Duke Health System CEO appointed to head Institute of Medicine

Dr. Victor J. Dzau, the current president and CEO of Duke University Health System and chancellor for health affairs at Duke University, has been appointed to a six-year term as the next president of the Institute of Medicine (IOM), effective July 1, 2014. Dr. Dzau will take over the lead role from Dr. Harvey Fineberg, who served in the position for twelve years.

Live chat: Karen van Unen on medical marijuana

Health officials Friday revealed the names of the companies that will receive the first 20 licenses to open medical marijuana dispensaries in Massachusetts. But what does this mean for residents, patients, and the medical community? Get your answers from Karen van Unen, the executive director of the medical marijuana program at the Mass. Department of Public Health.

Dr. Arnold Relman on becoming the patient

Dr. Arnold “Bud” Relman’s frequent writing about medicine has made him a notable voice among physicians. But, for a piece published in the latest edition of the New York Review of Books, Relman takes on an entirely new role for himself: helpless patient.

Trauma surgeons back funding to analyze emergency care in Mass.

Boston’s teaching hospitals have been so widely praised for saving dozens of Marathon bombing victims that trauma surgeons worry the state will grow complacent. They met with legislators Tuesday to remind them that luck and timing played a role on Patriot’s Day, and that the trauma system still has gaps that require attention.

  • Boston Medical Center
  • Childrens
  • Mass General
  • Mass Health Law
  • Patient Safety
  • Public Health
  • Senate compounding bill would exempt hospital pharmacies

    The state Senate passed a bill Wednesday requiring compounding pharmacies that custom-mix sterile drugs to obtain a special license from the state pharmacy board, submit to annual inspections, and report more information about their operations. But, unlike the plan approved last month by the House, it temporarily exempts a large segment of the industry: hospital pharmacies.

    Bill to increase pharmacy oversight in Mass. passes House

    Patients would be able to go online to check the safety record of Massachusetts compounding pharmacies that custom-mix medications and the businesses would be subject to surprise inspections under legislation unanimously approved by the House Wednesday and aimed at preventing a repeat of the deadly fungal meningitis outbreak blamed on steroid injections made by a Framingham speciality pharmacy.

  • Patient Safety
  • Public Health
  • Steward CEO Dr. Ralph de la Torre looks to sell his house, but says he’s staying at health system

    Under its agreement with state regulators, Cerberus Capital Management soon will be free to sell its 11-hospital Steward Health Care System, fueling speculation about the company’s plans. The talk among hospital executives intensified this month when Steward Chief Executive Dr. Ralph de la Torre put his seven-bedroom West Newton Hill home up for sale. But his spokesman said the former cardiac surgeon is committed to staying in Boston and does not plan on a career change.

  • Steward Health Care
  • Free symposium looks at the story of the Elephant Man and the implications for modern medicine

    Joseph Carey Merrick, better known to the world as the Elephant Man, died more than a century ago, but his life might hold lessons for the U.S. health care system today. The New Repertory Theatre, which begins performances of “The Elephant Man” on Saturday, will host a symposium on how the play reflects on the modern-day role of medicine in human rights.

  • Affordable Care Act
  • Boston University
  • Gap in insurer payments to Partners and competitors surprises Mass. health official

    A new state report describing the Massachusetts health care market provides an interesting snapshot of where patients go for medical care and the cost. I hit on some highlights in Wednesday’s Globe, including the dominance of Partners HealthCare compared to other provider groups.

  • Beth Israel Deaconess
  • Brigham Womens
  • Insurance
  • Lahey
  • Mass General
  • Mass Health Law
  • Partners Healthcare
  • Steward Health Care
  • Tufts Medical Center
  • UMass
  • Massachusetts nursing homes that advertise specialized Alzheimer’s and dementia care units will be required to provide workers with at least eight hours of initial training to care for such residents, and four additional hours annually, under proposed rules unveiled Wednesday by state regulators.

  • Patient Safety
  • State health officials say a horse in Belchertown, near Amherst, is the first this season in Massachusetts to be diagnosed with Eastern equine encephalitis, a potentially lethal mosquito-borne disease that infected seven residents last year

  • Public Health
  • Audio timeline of Aurora, CO, mass shooting

    A note on the Globe’s stories Sunday about the Boston Marathon bombing. The Aurora, CO, cinema shooting last July, which killed 12 people and injured 58 others, played a key role in preparing Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston to treat the onslaught of victims injured in the explosions at the Marathon finish line on April 15.

  • Brigham Womens
  • Bill unveiled to strengthen oversight of compounding pharmacies

    Massachusetts pharmacists who specially mix injectable and other sterile medications would be required to take continuing education classes, and their pharmacies would have to provide patients with the number of a staffed hotline to report problems, under legislation approved Tuesday by the Joint Committee on Public Health and aimed at preventing a repeat of the deadly fungal meningitis outbreak blamed on a Framingham speciality pharmacy.

    Budget has $2.5 million to expand inspections of pharmacies, hospitals, nursing homes, clinics

    Pharmacies, hospitals, nursing homes, and other health care facilities are likely to face greater scrutiny under the $34 billion budget approved by lawmakers this week. The spending plan, which was sent to Governor Deval Patrick for his approval, includes an additional $1.3 million for pharmacy inspections and an extra $1.2 million for review and inspections of hospitals and other health care facilities.

  • Patient Safety
  • Public Health
  • Reflections from Residency: ‘Training’ may be over, but learning won’t end

    Recently, during one of my last shifts as a resident, I was supervising my intern as we admitted a middle-aged man, Mr. S, who had been transferred from another hospital. His history was complex, the diagnosis unclear. His wife handed us a thick stack of radiology reports, lab test results, and physician notes. For the moment, Mr. S appeared stable, breathing comfortably on supplemental oxygen from a mask. We had time to examine him, go through the records, and think about his symptoms.

  • Reflections from Residency
  • Two more top employees leave Board of Registration in Medicine

    The state medical board’s general counsel has resigned, and its spokesman was fired on Monday, building on two years of turnover at the agency. Special Assistant Russell Aims was let go after about nine years with the Board of Registration in Medicine, charged with licensing and disciplining doctors. General Counsel Brenda Beaton had started in the role in 2006.

    McLean Hospital wins approval for $12.5 million expansion in Belmont

    McLean Hospital won state approval Wednesday for a $12.5 million expansion of its Belmont campus. The project features a three-story addition to its existing admissions building and 31 new beds for psychiatric patients. The Public Health Council approved the project, which the hospital said is needed because of increasing demand for psychiatric treatment, particularly in its short-term care and psychotic disorders units.

  • Brigham Womens
  • Cambridge Health
  • McLean
  • Mental Health
  • Partners Healthcare
  • Public Health
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