Government panel created to examine best treatments

A new government panel, the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute's board, has been created to increase the public's knowledge of medical treatments and could potentially change how patients discuss treatments with their doctors, according to an article in the Washington Post.

The article reports that institute's researchers will examine Comparative Effective Research done by schools, hospitals and medical companies to study both advantages and disadvantages of medical treatments and determine which ones work best for patients, accounting for factors such as patient health condition and age.

Over the next few years, the board aims to determine how to communicate its findings to both physicians and the public.

(Sources: The Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com, October 15, 2010; Kaiser Daily Health Policy Project, http://kaiserhealthnews.org, October 15, 2010)