Friday, 26 November 2010

No improvement in Hospital Safety

A study reported in the NY Times, and to be published in the NEJM next Thursday (Nov 2), finds no improvement in Hospital safety. The large long-term observational study in ten US hospitals found harm from medical care is still common (18% of patients) and most incidents are preventable. The commonest causes were related to medication and procedures.

Robotic Prostate Surgery: Marketing wins over data?

Despite no good short term data, or data on cancer control, the acceptance of robotic prostatectomy is continuing. This article in the NY Times gives insight into the problem of the introduction of new surgical techniques before adequate data shows it to be better, same or worse than established techniques. Robotic prostatectomy has a long learning curve, costs more and takes twice as long.

This difficulty of evaluating new technology in patient care is discussed in an editorial in the NEJM from August.