents five years of work by the organizations, according to the partnership. Consumers are the most significant untapped resources in health care and can contribute ideas and solutions that other stakeholders may never consider, according to the platform.  “Full engagement of consumers in leadership and decision-making roles at the policy and governance levels is essential, not just for gaining their trust and buy-in, but also for maximizing the likelihood of meeting patient and consumer needs,” the platform states.

Developers of the platform lay out numerous expectations for what a “truly” patient-centered health care system should offer, including:

* Clinical information contributed by the individual is used to provide holistic care,

* The right information is provided to the right person at the right time,

* Information is used and presented in ways that are meaningful to the individual,

* Information is exchanged privately and securely without unnecessary barriers to its use, and

* Information is used to ensure fair and equitable treatment of all.

The platform is available at nationalpartnership.org/platform.

New Research Shows Dramatic Shift in Understanding of Personalized Medicine

Captured by Mount Sinai Medical Center

Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, in collaboration with researchers at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, have made a critical discovery that may lead scientists to abandon the use of broad conventional ethnic labels—African-American, Hispanic, and Caucasian—to estimate a patient’s genetic risk for disease. This first-of-its kind study conducted with diverse patients receiving care at a single urban academic medical center, marks an important step in the clinical application of personalized medicine. The data are published online in the peer-reviewed journal PLoS ONE.

The Mount Sinai Biobank, a program of the Charles R. Bronfman Institute for Personalized Medicine, enrolls consented patients representing the diverse communities surrounding The Mount Sinai Medical Center, who confidentially provide DNA and plasma samples to aid in genomic and personalized medicine research. Researchers used state-of-the-art genomic technology to determine the genetic make-up, or genotype, of nearly 1,000 local Biobank participants who self-identified as European American, African-American, or Hispanic. They found that there was a continuum in ancestral genetic heritage at the individual level of African-American and Hispanic patients receiving care at Mount Sinai—meaning considerable fractions of their genome came from mixed European or African ancestry, respectively—and with it genetic variants that indicate risk for developing disease.

“Our data indicate that historical population labels may not be helpful in predicting disease risk or guiding how a patient will respond to certain medications,” said Erwin Bottinger, MD, Director of the Bronfman Institute, and the Irene and Dr. Arthur M. Fishberg Professor of Medicine. “Rather, a spectrum of mixed ancestry is emerging in the largest U.S. minority groups. These findings further validate the importance of considering the unique genotype of the individual patient rather than grouping patients by self-reported ethnicity.” Read more…

University of Minnesota Supercomputing Institute Expands Resources with Addition of New Supercomputer

Captured by Minnesota Supercomputing Institute for Advanced Computational Research

The University of Minnesota Supercomputing Institute for Advanced Computational Research (MSI) is pleased to announce that a new high-performance computing system, Koronis, is fully operational. Koronis will enable research ranging from interpreting molecular level data to aiding in the design of new biomedical technologies. The new system is designed meet the needs of research groups at MSI in the fields of multi-scale modeling, chemical dynamics, bioinformatics and computational biology, and biomedical imaging. Koronis was made possible by a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant.

The new supercomputer, named after one of Minnesota’s lakes, includes a powerful shared-memory system, ultrafast disk storage/access, and high-end visualization capabilities that set it apart from the rest of MSI’s resources. Koronis features 1,152 processor cores that can all access 3.1 terabytes of system memory directly. For comparison, a computer bought by consumers has two processor cores. The system is complemented by 750 terabytes of disk storage, and long-term archival capabilities.

“The large memory feature is important because many cutting edge research problems are memory-intensive, and Koronis gives researchers a unique tool to tackle them,” said Jeff McDonald, assistant director of high performance computing operations at MSI. “Koronis is the largest shared-memory system at MSI, and it also boasts the highest performance of any MSI system.” Read more…

Read GenomeWeb article