Epernicus -- Where Science Meets

We are excited to tell you about a new development at Epernicus – the creation of internal social networking platforms for pharma companies and non-profit research institutes. This new venture was inspired by companies who liked what they saw on our public site and realized they needed a community like Epernicus inside their institution.

Many companies and research institutes have thousands of researchers spread across multiple locations. As you might imagine, enabling effective communication and collaboration among researchers and between internal business units can be challenging. Social networking platforms can facilitate these interactions by enabling people to easily locate, learn about, and contact each other. They can also accelerate serendipitous interactions which, in turn, can speed up the path to discovery and development.

The private internal versions of Epernicus are highly tailored to fit the specific culture and needs of institutions ranging from non-profit research organizations to pharmaceutical companies to…

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The Health Reform Decision: The Answer Begs the Questions

The Health Reform Decision:  The Answer Begs the Questions

By Lauren A. DeWitt, Esq. and Catherine J. Flynn, Esq.
The recent Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has left health care providers with many concerns.  The ACA brings sweeping changes to health care and is the largest expansion in health coverage since the initiation of Medicare and Medicaid.  However, the concerns of providers today are not necessarily new but rather involve trends that are already in progress now moving exponentially faster by virtue of the Supreme Court’s ruling that the ACA is constitutional.
Dwindling reimbursements, insurance companies dictating …

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Migraine doctor sued over executive’s departure

Migraine doctor sued over executive’s departure

By Ellyn Fortino, Crain’s Chicago Business

Posted: August 23, 2012 – 6:00 pm ET
A longtime Chicago migraine doctor tried to give a drug company improper control over the education programs of a foundation he founded in exchange for $1 million, the group’s former executive director alleges.Dr. Seymour Diamond, executive chairman of the Chicago-based National Headache Foundation, wanted to give Allergan Inc. “exclusive and unfettered control” over the nonprofit’s 2012 educational programs in exchange for the payment to the foundation, Robert Dalton alleges in a complaint filed Monday in Cook County Circuit Court.

But representatives of Allergan, which makes Botox, objected to the proposal, saying it would be illegal, the complaint said. In addition to removing wrinkles, Botox, a drug derived from the neurotoxin that causes botulism, is used to treat chronic migraines.

Read more: Migraine doctor sued over executive’s departure | Healthcare business news and research | Modern Healthcare http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20120823/INFO/308239994#ixzz24UVTz6X9

Sorry, Obama: EHRs won’t save money

Sorry, Obama: EHRs won’t save money

Pediatricians have been among the more conservative medical specialists when it comes to electronic health record (EHR) systems: Results of a 2005 Medical Economics survey showed that only 16% of pediatricians use an EHR in the office, compared with 20% of family practitioners and 22% of internists.

However, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provides $17 billion in incentives for health providers to switch to EHRs. The package also includes $2 billion for the development of EHR standards and best-practice guidelines.

Given that some if not all of the cost of migrating to an EHR system will be assumed by Uncle Sam, we can expect many pediatricians to at least consider EHR. Others will continue to wait until the finer details of the stimulus plan subsidies are released.

As a longtime user (and reviewer) of EHR systems, I believe that the government’s assumption that EHRs will help save billions in health care costs–through improving efficiency and reducing the number unnecessary medical tests ordered by physicians–is incorrect. The EHR is nothing but a new and evolving tool for documenting medical care. Like any new technology it is in the process of evolving, and when it comes to EHRs, we have a long way to go.

From a user’s perspective, EHRs help us write more legible notes, but at the cost of decreased efficiency. While reducing some medical errors due to legibility issues, they also introduce the opportunity to create a variety of new unique medical mistakes, such as documenting in the wrong record, or prescribing the wrong dose of medication. The majority of enterprise EHRs I’ve used actually decrease the staff and physician’s efficiency. In my pre-EHR days, I could easily see 30-plus patients in day. Now, while using an HER, I am lucky to see 25.

Perhaps the most frightening thing about government involvement in the EHR market is that we might all be made to use one EHR system across all specialties, with records available to medical oversight by a government “agency.” This will undoubtedly have the effect of increasing costs, since we’ll strive to further improve documentation (resulting in fewer patients being seen), and increasing the number of medical tests ordered to justify our diagnoses.

What’s your take on EHRs? Weigh in below.

An Urgent Call To All Practicing Physicians: A Prescription for Healthcare Reform

An Urgent Call To All Practicing Physicians:  A Prescription for Healthcare Reform

Meaningful and beneficial healthcare/medical insurance reform can only be successfully accomplished by those professionals who are qualified in the practice of medicine.

It is our duty and responsibility, as physicians and our patients’ advocates, not only to propose the solutions, but also to protect our patients from conditions or policies that might be hazardous to the heath our patients or to the health of the population in general.


In order to maintain and improve the health of this country’s citizens;

In order to protect this country’s citizens from governmental policies that will degrade the healthcare delivery system, and impair our abilities to provide the excellent healthcare our patients deserve;

In order to promote the practical and financial conditions required to maintain      optimally functioning medical practices, and recruit the most qualified and devoted    medical students, practitioners, and affiliated personnel;


The National Congress of Practicing Physicians will assume the task as our patients’ medical and ethical fiduciaries, and formulate the requisite policies, systems, and recommendations that will promote excellent, affordable, and cost-effective healthcare.  We will then ask the United States Congress to perform their duty as elected lawmakers, and enact our professional recommendations.

