Thursday, September 17, 2009

Omega-6 Fatty Acid Jobs

Dietary Omega-6  fatty acid is responsible for the bodies ability to mount a lifesaving inflammatory response when needed. This includes spiking a fever to kill off bacterial and viral infections, swelling to protect bones, and clotting to prevent us from bleeding to death.

Biologist have now discovered that the smell of death or injury that repels living beings has been identified as Omega-6 linoleic acid.  A biology professor at McMaster University, David Rollo, found that corpses all emit the same death stench produced by this fatty acid.

Dr. Rollo suggests that recognizing and avoiding the dead could reduce the chances of catching the disease, or allow you to get away with just enough exposure to activate your inate immunity.

He also suggests that linoleic acid is reliable and quickly released from cells following death.  Evolution appears to have favoured such clues because they were reliable associated with demise, and avoiding contagion and predation are rather critical to survival.

I am always in awe of the the brilliant way the body uses nutrients.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Grand Junction CO & Health Reform

Grand Junction Colorado's health care system is often sited as excellent and one to be envied.

The system excels because of extraordinary collaboration. This did not occur at random or in a vacuum. Effective collaboration results from the tenacious commitment of its key players to a shared vision of community performance, realized through incentives, information sharing, and appreciation of distinct comparative advantages. Many lessons of the Grand Junction experience should inform the national health reform debate.

Lesson #1:
Vision and incentives are essential to an operational sense of community. Grand Junction’s leaders view their own self-interest and the community’s interests as congruent.

Lesson #2:
Information systems and data sharing are essential for collaboration and trust. The electronic records system and the interoperability enable evidence-based collaboration on complex and high-cost cases, across institutions and among clinicians.

Lesson #3:
Complementary institutions pursuing their comparative advantages facilitate collaboration. Grand Junction’s providers allow specialized complements to focus on specific populations to ensure that all residents get the right care at the right time.

Lesson #4:
Primary care is the core of any high performance health system. Throughout a patient’s life, primary care physicians in Grand Junction are involved in all levels of treatment. Continuity and collaboration between primary care physicians, specialists, and other members of care teams leads to higher-quality care, better outcomes, and lower costs. Most importantly, team-based care refocuses the delivery system on the patient, not on the provider.

I am happy to provide a PDF of an article called Grand Junction, Colorado: A Health Community That Works to all interested readers. The authors are Len Nichols, Micah Weinberg and Julie Barnes.