Last year I posted a story about Music National Service.  My bro-in-law, Kiff Gallagher, runs it.  Tonight PBS News Hour featured MNS and Kiff in reporting about how music as therapy can assist those with brain damage and other issues.  To me, it’s obvious that music can offer therapeutic benefits, and that our hospitals and even physicians’ offices should consider incorporating music into their therapy protocols.  Think about it, music offers our brains so much.  Why do we respond to it?  It is so many things – soothing, interesting, captivating, attention-grabbing, even mathematic!


Tonight’s PBS News Hour story focused, in part, on young people with muscular dystrophy and other difficult diseases, and touched upon how these young people respond, in their own way and on their own time, to music.  The bottom line is that music works to stimulate (for lack of a better word) the brain in unique ways, allowing the brain “access” to music produces beneficial results.


Music National Service is the one national organization that I know of that is placing musicians into hospitals, VA’s, and schools to jump start this all-important “access” to music.  MSN is doing what needs to be done to stimulate those complicated neurons and synapses that make us unique among animals.


This evening I saw the film Moneyball, starring Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill.  What a great movie!  But it did trigger some thoughts.  Billy Beane was looking for on-base percentages, which would ultimately turn into runs or, at least, that was the statistic that yielded the most runs (as I understand it, and I am happy to be corrected).  In conducting surgical or other health care procedures, whether in hospitals or physicians’ offices, it stands to reason that building a statistical basis for error-free performance should be the norm.  Checklists and statistical data need to employed.  While there will always be cases with strange outliers, those cases are simply not the norm.  Building the tools that will provide this information, however, will take a concerted effort from all - health care providers and public and private payors included - to pool and share (de-identified) outcome and procedure-based data.

22. January 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Health Trends · Tags: ,

Apparently asking for a second opinion is now recommended, particularly for diagnoses involving benign musculoskeletal pain, skin lesions, and pneumonia, among others.  The Wall Street Journal today reported that a recent study demonstrated that final correct diagnoses for initially misdiagnosed patients included cancer and coronary artery disease.  A revealing aspect of the article?  A growing number of cancer centers are now requiring an “internal second review” of pathology results to prevent misdiagnosis. It sounds obvious, but these changes take time.  The issue will be balancing the costs versus the results, or the expense of a biopsy versus the danger of improper surgery.