Monthly Archives: January 2010

Preventing hospital acquired infections

Hospital acquired Infections, opaquely called ‘Iatrogenic” infections, are a major cause of morbidity and mortality. It has been estimated that such infections in hospitalized patients increase hospital stay by 4 to 5 days, resulting in extra expenditure of billions of dollars. A Center for Disease Control (CDC) report published in March-April 2007 estimated the number of U.S. deaths from healthcare associated infections in 2002 at 98,987.According to the World Health Organization, “At any given time, 1.4 million people worldwide are estimated to be suffering from an infection acquired in a health facility. The risk of acquiring healthcare-associated infections in developing countries is 2-20 times higher than in developed countries”.Proper aseptic techniques and strict following of all protocols can drastically cut down this “needless” infection rate.

It is important that the latest guidelines on proper infection management are known to all medical personnel. The “Not on my watch” campaign by Kimberly-Clark Corporation in association with other organizations has developed, primary source for healthcare professionals for information on the fight against preventable healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). On the site, you can find guidelines and protocols for aseptic precautions in hospitals.

The “Not on My Watch” campaign also provides accredited continuing education (CE) programs based on best practices and guidelines as well as research available on reducing the incidence of healthcare-associated infections.

So, if you need to refer to recent reports, news items, guidelines, articles, etc. on Hospital acquired Infections, head to

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Posted by on January 29, 2010 in Uncategorized


eBook formats for medical literature

EBooks are here to stay, and are changing the way Medicine is studied. The sheer volume and weight of Medical literature makes it the ideal candidate for ‘Whole batch” conversions to an eBook readable format.
The Mobipocket file format is a binary format for the distribution of eBooks. It is one implementation of the Open eBook Publication format with a number of proprietary extensions. The Open eBook Publication format is developed and specified by the IDPF (International Digital Publishing Forum) an independent organization formerly known as the Open eBook Consortium. As a consequence, the Mobipocket format is based on HTML and is reflowable. Mobipocket supports most features of standard HTML to format and layout text and images.
A few other noteworthy formats include EPUB and Fictionbook. Kindly note that i have not considered any of the non-Open standards.

The .epub or OEBPS format is an open standard for e-books created by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF). Currently, the format can be read by the Apple iPad, Barnes and Noble Nook, Sony Reader, BeBook, Adobe Digital Editions, Lexcycle Stanza, BookGlutton, AZARDI, Aldiko and WordPlayer on Android. Several other reader software programs are currently implementing support for the format, such as dotReader, FBReader, Mobipocket, uBook and Okular. Another software .epub reader, Lucidor, is in beta. Notably, Kindle still does not support this format.

The Kindle supports Mobipocket file format, PDF file format, Amazon’s proprietary DRM-restricted format (AZW), as well as the PRC and the TXT formats. 

Eveda format is used for Multimedia EBooks.The ‘multimedia eBook’ term is used in contrast to media which only utilize traditional forms of printed or text book. Multimedia EBook includes a combination of text, audio, still images, animation, video, and interactivity content forms.
My Choices for Medical Literature ?- At present, it is PDFs and Mobi, besides EPUB.

Waiting for a suitable multimedia enabled file format, with annotation and bookmarking support.

Images- Wikimedia Commons.

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Posted by on January 28, 2010 in e-books


Just what the Doctor requires- an "iTablet" !

Apple Inc - Photo from my iBook
Apple has created many Gadgets/ applications which have changed the face of health care. The apple “iTablet”, when it does come out, could be another such device.
(They called it “iPad” !)
For years, efforts have been made to integrate the use of Tablet PCs in Hospitals. Conventional laptops are just too bulky/big to carry during clinical rounds, and most hand held devices almost “actively” resist being “button-punched”. :-)

The much awaited “iTablet” may just be what the Doctor requires!

