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The Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC) Bloggers Join The Better Health Team!

It is with great pleasure that I welcome our CDC colleagues to the Better Health blog team. Going forward, Better Health will feature content from the CDC blogs on a weekly basis, and our collaborative efforts will be highlighted on the CDC blog pages as appropriate.

Better Health and the CDC share a common mission: to reach as many Americans as possible with scientifically accurate, trustworthy, and helpful medical information. As social media platforms (such as blogs, Twitter, and Facebook) become a gathering place for people seeking health information – it is important for experts to be able to provide content through these channels. The CDC’s relationship with Better Health is an excellent example of a public-private partnership that can magnify reach and relevance.

By becoming a content partner with Better Health, the CDC joins a prestigious international team of physicians, nurses, health experts and patient advocates, including notable organizations such as the American College of Physicians blogs, Harvard Health Publications, Diario Medico, Healthline, the Center For Advancing Health, and the Columbia University Department of Surgery.

Together we hope to educate, entertain, and influence lives for the better via the unique and often personal voice of blogging. I’ve found medicine to be an extremely challenging and exciting field, and the Better Health blog reflects a range of individual commentary about our healthcare system, including health tips and scientific advances.

Of course, the CDC does not endorse any content at Better Health other than their own, and we certainly hope that our occasional satirical and/or unvarnished opinion posts will not seem out of place to their readership.

So please join me in welcoming the CDC bloggers to our family!

Featured CDC Blogs:*

Safe Health Care Blog

Public Health Matters Blog

Injury Center Blog

NIOSH Science Blog

Genomics And Health Impact Blog

*We may add more featured blogs in due time.

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10 Responses to “The Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC) Bloggers Join The Better Health Team!”

  1. Jennifer Shine Dyer MD, MPH says:

    Welcome to the community CDC and thank you for joining our blogging team here on Better Health…good health information is powerful!

  2. Glenn Laffel MD, PhD says:

    Congrats and good luck to the CDC and Better Health. This looks like a great partnership in the making!

  3. Kim McAllister says:

    Welcome, CDC bloggers! You had me at “Preparation101: Zombie Apocalypse” : D! That’s my kind of blogging! : D

  4. Gene O. says:

    This is a fantastic collaboration, glad to see the medblogging community working together.

  5. Indeed we are a powerful community! We are all pulling together to improve access to important and credible health content in this new social media world in which we live. I’m so glad to have such a great team!

  6. DrJohnM says:

    Hey Val,

    Congratulations. This is fantastic news. My parents incessantly reminded me of the value of hard work. Your dedication to curating, creating and promoting Better Health is paying off.

    It’s not only really cool that BH is partnering with the CDC, it’s also encouraging that a prestigious government health department will associate itself with voices from the “real” world of medicine. Yes, this is a step in the right direction.

    Your measured words tickled me: “…and we certainly hope that our occasional satirical and/or unvarnished opinion posts will not seem out of place to their [CDC] readership.”

    I am hopeful that the CDC readership will find the occasional unvarnished post refreshing, and perhaps even uplifting. And as far as satire goes, I’m sure CDC peeps know that smiling reduces inflammation, and therefore, promotes heart health.

    Welcome CDC bloggers!


  7. Thank you, John. Actually I think my measured words may have been misplaced – as Kim pointed out, since the CDC has written about disaster preparedness in case of a “zombie apocalypse”… There is evidence that they may outshine the zaniest of us medical bloggers at Better Health. Bring it on, CDC. We are ready for you!

  8. Gina says:

    Like Kim said, I thought the Zombie Apocalypse was awesome. Great creativity :-) Welcome!!

  9. bongi says:

    Welcome. Looking forward to a great relationship.

  10. annie says:

    thanks for your good tips of health life

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Richmond, VA – In an effort to simplify inpatient medical billing, one area hospitalist group has determined that “altered mental status” (ICD-9 780.97) is the most efficient code for use in any patient work up.

“When you enter a hospital, you’re bound to have some kind of mental status change,” said Dr. Fishbinder, co-partner of Area Hospitalists, PLLC. “Whether it’s confusion about where your room is located in relationship to the visitor’s parking structure, frustration with being woken up every hour or two to check your vital signs, or just plain old fatigue from being sick, you are not thinking as clearly as before you were admitted. And that’s all the justification we need to order anything from drug and toxin screens, to blood cultures, brain MRIs, tagged red blood cell nuclear scans, or cardiac Holter monitoring. There really is no limit to what we can pursue with our tests.”

Common causes of mental status changes in the elderly include medicine-induced cognitive side effects, disorientation due to disruption in daily routines, age-related memory impairment, and urinary tract infections.

“The urinalysis is not a very exciting medical test,” stated Dr. Fishbinder. “It doesn’t matter that it’s cheap, fast, and most likely to provide an explanation for strange behavior in hospitalized patients. It’s really not as elegant as the testing involved in a chronic anemia or metabolic encephalopathy work up. I keep it in my back pocket in case all other tests are negative, including brain MRIs and PET scans.”

Nursing staff at Richmond Medical Hospital report that efforts to inform hospitalists about foul smelling urine have generally fallen on deaf ears. “I have tried to tell the hospitalists about cloudy or bloody urine that I see in patients who are undergoing extensive work ups for mental status changes,” reports nurse Sandy Anderson. “But they insist that ‘all urine smells bad’ and it’s really more of a red herring.”

Another nurse reports that delay in diagnosing urinary tract infections (while patients are scheduled for brain MRIs, nuclear scans, and biopsies) can lead to worsening symptoms which accelerate and expand testing. “Some of my patients are transferred to the ICU during the altered mental status work up,” states nurse Anita Misra. “The doctors seem to be very excited about the additional technology available to them in the intensive care setting. Between the central line placement, arterial blood gasses, and vast array of IV fluid and medication options, urosepsis is really an excellent entré into a whole new level of care.”

“As far as medicine-induced mental status changes are concerned,” added Dr. Fishbinder, “We’ve never seen a single case in the past 10 years. Today’s patients are incredibly resilient and can tolerate mixes of opioids, anti-depressants, anti-histamines, and benzodiazepines without any difficulty. We know this because most patients have been prescribed these cocktails and have been taking them for years.”

Patient family members have expressed gratitude for Dr. Fishbinder’s diagnostic process, and report that they are very pleased that he is doing everything in his power to “get to the bottom” of why their loved one isn’t as sharp as they used to be.

“I thought my mom was acting strange ever since she started taking stronger pain medicine for her arthritis,” says Nelly Hurtong, the daughter of one of Dr. Fishbinder’s inpatients. “But now I see that there are deeper reasons for her ‘altered mental status’ thanks to the brain MRI that showed some mild generalized atrophy.”

Hospital administrators praise Dr. Fishbinder as one of their top physicians. “He will do whatever it takes to figure out the true cause of patients’ cognitive impairments.” Says CEO, Daniel Griffiths. “And not only is that good medicine, it is great for our Press Ganey scores and our bottom line.”

As for the nursing staff, Griffiths offered a less glowing review. “It’s unfortunate that our nurses seem preoccupied with urine testing and medication reconciliation. I think it might be time for us to mandate further training to help them appreciate more of the medical nuances inherent in quality patient care.”

Dr. Fishbinder is in the process of creating a half-day seminar on ‘altered mental status in the inpatient setting,’ offering CME credits to physicians who enroll. Richmond Medical Hospital intends to sponsor Dr. Fishbinder’s course, and franchise it to other hospitals in the state, and ultimately nationally.


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