What's new on the Web: Helpful sites for CMs, patients
New health care Web sites appear regularly on the Internet. Here are four newly launched sites that may be useful to case managers and their patients:
• www.onconurse.com is a new, not-for-profit Web site that provides free fact sheets case managers can download and share with patients. Available topics include:
— advanced breast cancer;
— living with ostomy;
— clinical trial resources;
— childhood cancer and school;
— late effects of childhood cancer treatment;
— dealing with managed care;
— what leukemia is;
— what are non-Hodgkin's lymphomas?;
— patient rights and responsibilities.
• www.medtronic.com/traveling. Not knowing where to go in the event of a cardiac problem when traveling causes considerable concern for people with implanted heart devices. Now, by simply logging on to any computer with Internet access, people with implanted devices that carry the Medtronic or Vitatron brand name can obtain information about specialty care centers in or near their travel destinations. Clinicians at the listed centers can evaluate the patient's condition and are equipped with the necessary programming devices to adjust pacemakers and defibrillators as needed.
In the United States, patients can log onto the Internet and select a state and city or zip code to obtain a list of physicians and centers in the area familiar with their devices, along with contact information. Outside the United States, patients can select one of 120 countries worldwide and obtain contact information for centers qualified to assist them.
In addition, the site contains answers to frequently asked questions and other important information about traveling with cardiac rhythm management devices. The site is a free service provided by Medtronic, a manufacturer of implantable pacemakers and defibrillators based in Minneapolis.
• www.creakyjoints.com is a sometimes irreverent, often humorous, and always very personal Web site for the 42 million Americans with arthritis. It was launched by Seth Ginsberg, a 19-year-old college freshman at Babson College in Wellesley, MA.
The site contains testimonials from arthritis sufferers, including Ginsberg himself, contributing writers of all ages, and a fictional arthritic dog named Creak. It also contains features to which site visitors can contribute, including drug interactions and side effects and comments on over-the-counter drugs.
• www.depression-screening.org was developed by the National Mental Health Association in Alexandria, VA, to allow individuals to take a confidential screening test on-line for depression, as well as find a reliable source of information on the illness.
The depression screening test provided on the Web site is the HANDS Screening Tool, a 10-question scale developed by Screening for Mental Health in collaboration with the Harvard Medical School department of psychiatry in Cambridge, MA. The tool has been validated for detecting the likelihood of clinical depression.
Test results and recommendations
After completing the on-line test, visitors to the site receive their results and recommendations indicating the probability of depression and whether further evaluation by a health care professional is recommended. Results of the test are anonymous and confidential. The site urges visitors to print their test results and share them with their health care providers to initiate dialog about the need for further testing, evaluation, and possible treatment options.
The site also includes a directory of health care professionals nationwide who provide free one-on-one depression screening, as well as referrals to local mental health professionals.
Fraud, abuse kit helps docs comply with federal programs
The Pennsylvania Medical Society in Harrisburg unveiled its "Fraud and Abuse Prevention Kit" to help physicians and other health care providers who participate in Medicare and Medicaid programs comply with the laws and regulations that govern those programs.
The kit provides insight into the guidelines that cover documentation, coding, and billing processes. Physicians who are members of the Pennsylvania Medical Society may obtain the kit by contacting Patricia Bucek at (717) 558-7750. Nonmembers should contact Mike Berk at (717) 558-7750, ext. 1420. Berk can also be reached via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
There's no place like home
Home-based employees, whether they telecommute or are self-employed, face hazards in their daily routines that may cause injury. To meet the needs of this quickly growing segment of the work force, the American Industrial Hygiene Association in Fairfax, VA, has developed a free brochure, "There's No Place Like Home . . . For Workplace Safety."
The brochure covers a range of topics from indoor air quality to choosing the correct computer chair. The publication is designed to help consumers stay as safe and healthy as possible when they work from home.
To order, call (703) 849-8888 or visit the organization's Web site at www.aiha.org.
Help ease kids through bone marrow transplants
Bone marrow transplants are complicated and often overwhelming for pediatric patients and their families. A new book, Me and My Marrow, attempts to guide children through the difficult procedure.
The book was inspired and co-written by Cristina Cuzzone, a young leukemia patient who told her story to professionals at Fujisawa Healthcare, a pharmaceutical company in Deerfield, IL. Me and My Marrow explains what a transplant is, how it is done, what treatment will feel like, and how to cope with difficult times. The easy-to-read book is filled with colorful illustrations that help tell Cuzzone's story. Serving as a guide, Cuzzone shares her own experience along with practical advice from other children who have undergone bone marrow transplants.
The book covers everything from coping with physical change to resuming old friendships at school. It is divided into three main sections: before, during, and after a transplant.
Copies of Me and My Marrow have been distributed to transplant centers nationwide. In addition, an interactive version is available on the Internet at www.meandmymarrow.com. The site posts stories and advice from pediatric patients about their bone marrow transplant experiences. The site also suggests videos, books, newsletters, and other Web sites that might be helpful to patients and their families.
• Sept. 23-27. Manifesting Our Destiny: Fulfilling Our Dreams: The 19th Annual Meeting and Home Care Exposition of the National Association for Home Care (NAHC). Held at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. Sponsored by NAHC in Washington, DC. Telephone: (202) 547-7424. Fax: (202) 547-3540.
• Sept. 25-27. The fifth annual Disease Management Congress and Exposition. Held at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. Sponsored by the National Managed Health Care Congress in Waltham, MA. Telephone: (888) 882-2500. Fax: (941) 365-0157. E-mail: email@example.com.