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Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Under Fire

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Under Fire
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Common Sense Family Doctor is a regular feature on our website. Today’s topic involves the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

In the ‘Fake News’ era, AHRQ is one of the good guys. The nerd’s nerds. AHRQ is the ultimate eat-your-spinach news that’s good for you, even if you don’t want to hear it or believe it. Not every medical recommendation proves to be fully correct, and we learn from practice. But it is the fact-free ideas that are zealously embraced and defended despite evidence.

Science is much more painstaking.

(One example: the argument that “vaccinations cause autism.” No, it turns out they don’t. That research was never duplicated, and the ‘science’ that initially suggested it was pure cheating by an unethical researcher. Those claims have been thoroughly debunked — partly through the independent efforts of the AHRQ.)

The AHRQ uses transparent science to scrutinize health claims without regard for the prestige or commercial influence of the source. AHRQ must remain independent of political or commercial bias to insure our health care spending actually improves the public’s health.

Read the Common Sense Family Doctor here: Once again, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality stands in the line of fire, published March 6, 2018

Posted in: Community Health Policy

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Should A Mobile Health App Be Your Next Prescription?

Should A Mobile Health App Be Your Next Prescription?

Common Sense Family Doctor is a regular feature on our website. Today’s topic asks, should a mobile app be your next prescription?

“If you nibble it, scribble it.”

At Mainstreet Clinic, I have encouraged many of you to try Lose It!, a free app that makes calorie counting easier (thank you, Gale!). What’s good about this tool is — if you stick to the format — it mirrors your actual eating behaviors.

I often hear frustrated people say, “I don’t eat anything and I can’t lose a pound!” But a nutritionist said recently on a public radio conversation, “If you nibble it, scribble it.”

Lose It! helps you scribble and keep track of, specifically, every snack and every meal. Lose It! tracks the calories burned via dozens of different exercise options — thereby encouraging you to exercise. The feedback puts you in control. Weight loss inevitably follows.

Read the Common Sense Family Doctor here: Should a mobile app be your next prescription? published January 29, 2018

Posted in: Community Health Policy, Your Health

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Artificial Intelligence Will Not Make Family Physicians Obsolete

Artificial Intelligence Will Not Make Family Physicians Obsolete

This essay from the Common Sense Family Doctor makes the case that artificial intelligence will not and cannot replace doctors. In fact, the explosion of information, and the data-crunching capacity of computers, makes the human element more vital and useful than ever. Decision making in health care draws upon medical facts, yes; but at least as much on costs, personal preferences and values.

Read Blog: Artificial Intelligence Will Not Make Family Physicians Obsolete

“As more information becomes readily available, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and allied health professionals will become more important as the interpreters of that information in accordance with the specific clinical and social history, values, and preferences of the patient and her or his family.” — Look It Up!: What Patients, Doctors, Nurses, and Pharmacists Need to Know about the Internet and Primary Health Care Kindle Edition

Posted in: Community Health Policy, Health Blog

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