Diners who are skeptical of the food safety practices in ethnic restaurants have new research to back up some of their assumptions. In a study of independently owned restaurants in 14 Kansas counties, Kansas State University researchers found a significantly higher number of food safety violations in ethnic restaurants than in nonethnic restaurants. The next step for their research is to understand the reasons for these differences and to work alongside restaurant operators to remedy the problems. Leading the study were Junehee Kwon, associate professor, and Kevin Roberts, assistant professor, both of the department of hospitality management and dietetics.
A new study in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) http://www.cmaj.ca/cgi/doi/10.1503/cmaj.091823 of all patients in Canada admitted to hospital for H1N1 in the first five months of the outbreak summarizes the risk factors for a severe outcome (http://www.cmaj.ca). The H1N1 pandemic presents important learnings for clinicians and researchers and data on severe outcomes can help inform future treatment and prevention guidelines. The risk of a severe outcome among patients admitted to hospital with H1N1 was elevated among those who had an underlying medical condition and patients 20 years of age and older. Patients aged 65 years and older were at the greatest risk for death.
Clemson University researchers have developed a hands-free alternative to cell phone texting while driving. "If you can't keep people from doing it, make it safer, " said Juan Gilbert, professor and chairman of the human-centered computing division of Clemson's School of Computing. He said one problem with banning texting while driving is that people are likely to continue doing it. He said it will be difficult for police to enforce a ban unless they actually see someone in the act. Gilbert said evidence of texting while driving often surfaces only after an accident. Gilbert's team developed an application, called VoiceTEXT, that allows drivers to speak text messages and keep their eyes on the road at the same time.
Nationally uniform legislation is needed to make health service reporting standards consistent and to criminalise public sector data fraud, according to an article published in the Medical Journal of Australia. Dr Antony Nocera, an emergency physician at Dubbo Base Hospital, NSW, writes that systems for reporting the performance of Australian public hospitals are inadequate. Performance-based hospital funding had been touted as a tool for health care reform, Dr Nocera said, but there is evidence that this had led to fraudulent reporting of hospital performance in Victoria and NSW. He said hospital data manipulation included the use of "virtual wards" created on a hospital's computer system, whereby emergency department patients requiring admission to wards with no available beds were "admitted" to the virtual ward.
AMA President, Dr Andrew Pesce, said today that the Coalition's policy announcement for local community-controlled management boards for major public hospitals in NSW and Queensland is a step in the right direction, but more detail on how the policy would roll out nationally is needed. Dr Pesce said the AMA has for some time been calling for more clinical input to public hospital management at the local level. "The Coalition's proposal is heading in the right direction in terms of clinical engagement in decision making, " Dr Pesce said. "It would ensure that the clinicians who diagnose, treat and care for patients have direct input to the administration, management and funding decisions at the hospital level.
New research from Canada shows that almost half of the time, doctors and nurses on popular TV medical dramas respond inappropriately to seizures, suggesting that watching TV is not the best way to learn what to do if you are present when someone has a seizure. Details of the study were released in a press statement today: the findings are to be presented between 10th and 17th April at the American Academy of Neurology's 62nd Annual Meeting in Toronto. Study author Andrew Moeller, a third year medical student at Dalhousie University in Halifax Nova Scotia, said in a statement that TV drama is a powerful medium for educating the public about how to deal with first aid and seizures, but he and colleague Dr R.