AMA site assesses flu symptoms, facilitates patient-physician communication

What can we here at FierceHealthIT say about swine flu that hasn't already been said? Plenty, apparently, particularly when it comes to educating the public about the facts and myths surrounding this pandemic.

The American Medical Association has started a new online service, AMAfluhelp.org, a health assessment program that aims to help improve communication and care coordination between physicians and patients for both seasonal influenza and the H1N1 virus. The site asks questions to patients about their symptoms to help determine the severity of their condition, based on CDC guidelines. Users can then share their results over a secure connection with health professionals, as well as friends and family. For physicians, the site includes tools to help monitor patients with the flu, make treatment decisions and otherwise facilitate care.

"This resource allows patients to assess their symptoms and determine when to seek care for themselves or their loved ones," AMA Trustee Dr. Mary Anne McCaffree tells HealthLeaders Media. "To prevent the spread of influenza, this site also helps determine when it is safe for those who have been sick to return to work or school."

Meanwhile, the CDC has contracted with GE Healthcare to provide surveillance data on H1N1 and seasonal flu outbreaks across the country. GE will draw from its database of 14 million patient records to generate daily reports.

To learn more:
- read this HealthLeaders Media story
- visit AMAfluhelp.org
- see the GE Healthcare press release on its CDC contract

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