Really? The Most Significant?

Paul Levy

Posted 12/19/11 on Not Running A Hospital

Medscape Today has an article featuring “The Most Significant Medical Advances and Events in 2011.”  The list includes things like some FDA drug warnings; the fact that the Supreme Court will review the health care reform law; some finding about cellular phone use and brain activity; withdrawal of propoxyphene from the market; and new listings of top hospitals.

To which I say, “Bah, humbug!”  Most of the things mentioned have had and will have little or no impact on you, me, our relatives and friends as we seek to get care or avoid care.

What are the most significant advances and events?  They are the ones that have occurred by communities, patients, and clinicians in their home towns or their home regions that demonstrate the potential for real improvement in clinical care.  These are the ones that save lives now.  These are the ones that empower patients to be true partners with their caregivers and vice versa.  These are the ones that have nothing to do whatsoever with government mandates, accreditation actions, and the like.

Continue reading “Really? The Most Significant?”

Cleveland Clinic Announces Top Ten Health Care Innovations for 2012

Patricia Salber

Posted 10/07/11 on The Doctor Weighs In

Every year the Cleveland Clinic announces the top 10 innovations that their experts think will impact healthcare the most in the following year.  Here are the winners for 2012:

#1 Catheter-based renal denervation for resistant high blood pressure

People with hypertension (HTN) are at risk for heart attacks, strokes, and kidney failure.  When high blood pressure cannot be controlled with three or more medications, it is considered resistant.  One-third of Americans have hypertension and 20-30% of these cases are considered resistant.  High blood pressure is the leading risk factor for death worldwide – worse than cigarettes.  Until the development of renal denervation, there was no effective treatment for resistant hypertension.  In a small randomized controlled trial, the Simplicity HTN study, 39% achieved target blood pressures and 50% had some measurable benefit compared to the controls, treated only with high blood pressure mediations that had no change from their baseline blood pressures.  Average decrease in systolic blood pressure was an astonishing 35 mm Hg with a 12 mm drop in diastolic blood pressures.  The procedure takes about 40 minutes and is performed in a hospital’s catheterization lab.  If the results hold up – and if there are no unintended consequences – this could be really BIG (which, of course, is why it won the #1 slot on this list).

Continue reading “Cleveland Clinic Announces Top Ten Health Care Innovations for 2012”