Are there better ways to alert and inform physicians and patients

In the March issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings I noted an article about 33 cases of Anaplasmosis being reported in a Massachusetts suburban hospital over a six month period. Not only does that mean we now have three tick borne diseases on the East Coast we need to know/worry about,  they changed the name from Ehrlichiosis to Anaplasmosis without me knowing. While many of these cases are minor, some are quite severe and hard to diagnose, but easy to treat with a tetracycline family antibiotic.

Infectious diseases represent one of the most important medical categories where both patients and physicians better be up to date (diagnosis and treatment) or suffer the consequences.

Regardless of whether we are talking about healthcare in the US or sub-sahara Africa people need to know about new diseases, new diagnostic tools and new treatments. But, how do we disseminate this information in the new information age. The CDC is currently sending lots of people text messages to remind them about routine risk factors. If you could text patients and physicians with 140 character messages with a link to a web site would that be helpful? I am aware that we can post information in journals, newspapers, TV shows, etc. but that is expensive. How many people would make use a QR code that took them to an educational web site like this one?

Does anyone have any new solutions to alert/educate physicians and patients?


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Comment by Bob Hoyt on April 30, 2012 at 2:12am

Thanks for posting. After reading the pdf I still have an imperfect idea about the technology involved. It mentions using the pathology information system but does the clinician receive the alert in the electronic health record? E-alert could theoretically imply several different types of alerts, EHR, email, SMS and so forth......Bob

Comment by David Sandbach on April 30, 2012 at 12:59am

Dear Dr Hoyt,


I came across this and thought you may be interested in it.




David Sandbach.



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