Dianthus Medical Blog Archive

Index of 2009

Oral cancer statistics

Today's news on the latest oral cancer statistics contains some schoolboy errors in presenting statistical results, and are a great example of how not to present statistics in the popular media.

Let's take the title of the article to start with:  "Drink blamed for oral cancer rise". Well, it's true that oral cancer is more common now than it was in previous decades. It's also true that we drink more now than in previous decades. And it's true that alcohol consumption is a risk factor for oral cancer. So it seems logical to assume that drink must be responsible, doesn't it?

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How not to do customer service

When I set up Dianthus Medical 10 years ago, I have to confess that the idea of setting up a business was a little scary. One of the things that gave me the courage to go ahead anyway was the observation that so many companies seemed to be incredibly badly run, and yet still survived, so how hard could it be?

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The EMWA and AMWA ghostwriting survey

I am pleased to report that a little piece of research I've done, together with my co-author Cindy Hamilton (current president of AMWA), has recently been published in The Write Stuff, the journal of EMWA.

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Dentists need medical writers too

I have just returned from a trip to the dentist, where I was reminded how important the medical writer's craft is in all branches of healthcare. Medical writers are skilled in making sure that text is clear and unambiguous, and if my dentist's practice had had the benefit of a medical writer, their health questionnaire might have looked different.

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A sad day for British politics

Yesterday's European election results were, on one level, a lot of fun. Our useless waste-of-space government, led by the incompetent Gordon Brown, suffered one of their worst election defeats ever. That's a good thing, although sadly our government is so out of touch with reality they will no doubt ignore the huge message that the British electorate have just sent them and  continue to lurch from crisis to crisis until we finally have the opportunity to get rid of them at the next general election in about a year's time.

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CDISC protocol representation model

Those of you who follow such things carefully will know that CDISC have recently released a draft of their new protocol representation model (PRM). The current model is only a draft version, and CDISC are keen to receive comments on the model from as wide a variety of potential users as possible. If you feel you have something to contribute, have a look at the model and let CDISC know what you think.

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Back in the office

Well, I'm back in the office now after a hectic conference season. I've spent most of the last 2 weeks away at conferences, and, as much fun as they were, it's good to back at my desk again.

The week before last was the PSI conference in Brighton. I was very impressed with the standard of the talks (although not with the hotel, which was a bit pants), and picked up a good few useful thoughts. I gave a talk during a session on CDISC standards, about the way we are using software to automate some CDISC-related tasks at Dianthus, and I was struck by how much variability there seems to be in the way statisticians are using the SDTM and ADaM standards. Some have been using the standards to good effect for a while, and others seem barely to be aware that the standards are out there. I expect I'll write another post about CDISC on this blog before long.

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Two more conferences

This seems to be a busy time of year for conferences, and I have a busy couple of weeks ahead. Continue reading→

Dianthus is 10 years old!

Dianthus Medical Limited first started in May 1999, which means that this week we've been celebrating our 10th birthday. Continue reading→

Dianthus website redesign

We have a new design for our website, and more importantly, a blog. Continue reading→
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