State health dept. teams with WebMD to enhance public health alert
Medscape Alert issued Wednesday: declining flu numbers
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[February 14, 2013]
CHICAGO -- The Illinois
Department of Public Health announced on Wednesday that it has
teamed with Medscape from WebMD, the leading source of information
for health care professionals, to communicate urgent public health
messages to health care providers in Illinois. The first health
alert -- on declining influenza hospital admissions -- was issued
Wednesday to health care providers.
"This partnership with WebMD complements our Health Alert Network
system and will enhance our existing efforts to ensure that we're
reaching health care providers in Illinois through the prompt
delivery of urgent public health alerts when needed," said Dr. LaMar
Hasbrouck, IDPH director. "Through this partnership we can send
alerts to the more than 40,000 additional registered health care
Currently, IDPH delivers critical health
information through health alerts, advisories and social media
updates to local health departments, hospitals, health care
providers and other public health partners as part of the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention's national HAN system.
Medscape distributed Illinois' first alert Wednesday, informing
its network of registered clinical members via email that the
state's severe flu season -- which has seen 608 ICU hospitalizations
and 84 deaths through the first week of February -- is waning. For
the week ending Feb. 2, there was an 87 percent decline in ICU
hospitalizations compared with peak admissions at the beginning of
January. The alert also urged providers to continue encouraging the
public to get a flu shot.
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"Medscape can quickly disseminate critical health information to
health care providers on both a state and local level," said Robert
Marotta, senior vice president and chief regulatory counsel of WebMD.
"As the leading source of health information and news for health
care professionals, Medscape will support the Illinois Department of
Public Health in its efforts to efficiently communicate the latest
health news to its network of health care providers."
Department of Public Health file received from
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]