Saturday, January 19, 2008

OpenID for Non-SuperUsers

OpenID for Non-SuperUsers

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

MacBook Air

MACBOOK AIR 13/1.6/2GB/80GB-USA  MB003LL/A $1,799.00

Ships by: Feb 6
Delivers by: Feb 11

Thursday, January 10, 2008

16,707 SPAM E-mails In One Month

My group uses Google Apps for Your Domain for one of our domain names. That particular domain had been compromised before it went to GAFYD. A trojan had infected an unprotected office PC and harvested our addresses.

I logged in to the account for the first time in a month today. In one month, Google's SPAM filters blocked 16,707 spams from getting to our inboxes. Thanks, Google.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

My Predictions for Apple's New Laptop--3G Wireless

The one feature for Apple's new laptop that no one has mentioned but that I'm hoping for is the option to add a 3G wireless card. Give me a 3 pound, 13", solid state memory, 12 hour battery life (or even 8) laptop that is connected anywhere ATT has 3G wireless and I'd pay a premium to get one.

Monday, December 31, 2007

Clark Venable, M.D.

Lifehacker suggested setting up a nameplate site way back in February of 2006. This post is my attempt to get Google to index it:

Friday, December 28, 2007

Pay For Performance: Physicians Pay For Insurers Better Financial Performance?

I've always been suspicious of the pay for performance movement. Thinking cynically (which I do more and more these days), it seemed to me that pay for performance has the backing of the insurance industry because they could use it as an excuse to pay physicians less. Show me a pay for performance program that actually increases costs to insurers and I'll show you an out-of-work actuary.

Mark Vonnegut, a pediatrician, has a perspective article in the December 27, 2007 issue of the NEJM titled Is Quality Improvement Improving Quality? A View from the Doctor's Office. I found the following a much better statement of the issue than I could ever come up with:

"I can't help suspecting that underneath all these quality-improvement and pay-for-performance initiatives lies yet another scheme that will work out very well for insurers and very badly for providers and patients."

Unfortunately, it's not free full text, but it should be (meaning you'll need a subscription to read the whole piece).

Thursday, December 27, 2007

NIH-Funded Research to Be Free (After One Year)

I was browsing the Wall Street Journal Health Blog and ran across this item regarding the new federal budget:

"The results of NIH-funded research must be made available for free online one year after they’re published in an academic journal. That’s a big deal, because the NIH is one of the biggest funders of medical research and subscriptions to the academic journals where that research is published can cost thousands of dollars a year.

Some researchers and academic institutions have been pushing for this for years, and the multibillion-dollar journal-publishing industry hired a PR guy known as “the pit bull of public relations” to fight the change."

Medscape CME: An Introduction to the Surgical Care Improvement Project (SCIP)

Surgical Care Improvement Project (SCIP) Module 1: Infection Prevention Update

Maximum of 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™ for physicians

Medscape CME: Systemic Lidocaine Good

Annals of Surgery: Systemic Lidocaine Shortens Length of Hospital Stay After Colorectal Surgery: A Double-blinded, Randomized, Placebo-controlled Trial.

1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™ for physicians

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Health Care Reform Distilled

GruntDoc has an excellent distillation of the choices to be made in health care reform:


Pick any two"

Sort of a permutation of C. Everett Koop when he said that Americans want the best medical care in the world, they want it for free, and they want it now.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Patients pay only 14% of health care costs? Wow.

Free the market; Government interference hampers healthcare reform

"In a system in which medical care seems free or is artificially inexpensive, with someone else paying for one's healthcare, medical costs spiral out of control because we are encouraged to demand medical services without having to consider their real price. For every dollar's worth of hospital care a patient consumes, that patient pays only about 3 cents out of pocket; the rest is paid by third-party coverage. And for the healthcare system as a whole, patients pay only about 14%."

This article has several nice pieces of data.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Saving 2660 Megabytes On Your New MacBook

A friend asked me to set up a new Macbook he bought for his wife. With recent Apple laptop sales being what they are, I bet many people will be doing the same thing, so I thought I'd pass along one thing I've learned: always erase the hard disk and re-install OS X.

As loaded by Apple, a new MacBook running Leopard has a hard drive that contains 18.4 gigabytes of software. That 18.4 GB includes language translations and fonts you will probably never actually need. Reinstalling OS X and not installing language translations saves 1.9 GB. Skipping foreign language fonts saves another 141 MB. Not installing X11 saves more, so that skipping all these things saves 2.6 GB (or 2660 MB) of disk space.

NYT: Google Gets Ready to Rumble With Microsoft

If you're long GOOG (or even if you just like Gmail), read this in the New York Times.

Pennsylvania's Ed Rendell Playing Games With Mcare Abatement

The Governor of my state, Ed Rendell, has decided he wants to spend any surplus from the catastrophic malpractice insurance fund (which pays awards and settlements over $500,000) on providing insurance for uninsured adults in Pennsylvania. He wants this so much that that he's threatened not to renew the Mcare program unless he gets what he wants. Thought he State Senate has voted to extend the abatement, the House adjourned before voting.

Here's an interesting quote from Rendell:

"We're not going to go through the pain initially of having the doctors send in their checks, and then having to return them if we continue the (subsidy)," Rendell said after speaking at a nurses' conference in Hershey."

What about the pain of the physicians who will have to figure out how to get the money to pay the full amount in January rather than April? Does the Governor think it's harder for the State to issue a refund than it is for doctors to get their hands on that kinds of money?

There should be no linkage between renewal of Mcare abatement and funding of the Cover All Pennsylvanians insurance program. Mcare funds should be used to cover the program's unfunded liability and make it easier to privatize later. The Governor's Cover All Pennsylvanians should get funding in a way that does not impact Mcare's ability to retire unfunded liability and he should stop playing political games to fund it otherwise.

Schneier: How to protect your laptop and portable disks

Bruce Schneier writes an excellent security newsletter called Crypto-Gram. This week there's something especially important for physicians who keep patient data on portable computers or drives: How to Secure Your Computer, Disks, and Portable Drives.
"The reason you encrypt your entire disk, and not just key files, is so you don't have to worry about swap files, temp files, hibernation files, erased files, browser cookies or whatever. You don't need to enforce a complex policy about which files are important enough to be encrypted. And you have an easy answer to your boss or to the press if the computer is stolen: no problem; the laptop is encrypted."
January, 2008
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31  
Dec  Feb

Feeds and Categories

Blog Roll

Google Modules
   Body Mass Index
   Allowable Blood Loss

   The Ether Way
   Westmead Anaesthesia Blog
   Book of Joe
   i'm so sleepy

   Aggravated DocSurg
   Retired Doc
   Finger and Tubes
   Running A Hospital
   Chance To Cut
   DB's Medical Rants
   Palmdoc Chronicles
   The Well-Timed Period


Geeks Like Me
   Seth Dillingham
   Jonathan Greene