Weekly News Recap

  • Movie tough guy Carlos “Chuck” Norris warns against short PCP visits in which prevention topics are missing in action and doctors spend too much time entering EHR documentation.
  • The New York Times predicts that Alphabet-owned DeepMind’s AlphaZero machine learning platform will facilitate science and medicine breakthroughs because it appears to learn why its solutions work rather than just applying brute force to detect and apply patterns.
  • Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), chairman of the House’s VA technology subcommittee, questions the VA’s plan to implement Cerner patient scheduling, noting the VA hasn’t said what it will cost to move to Cerner scheduling, the timelines required, and the benefit to veterans.
  • New York Times Health notes that more than half of older Americans can’t understand the medical information providers give them.
  • Christmas happened and not much else.

Watercooler Talk Tidbits

image image

Readers funded the DonorsChoose teacher grant request of Ms. F in California, who asked for programmable robots for her kindergarten class. She reports, “These Bee-Bots are even more amazing than I had imagined. The kids LOVE using the Bee-Bots and have learned so much. We began with using the Bee-Bots at centers to help us identify letters, and then beginning letter sounds, then we were able to build CVC words with the Bee-Bots. We are currently learning about shapes and the Bee-Bots have been helping us to do that. The Bee-Bots have been a great introduction to coding/computer science! Thank you for your support!”

The Wall Street Journal describes how primary care doctors who are employed by health systems are pushed hard to avoid sending lucrative referrals outside the system.


A small Columbus, OH church that refused to sell its property to Nationwide Children’s Hospital finds itself dwarfed by a $50 million, six-story parking garage that is part of the hospital’s $730 million expansion.


A four-year-old girl who has spent her entire life in Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital (MO) after being born prematurely goes home for the first time. It’s a feel-good story as long as you don’t think about the cost and who pays.

image  image

University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics holds a retirement party for 13-year-old top caregiver Maggie, a shelter dog who has for the past eight years snuggled with ill patients in the hospital’s Furry Friends program. In related news, Finn the therapy greyhound, a former racing dog who graduated from a training program run by prison inmates, is among the 16 therapy dogs that spend time with patients of Riley Hospital for Children (IN).

In Case You Missed It

Get Involved