Going multimedia

Watch the hit counter at the bottom of the right-hand column. Watch it carefully as it approaches and hopefully passes 20,000 since I began tracking traffic in September 2004. Thank you for your continued readership.

And now for a reality check. The HIStalk blog had 186,445 hits in March alone. While I count visits more than hits (a.k.a. total page views) still I can only aspire to provide a fraction of the entertainment value as Mr. HIStalk—or for that matter, a fraction of the entertainment value of those fun-loving hipsters at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, who have gone all YouTube on us.

Yes, AHRQ and the Ad Council have teamed up to produce the following public-service announcement aimed at encouraging patients to seek information from their healthcare providers as part of a campaign called “Questions are the Answer.”

This is the 30-second version. A 60-second spot is at http://www.ahrq.gov/questionsaretheanswer/level2col_1.asp?nav=2colNav00&content=09_0_videos.

AHRQ also is working on a pilot with PBS related to patient safety. The first episode will focus on health IT, according to Jon White, M.D., health IT portfolio manager of AHRQ’s Center for Primary Care, Prevention, and Clinical Partnerships. I’ll try to track down some more details.

Meanwhile, on the publishing front, Atul Gawande, M.D., seems to be doing something useful with his $500,000 “genius grant.” The follow-up to his 2002 best-seller “Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science,” hits bookstores April 10. Read the introduction to “Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance” here.

And finally—stealing a phrase from FierceHealthIT since editor Anne Zieger asked me to link to them—said publication has come out with its list of 10 Top Health IT Innovators for 2007. Anne would like readers to chime in on the selections.

Of course, lots of people have already chimed in on No. 2, namely Practice Fusion, and the CEO of No. 5 athenahealth already has opined in the form of a podcast on this very blog.

Viva la shameless self-promotion!