Category Archives: Strange Healthcare Numbers

Newton’s law goes to the hospital

“To every action there is always opposed an equal reaction.” Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, 1687. When Newton penned his laws of motion in the late 1600s, he was surely not thinking of surprise hospital inspections.  (Hospitals date back to 350 … Continue reading

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As easy as 1, 2, 250000

Counting is not Sesame Street easy in population health science.  Case in point: in 1999, a study concluded that medical errors in the United States hospitals were killing 98,000 people a year, the equivalent of two jumbo jet crashes per … Continue reading

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Root beer floats Philly preschool

Root beer floats preschools If you drive a car, I’ll tax the street, If you try to sit, I’ll tax your seat. If you get too cold I’ll tax the heat, If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet. … Continue reading

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The Eternal Life of Bad Ideas

Bad ideas often have long and successful careers.  Plenty of people still think autism is caused by vaccines despite a deluge of evidence to the contrary.  The worst are ideas that gain urban legend status and no one beats them … Continue reading

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The long and short of it

We create health over a lifetime.  We create profits in three- or twelve-month bits.  Herein lays a fundamental problem of health insurance – the clash of short-term and long-term. Health insurers are frantic about how much medical care newly insured … Continue reading

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Always with us . . . .

The poor you will always have with you . . . Matthew 26:11 Say what you will about him, Jesus has been right on this one for 2,000 plus years. In the U.S., through The New Deal (30’s), the Great … Continue reading

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Oops

To err is human; to forgive, divine – Alexander Pope We all make mistakes. Here are a few: Take a cab! Researchers found possible traces of bubonic plague on New York City subways. Later, they clarified that there was no … Continue reading

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Wise for one, dumb for all

Flip a coin – heads you have a secure retirement, tails you have nothing. In this scenario, would you go to any length, say mess with the coin a bit, to put the odds in your favor? This is essentially … Continue reading

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A Scientist, a Socialite, and a Celibate apply for a job . . .

Stop me if you’ve heard this one. The Scientist, the Socialite, and the Celibate all want the plum job of being in charge of blood donations. (Spoiler alert – the Scientist loses.)

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Rash of Freedom

The 80 plus cases of measles are in the headlines, bringing the vaccine/anti-vaccine debate back to the fore.  The hub bub is about the dangers or blessings of the vaccine.  But the core issue has nothing to do with needles … Continue reading

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