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. Ted Kaptchuk, Director of Harvard Medical School’s Program in Placebo Studies and the Therapeutic Encounter at BIDMC, and colleagues have begun to elucidate an ensemble of biochemical processes that may account for how placebos work and why they are more effective for some people, and some disorders, than others. The molecules’ emergence may reveal fundamental flaws in the way we understand the body’s healing mechanisms, and the way we evaluate whether more standard medical interventions in those processes work, or don’t.
. OpenNotes announced that more than 30 million Americans now have access to notes written by their clinicians in fully transparent medical records. OpenNotes is a call to action committed to improving health care by offering patients the opportunity to read notes written by their care team. Previously hidden from patients, these notes can be an essential tool for increasing communication, patient safety and the quality of care.
. Jihye Jang, a PhD Candidate at the Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Center at BIDMC, and colleagues assessed augmented reality’s potential to help cardiologists visualize myocardial scarring in the heart as they perform ventricular tachycardia ablation or other electrophysiological interventions. The team’s findings, published in PLOS ONE, demonstrate that the new technology confers a number of advantages.
. Concepts of patient engagement have proliferated rapidly across health care settings. OpenNotes, an organization based at BIDMC that advocates for routine patient access to medical notes, revealed that patients who use the program often appear to be motivated, involved, active and engaged in their care.