Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

American Customer Satisfaction Index (ASCI) includes health care related agencies, institutions, and companies

ACSIThe American Customer Satisfaction Index - The voice of the Nation's Consumer

From the ACSI About page

ACSI reports scores on a 0-100 scale at the national level and produces indexes for 10 economic sectors, 47 industries (including e-commerce and e-business), more than 225 companies, and over 200 federal or local government services. In addition to the company-level satisfaction scores, ACSI produces scores for the causes and consequences of customer satisfaction and their relationships. The measured companies, industries, and sectors are broadly representative of the U.S. economy serving American households.
View PDF of ACSI’s structure showing National, Sector & Industry Scores »

Here are some good places to start for health related customer satisfaction statistics

April 26, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Librarian Resources, Public Health | , , | Leave a comment

Pediatric Pros: 1976 Toxic Substance Control Act Needs Updating

From the 26 April 2011 Medical News Today article

Common household products are great disinfectants and ways to keep your habitation germ free, but there is still a high risk for children in particular who have not yet built up a solid immune system to be affected by exposure to chemicals. As a result, The American Academy of Pediatrics is calling for stronger federal regulation of chemicals in consumer products. The law in place now dates back more than three decades. …

Under current law, new chemicals used in consumer products are assumed to be safe until proved otherwise. Therefore, pediatricians have teamed with the American Medical Association and American Nurses Association in pushing for changes so that companies will be required to study the health effects of chemicals before marketing products that contain them.

Dr. Jerome Paulson with the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. stated:

“Under the current Toxic Substance Control Act, companies do not need to do research on the potential health impacts of the chemicals that they’re marketing before they put them out on the market.”

Dr. Kevin Osterhoudt, a board member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Council on Environmental Health and the medical director of the poison control center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is a leader for change:

“If we want to market a drug or pharmaceutical, we have to do some studies to say that they’re safe. But companies can enter hundreds of thousands of tons of chemicals into the country and the burden isn’t on them to prove that that chemical’s safe.”

In a written statement, the AAP recommends any chemicals policy should consider the consequences on children and their families. Among the other recommendations:
The regulation of chemicals must be based on evidence, but decisions to ban chemicals should be based on reasonable levels of concern rather than demonstrated harm.
Any testing of chemicals should include the impact on women and children, including potential effects on reproduction and development.
Chemicals should meet safety standards similar to those met by pharmaceuticals or pesticide residues on food.
There should be post-marketing surveillance of chemicals, and the EPA must have the authority to remove a chemical if needed.
Federal funding should be provided for research to prevent, identify and evaluate the effects of chemicals on children’s health.

Related Resource

[Toxicology Resources] Especially for the Public (below are 2 links of 11)

          “What’s under your kitchen sink, in your garage, in your bathroom, and on the shelves in your laundry room?
Learn more about what’s in these products, about potential health effects, and about safety and handling.”

  • Tox Town  —Interactive guide to potentially toxic substances and environmental health issues in everyday places

April 26, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 1 Comment

Hundreds Of Everyday Products Could Become Greener With New Discovery

From the 26 April 2011 Medical News Today article

The American Chemical Society (ACS) today, 26th April, released a new episode in its award-winning “Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions” podcast series showcasing a discovery that could mean greener and more environmentally friendly production of a key ingredient used to make everything from paint to diapers. …

The new podcast is available without charge at iTunes and from ACS’ website.

The podcast and accompanying website focus on a new way to make acrylic acid, a key industrial material that’s usually produced from pricey and increasingly scarce petroleum. It involves development of a new catalyst that permits production of acrylic acid without using petroleum. The research appeared in the American Chemical Society’s journal, ACS Catalysis.

April 26, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health | , , | Leave a comment

NIH Launches Web Resource on Complementary and Alternative Medicine

N C C A M: The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine

From the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) press release

A new online resource, designed to give health care providers easy access to evidence-based information on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), was unveiled today by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) of the National Institutes of Health.

With this new resource, providers will have the tools necessary to learn about the various CAM practices and products and be better able to discuss the safety and effectiveness of complementary and alternative medicine with their patients….

NCCAM developed a resource that provides reliable, objective, and evidenced-based information on CAM, including:

Americans annually spend nearly $34 billion out-of-pocket on CAM products and practices. Surveys show that nearly 40 percent of American adults and 12 percent of American children use some form of CAM. Other surveys show that patients do not regularly discuss these practices with their health care providers. In fact, a recent study of Americans aged 50 and older found that overall two-thirds of respondents had not discussed CAM with their health care provider.

“NCCAM is charged to study and provide evidence-based information on the safety and efficacy of CAM health practices that are readily available and already used by a great number of people,” said Josephine P. Briggs, M.D., director of NCCAM. “As a physician, I understand the need to have easily accessible and accurate information on all health practices. This Web resource is a way for NCCAM to share this valuable information with all providers.”

To use this resource, please visit

Doctor at hospital speaking to patient in wheelchairNCCAM’s Time to Talk campaign encourages patients to tell their providers about CAM use and providers to ask about it by offering tools and resources—such as wallet cards, posters, and tip sheets—all of which are available for free at

The mission of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) is to define, through rigorous scientific investigation, the usefulness and safety of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) interventions and their roles in improving health and health care. For additional information, call NCCAM’s Clearinghouse toll free at 1-888-644-6226, or visit the NCCAM Web site at

The National Institutes of Health (NIH)—The Nation’s Medical Research Agency—includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

Additional Resources
Natural & Alternative Treatments
Contains detailed information on almost 200 different conditions and the conventional and natural treatments used to treat them, over 300 herbs and supplements, plus drug-herb and drug-supplement interactions for more than 90 drug categories.

Drugs and Supplements (sponsored by the Mayo Clinic)

Somewhat lengthy drug and over-the-counter medicationinformation with these sections: description, before using, proper use, precautions and side effects. From Micromedex, a trusted source of healthcare information for health professionals.  

Herb and supplement information includes information on uses based on scientific evidence as well as safety and potential interactions with drugs, herbs, and supplements. From Natural Standard, an independent group of researchers and clinicians

Drugs, Supplements, and Herbal Information (from a MedlinePlus page)

Prescription and over-the-counter medication information contains answers to many general questions including topics as what a drug is used for, precautions, side effects, dietary instructions, and overdoses. From the American Society of Health System Pharmacists

Herb and supplement information includes information on uses based on scientific evidence as well as safety and potential interactions with drugs, herbs, and supplements. From Natural Standard, an independent group of researchers and clinicians.

April 26, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Librarian Resources, Professional Health Care Resources | , , , , | Leave a comment


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