Take a look at a few of Apple”s e-Health friendly offerings, (via

Mobile Health Momentum

The iPhone has already changed the face of healthcare. Apple shared this fact at last year’s iPhone OS 3.0 release and within the keynote at WWDC. The momentum that started with consumer applications has moved to forward-looking doctors and health providers. We know that it is becoming common practice for some doctors and nurses to carry both their company-issued Blackberry and their personally purchased iPhone.

There are already amazing applications in the market. AirStrip allows doctors to monitor patient vital signs and receive alerts from afar. There are now personal health records that can be carried and updated from anywhere.

Additionally, there are information-rich applications that allow nurses, doctors and patients to look up health information in real time. Last week during the Haiti tragedy, an injured individual was able to use an iPhone to treat himself using an first aid application on the iPhone.

Clinician Ready-

Apple and EPIC systems have been collaborating to release the first version of MyChartManager on the iPhone. EPIC is a leading provider of EHR in the United States, and powers systems such as Kaiser Permanente and Palo Alto Medical Foundation in the Bay Area, to name a few. The application, named Haiku was released on Jan. 13, 2010, and several health systems are in the process of testing it. It’s a clear contender for the “killer app” in the hospital setting. Looking at the screenshots, it’s clear that more screen real estate would be ideal – which means it may be just the right time for an iTablet-like device to emerge on the market.

It’s the Apps

It is nearly certain that iPhone OS 4.0 will create a path for existing applications to “upsize” to a tablet device, and this includes size. The medical category today is already the highest-aggregate-priced category on the App Store today, and with the promise of applications inside the clinical walls, the opportunity gets much larger.

The iPhone-to-tablet combination may be the biggest reason that a tablet is successful in the market, since the entire iPhone developer community will be able to deliver on this new platform. With Apple’s success in having an integrated OS that shares core libraries across both the Mac and iPhone, it is likely that a table device will also connect with apps from both the iPhone and the Mac.

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Posted by on January 27, 2010 in Uncategorized


Sexual intercourse as a Major risk factor for Carpel Tunnel syndrome

The etiology of non-occupational carpal tunnel syndrome is not well understood. It is proposed that carpal tunnel syndrome can develop during sexual intercourse when the hands become repeatedly extended while under pressure from the weight of the upper body. Of the eight risk factors associated with non-occupational carpal tunnel syndrome, age, marital status, pregnancy and use of hormonal agents can be explained by changes in the frequency of sexual intercourse.

On the other hand, obesity, macromastia and large chest circumference can be explained by the increased pressure imposed on the wrists by the heavier upper body associated with such conditions. The bilaterality of carpal tunnel syndrome can be explained by the fact that both hands are needed to support the upper body during sexual intercourse. A parallel decrease in the frequency of sexual intercourse and the incidence of carpal tunnel syndrome between the sixth and the seventh decades of life suggests a possible cause and effect relationship between sexual intercourse and carpal tunnel syndrome.”

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Posted by on January 27, 2010 in Uncategorized


Health Information System Built on Google Wave

Google Wave is an online tool for real-time communication and collaboration. A wave can be both a conversation and a document where people can discuss and work together using richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more.

Wave has turned out to be more of a rollercoaster than the idyllic sea that its name was probably meant to evocate.It promises a lot of freedom and functions , but still hasnt taken off among the so called “non-techies”.

A health information system built on Wave could take patient empowerment to the next level..


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Posted by on January 23, 2010 in Uncategorized


Business skills for doctors

Enabling doctors learn the language of marketing and interacting on a business level with hospital administrators…

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Posted by on January 15, 2010 in Uncategorized


Social Media use in Hospitals

Ed Bennett writes a wonderfully active blog called “Social Media resources for health care professionals” . I have been following him on Twitter for a long time and want to share his presentation on Social media use in hospitals.I might have shared it earlier on Facebook, so if you are seeing it again, See it again. 
Its worth it.

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Posted by on January 13, 2010 in Uncategorized