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October 2012
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December 2012

November 2012

The problem of missed medical appointments

This HND piece examines a problem that doesn't nearly get the coverage it should. Although reliable statistics are difficult to come by, even the lowest estimates suggest that more than 20 percent of medical appointments result in no-shows, with no notification to the provider.

Any number of reasons are proffered to explain this, but at the very least, the lost revenue needs to be made up somehow, and eventually that means higher costs for everyone.

Since the biggest stated reason for missing the appointment is simply that the patient forgot, one increasingly popular approach is for the provider to use text messages to remind the patient. We spotlight a brand new service that does just this.

Read the complete article.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch: Where plastic litter goes to die

This HND piece dispels some of the mythology behind the Patch, which, sadly enough does exist, although it's by no means a continent-sized collection of intact plastic bottles. Rather, it is more like a soup of finely-divided plastic pieces—the full impact of which has not yet been determined.

It's not that plastics are evil, but it's that we humans are quite careless in how we use and dispose of all of our stuff. Unfortunately, plastics tend to break down very slowly, thus providing plenty of forensic evidence of our misdeeds.

Read the complete article.

Thomas Jefferson's "wall of separation between church and state"

What better day than Thanksgiving to link to a masterful article describing this long-misunderstood quote, taken from Jefferson's 1802 letter to the Baptist Association of Danbury, Connecticut.

Jefferson, you see, was widely perceived as being somewhat less than religious, even atheist, and, as the article says, "The Baptists, who supported Jefferson, were outsiders--a beleaguered religious and political minority in a region where a Congregationalist-Federalist axis dominated political life."

Here is the quote:

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.

Author Daniel L. Dreisbach gives us a sense of what Jefferson really believed:

Throughout his public career, including two terms as President, Jefferson pursued policies incompatible with the "high and impregnable" wall the modern Supreme Court has erroneously attributed to him. For example, he endorsed the use of federal funds to build churches and to support Christian missionaries working among the Indians. The absurd conclusion that countless courts and commentators would have us reach is that Jefferson routinely pursued policies that violated his own "wall of separation."

Much more in the full article.

QR codes in health care

This HND piece takes a look at the ubiquitous codes, and gets a little techie, while providing a bit of a historical perspective. As I note in the piece:

With a variety of free QR code reader apps available for camera-equipped smart phones, the technology was widely accepted within a short time. Deployed in this manner, QR Codes became the interface between print and digital media.

As such, there are dozens of health care related applications, ranging from publicizing a particular doctor's office or medical center, to all sorts of patient education.

Read the complete article.

Physician, heal thyself...with marketing

With Obamacare threatening to lower the reimbursements to docs even more, it is well for medical practitioners to remember the adage that "Every job is a sales job." This HND piece examines a few ways that doctors can jump-start their marketing.

At some point, the public is also going to realize that unless the economics of going into practice makes sense, the quality of their "provider" will suffer. By then, though, it might be too late.

Read the complete article.


A bit late in posting this review.   It's a new kind of Bond film, in that there is a good deal of character development--both of Bond and his boss, M.

This new wrinkle has its avid defenders and detractors, not to mention the controversy regarding how blond Daniel Craig doesn't represent the swarthy Bond of the Ian Fleming novels.

In any case, this is a quite satisfying action pic.  Read the complete review.


Keeping track of memory and processes on your computer

For those of us running lots of applications, RAM utilization can be a big deal. Likewise, it is often helpful to know just what processes are being run, and—even better—being able to quickly and easily stop them. Here is a great open source free way to do both of these tasks:  Process Hacker.

Another program you might look at is WinPatrol.

It may turn out that you need more RAM. In that case, try using Crucial's System Scanner Tool.