Media monitor

The move to free doctors from the burden of maintaining patient charts on paper took a big step forward last week when Medicare announced that it would provide to all physicians--at no cost--a software package to open and maintain electronic health records. In a July 21 New York Times article, Alan Garber, MD, PhD, the Henry J. Kaiser Professor, gave the initiative a thumbs up. "It's a good idea," he said. While noting that the plan is "not foolproof," he added that Medicare's investment and the program's many appealing features "are all signals that it might be around for a long time and a doctor in a small office would not be taking an enormous risk."

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/21/health/21records.html?pagewanted=1 (registration required)

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"In my nightmares, I see the women we have failed to protect from AIDS," Ilene Wong, MD, a resident in urology, wrote in an essay about her experiences dealing with the AIDS epidemic in Africa. The piece, which appeared in the July 15 issue of the Washington Post, also discusses the importance of education and prevention, and advocates the need for microbicides--drugs that women can apply directly to reduce the spread of HIV. "In a world where vaccines are the rock stars of HIV prevention, microbicides are the street musicians--egalitarian, resourceful and poorly paid."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/07/14/AR2005071401700.html?sub=AR (registration required)

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A number of Stanford doctors have recently made television and radio appearances. Sanjiv Sam Gambhir, MD, PhD, professor of radiology and director of the Molecular Imaging Program, discussed gene therapy imaging on Your World With Cavuto on Fox News on June 27; David Magnus, PhD, discussed genetic privacy and whether there needs to be better protection of genetic information on KXJZ-AM (Sacramento) on July 13, and Tina Cowan, associate professor of pathology, and Greg Enns, associate professor of pediatrics and director of the biochemical genetics program at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, were heard on KQED-FM, KCBS-AM and KGO-AM commenting on a new state program that will test nearly every baby in California for more than 70 serious genetic conditions.