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Grand Rounds Is Being Hosted Here At Better Health 11.8.11

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Dear Medical Bloggers – Better Health is pleased to be hosting Grand Rounds on November 8th, 2011. Please submit your best post to us via email to

Put “Grand Rounds Submission” in the subject line. Give us the link to your blog and the permalink to the post that you’d like us to feature – along with a brief description of the post.

There is no theme – as usual, we’d like to know what’s on your minds first and then if a theme shines through the submissions we’ll run with it!

We look forward to reading your posts!

Val Jones & Dryden Epstein

Emergency Contacts In Your Mobile Phone: Let ICE Speak For You When You Can’t

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A good friend and fellow physician sent me this notice. This is an important public service announcement.

An individual citizen, not the government, initiated the program.  If adoption of the program becomes a national standard, it will demonstrate people power and individual responsibility.

The key to Repairing the Healthcare System is individual responsibility. This program represents an opportunity for every individual to assume responsibility for themselves and alert everyone they know to be responsible for themselves.

A paramedic conceived ICE.  At the scene of accidents he found cell phones on an unconscious victim but he could not find whom to notify.

He thought it would be a good idea if there was a nationally recognized symbol to find a victim’s contact person In Case of an Emergency in the victims cell phone directory.

The ICE cell phone number could be Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Repairing the Healthcare System*

CDC Launches Program To Prevent Infections In Cancer Patients

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As clinicians, we know that the nearly one million patients who receive outpatient cancer treatment each year are at risk for serious infections that may lead to hospitalization, disruptions in chemotherapy schedules, and in some cases, death. Even so, it appears that outpatient oncology facilities may vary greatly in their attention to infection prevention. As one example – at an oncology clinic in Nebraska, it was discovered that syringes were reused to access bags of saline that were shared among multiple patients. This unsafe practice led to the transmission of hepatitis C virus to at least 99 cancer patients, resulting in one of the largest healthcare-associated outbreaks of its kind.

To help address this problem, CDC is launching a new program called Preventing Infections in Cancer Patients, featuring tools to help both clinicians and patients prevent infections.

As a cornerstone of this new initiative, CDC worked with Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Safe Healthcare*

Psychiatrist Wants To Know Your Thoughts On Bipolar Disorder

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I’d like to ask your help for a moment.  I’m going to write a blog post for this week’s Clinical Psychiatry News on Bipolar Disorder.  I’d like to know how you see the term used, or the symptoms that are hallmarks of the illness for you.  If you respond as my favorite commenter, “Anonymous,” could I ask that you define yourself…psychiatrist, psychologist, pediatrician, patient with bipolar disorder, friend of someone diagnosed with bipolar disorder….

Also, please just off the top of your head, I can read DSM or Google myself, and I’m more interested in Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Shrink Rap*

Why Should You Attend Blog World Expo?

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I’m a speaker at Blog World Expo, Los Angeles, on November 4th, 2011. And guess what? Four Better Health contributors will be joining me! Nick Genes, Kim McAllister, Terri Pollick, and Kerri Sparling will all be part of the Social Health track. You can get discount tickets my clicking on the Blog World Expo icon on the top right of the Better Health home page. We all hope to see you there!

For those of you who are on the fence about going – here’s what I’ve been asked to talk about: “physicians engaging online in social health.”

You’ll learn about:

1. How I used Twitter to help patients when there was a flu vaccine shortage

2. How I use podcasting to teach about eye health and vision care

3. How I use blogging to instruct families on healthy eating strategies to prevent illness

4. How I use telemedicine and mobile devices (at eDocAmerica and DocTalker Family Medicine) to answer patient questions in rural areas, where there is a doctor shortage

If you work in healthcare, then the Social Health track is a must-attend. Not only will you find out about cutting edge trends in healthcare communications, but you’ll get to rub elbows with early-adopter physicians, nurses, and advocates who are using innovative digital strategies to deliver care, educate patients, and change the world.

And for those who will be attending the conference for other reasons, but are wondering if they should stop by the Social Health sessions… It will be a great opportunity for you to learn how to use online resources more effectively to care for yourself and your family’s health (and save money in the process).  Or think of it this way: at some point everyone needs a doctor… that includes parenting bloggers, military bloggers, god bloggers, political bloggers, and tech bloggers. So let’s meet each other at Blog World Expo!

* You could snag a live, in-person conference ticket and save 20%. Enter the code “BWEVIP20″ for the discount.

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IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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