Federal advisers said on Thursday that the U.S. health care system wastes about $765 billion every year – which is one reason caregivers need stronger government leadership to coordinate their medical practices. Bloomberg says among the recommendations from an Institute of Medicine panel were full adoption of electronic medical records, bringing drug discoveries into the market more quickly and improving the way physicians are trained.
Here's another reason to love that sweet, sweet nectar otherwise known as coffee: The Los Angeles Times reports Norwegian researchers have found that coffee reduces physical pain. Hopefully there are free refills.
Remember how all the cool kids in high school seemed to smoke? Well, HealthDay says that hasn't changed. A new study found that popular teenagers tend to smoke, and they also tend to pressure their peers to join them in. As one researcher said: "We haven't done enough to make it not cool to smoke."
And more on the kids, this time having to do with social media: A study in the Journal of Technology in Human Services says kids in the foster care system who use social media face additional safety and privacy issues – more so than the rest of the 73 percent of American teens who have online profiles. Researchers said foster kids may inadvertently share sensitive information online and open themselves up to cyberbullying targeting their family situation.
And finally, an update on one of the worst outbreaks of West Nile virus the U.S. has ever seen: It hasn't subsided yet. HealthDay says there have now been 1,993 cases involving people, including 87 deaths. All 48 contiguous states have reported at least one case, but more than 70 percent have come from Texas, South Dakota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Michigan.
Photo by Olivier Bacquet via Flickr Creative Commons.