Physicians can begin signing up online for a free, electronic patient-safety alert system that will notify them via e-mail as well as by letter of Food and Drug Administration warnings on drugs or medical devices.
The launch of the Health Care Notification Network is the culmination of an effort by the iHealth Alliance, a not-for-profit consortium of the American Medical Association and other medical societies, medical malpractice insurance carriers and other healthcare organizations.
The HCNN is a separate network, but it is a byproduct of a conversation we had with the FDA three years ago, said Ed Fotsch, a physician who is chief executive officer of Medem, the developer of a physicians communication portal and patient personal health-record service founded in 1999 by the AMA and several national medical societies. The Medem personal health record is overseen by the iHealth Alliance.
In addition to e-mail, the service will also work with both a patients personal health record and a physicians electronic medical-record system, according to a news release. Fees to maintain the system will be paid by either pharmaceutical or device manufacturers or the FDA, Fotsch said. Negotiations are under way with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to incorporate public health warnings into the system, Fotsch said. -- by Joseph Conn