December 2014 John Weeks Integrator Round-Up: Miscellaneous
by John Weeks, Publisher Editor of The Integrator Blog News & Reports Say What? Average Office Visit Lengthens Over Past 20 Years A new retrospective analysis of data from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey of the National Center for Healthby John Weeks, Publisher/Editor of The Integrator Blog News & ReportsSay What? Average Office Visit Lengthens Over Past 20 YearsA new retrospective analysis of data from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey of the National Center for Health Statistics has found that from 1993 through 2010 reported visit duration increased from 17.9 minutes to 20.3 minutes for primary care visits and from 19.0 minutes to 21.0 minutes for specialized visits. The increase was “consistent across different age ranges, for different numbers of diagnoses, and for patients who did and did not have a procedure performed during the visit.” Co-author Stephen Feldman, MD, PhD is integrative medicine faculty at Wake Forest.Comment: The authors begin the conclusion portion of their abstract with: “Contrary to expectations and beliefs …” Their guess is that the increase is connected to more discussion time forced by patients with access to the internet. Connection to better team work and coordinated ancillary services was also postulated as being associated with the increased visit duration. The big question to many of us is: whatever happened to the “7-minute average visit” that many have rolled out as a fact of medicine in recent years? Did it never exist? Bottom line, these data do not agree with perception of most. (Thanks to Carlo Calabrese, ND, MPH, for the link.) Consumers-Practitioners Together: Ann Fonfa’s 9th Evidence-based Complementary & Alternative Cancer Therapies ConferenceThe 9th Evidence-based Complementary & Alternative Cancer Therapies conference will be held Feb 26-28, 2015 in West Palm Beach. The conference is promoted through the Annie Appleseed Project run by cancer survivor Ann Fonfa. The project has distinguished itself from other integrative cancer conferences by attendance of both patients and practitioners. The project is in its 15th year. This conference includes “speakers from 3 continents and a patient panel where people present patient-centered evidence.”Comment: Fonfa is a pioneer in promoting integrative oncology, especially from a patient-centered perspective. This labor of love is a rare event in a nominally “patient-centered” era that seeks to bring patients, practitioners and vendors into one room.