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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This Web site provides resources for patients and practitioners to help reduce risk of infection during outpatient chemotherapy.
Journal Article > Study
Wolf JA, Moreau J, Akilov O, et al. JAMA Dermatol. 2013;149:422-426.
Smartphones provide opportunities to share information and may become invaluable tools for certain health care functions, such as assisting smoking cessation or monitoring medication adverse effects. Recently, several mobile health care applications have been developed and marketed directly to non-clinician consumers. This study evaluates the accuracy of four smartphone applications intended to assess photographs of skin lesions to help users decide whether the lesion is potentially dangerous. Overall, the applications performed poorly, with three incorrectly classifying 30% or more of melanomas as unconcerning. In the more accurate fourth application, images are sent to a board-certified dermatologist for evaluation, rather than using a preset algorithm. The concern is that reliance on these dermatologic applications could delay diagnoses and ultimately harm patients.
Beck M. Wall Street Journal. September 14, 2014.
Overdiagnosis has emerged as a patient safety issue. Reporting on how the push for early identification of cancer has led to screening, detection, and treatment of tumors that may never cause harm, this newspaper article discusses the impact of unnecessary tests and treatment on patients and health systems. Researchers are working to design better tests to distinguish between benign abnormalities and cancers.
Journal Article > Study
Mixed-methods evaluation of real-time safety reporting by hospitalized patients and their care partners: the MySafeCare application.
Collins SA, Couture B, Smith AD, et al. J Patient Saf. 2018 Apr 27; [Epub ahead of print].
Detecting adverse events in the health care setting remains an ongoing challenge. Engaging patients and their family members may help to escalate safety issues not identified by other means. In this mixed-methods study, investigators analyzed the types of issues patients and their care partners reported in real time through a web-based electronic application implemented on three hospital units. After implementation of the tool, event reporting by patients to the Patient Family Relations Department declined, suggesting that patients preferred to report concerns anonymously through the application. The authors conclude that additional research is needed to understand how these types of applications could be integrated into patient safety programs. A past PSNet perspective highlighted how patient-facing technologies can empower patients.