We will attempt to gain the support and attendance, in person or by proxy, of every possible practicing physician in each of our fifty states, to convene at a designated location no later than the second week of Jan 2010 in order to elect delegates to the National Congress of Practicing Physicians.


The unprecedented and unnecessary speed, political urgency, and fact manipulation thus far demonstrated by our President, Congress, and their various accomplices without transparency, without adequate physician consultation and participation, and without voter/citizen input and participation, are unequivocal proof that issues of such vital importance as those pertaining to health of our nation’s citizens cannot be entrusted to those who lack the unique medical expertise or those whose motives are political, financial,  self-serving, or otherwise less than altruistic.

Washington has shown us that they act not on the behalf of the patient but on that of the party, lobbyists, selected industries, organizations, and unions. Our government’s actions have revealed that for them it is not about beneficial healthcare reform. It is about having passed the healthcare reform bill, and taken control of the healthcare delivery system. They have created a medical emergency.

All physicians must act urgently, and agree on the emergent need to form the National Congress of Practicing Physicians.  We must help our patients, as we always have, and assume the leadership role of this process, which so intricately involves and requires our unique expertise, training, and professional integrity.  In doing so, we will begin to relieve the unhealthy angst befallen our patients which has been unnecessarily inflicted upon them by the unjustified attempted hijacking of our nations’ healthcare delivery system.  We must, as we always have, do what is best for our patients, take ownership of this complicated process of reforming the healthcare environment, and retain the trust of our patients as we advocate on their behalf.

The delivery of healthcare is dependent upon physicians, and so must any significant change to the system.  This is our urgent call to action.

Website to be established

New study finds iPhone displays ophthalmic images better than computers – This week in review

Ophthalmologist invents innovative indoor golf net

Aug 17, 2012

Check out this video demonstration of Swing Box, indoor golf net invented by Joe Lee, MD, ophthalmologist.

Dr. Alex V. Levin wins PBA research grant

Aug 16, 2012
By:Ophthalmology Times Staff Reports
Alex V. Levin, MD, chief of pediatric ophthalmology and ocular genetics at Wills Eye Institute, has received a grant from Prevent Blindness America.

WCO accepting nominations for awards

Aug 16, 2012
The World Council of Optometry is asking for nominations for the Distinguished Service Award and the International Optometrist Award.

Bascom Palmer again tops U.S. News rankings

Aug 16, 2012
By:Ophthalmology Times Staff Reports
Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami is the top ophthalmology hospital for the ninth year in a row, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Neighborhood pharmacy report: Retail clinic industry increases scope of care to meet patients’ needs

Aug 16, 2012
By:From staff reports
Healthcare delivery in the United States has evolved as more patients visit their neighborhood retail clinics for acute and preventive care.

August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month

Aug 16, 2012
By:Ophthalmology Times Staff Reports
Prevent Blindness America (PBA) has declared August as Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month to educate parents on the importance of children’s healthy vision.

PTK provides excellent outcomes in astigmatism, corneal opacity

Aug 16, 2012
By:Lynda Charters
Phototherapeutic keratectomy (PTK) provides excellent visual outcomes in patients with irregular astigmatism and corneal opacity.

VSP Vision Care programs provide free eye care, eye wear

Aug 16, 2012
By:Ophthalmology Times Staff Reports
VSP Vision Care estimates it has spent about $150 million to provide free eye care and eyewear to 775,000 low-income, uninsured people in the past 15 years.

New study finds iPhone displays ophthalmic images better than computers

Aug 16, 2012

In a study from Emory University in Atlanta, ophthalmologists rated the same images higher on iPhone screens than desktop computer screens.

Robotic prostatectomy cuts incontinence risk

Robotic prostatectomy cuts incontinence risk

Robot-assisted radical prostatectomy appears to provide better functional results for incontinence and potency, according to the authors of a study from Turin, Italy.

First author Francesco Porpiglia, MD, of San Luigi Gonzaga Hospital-Orbassano (Turin), University of Turin, and colleagues studied 120 patients with organ-confined prostate cancer who were randomly assigned to one of two groups of 60 men based on surgical approach: robot-assisted radical prostatectomy or laparoscopic radical prostatectomy. All interventions were performed with the same technique by the same single surgeon.

Demographic, perioperative, and pathologic results were recorded and compared. Continence was evaluated at the time of catheter removal and 48 hours later, and continence and potency were evaluated after 1, 3, 6, and 12 months.

No differences were recorded in terms of perioperative and pathologic results, complication rate, or PSA measurements. The continence rate was higher in the robotic prostatectomy group at every time point: continence after 3 months was 80% in the robotic surgery group and 61.6% in the laparoscopic surgery group (p=.044), and after 1 year, the continence rates were 95.0% and 83.3%, respectively (p=.042), as reported online in European Urology (July 20, 2012).

Among patients who were potent preoperatively and treated with nerve-sparing techniques, the rate of erection recovery was 80% and 54.2%, respectively (p=.020).

“This is certainly the strongest evidence to date [that] laparoscopic surgery done with robotic assistance is going to yield better outcomes than traditional laparoscopy,” Matthew Cooperberg, MD, MPH, of the University of California, San Francisco, told Reuters Health. Dr. Cooperberg was not involved with the study.

Dr. Porpiglia noted to Reuters Health that, “Our results depend strictly on the single surgeon and do not represent a real-life situation.”

Go back to this issue of Urology Times eNews.



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