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.

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