There is a lot in the news right now about transmissible diseases and it can be hard to keep up with what is going on. As things rapidly change around us, it is important to be aware of new diseases that may be more prevalent and populate the differential for a newly sick patient.
As the pandemic has pushed us into greater awareness about public health, I wanted to share some resources VisualDx offers that can be of use to clinicians and students who want to find regularly updated information.
Resources for Public Health
VisualDx has compiled up-to-date resources on different areas of public health concern. They include information ranging from COVID-19 to antibiotic stewardship guidelines to refugee health resources. They draw on their own peer-reviewed content as well as share current CDC guidelines.
The COVID-19 Resource Center is full of different resources related to care and management as well as images of radiographic findings.
The Refugee Health page includes information on providing culturally competent care and even some language tips. If you are part of a healthcare team, then this is a great resource to pull out and reference on rounds to get some quick information to share with everyone. If you are the student on the team, this is an especially great way to use your extra time to shine and go above and beyond in patient care.
Recently, cases of monkeypox have popped up around the world. To learn more about it, the Public Health Diagnostic Summaries page has a direct link to it. From there, the page has updates about the spread of monkeypox, its origin, and easy-to-digest information on management and presentation that can help tailor your clinical questions. I didn’t know that the origin of a 2003 monkeypox outbreak was attributed to infected prairie dogs that were housed near imported West African mammals!
There are also several clinical photos available of the type of rash monkeypox presents with. The photos solidify what to look for on physical exam. Some of the photos contain appropriate dermatologic descriptors of the findings, which is also a plus to get some practice with appropriate usage of terminology.
Another important aspect to consider is personal protective equipment precautions when caring for patients with potentially communicable diseases.
For VisualDx Subscribers
While all the information on the Public Health Resources page is freely available—even without a VisualDx subscription—licensed users have an added bonus of clicking through to see full diagnostic details including Therapy and Differentials.
Time is the greatest resource we have.
From my perspective, VisualDx has compiled a lot of important information that I would otherwise be hunting for from several different websites into one or two pages that I can easily read and be directed to further resources for more information. Time is the greatest resource we all have, and this is a way to work more efficiently and care for patients in the best way possible.
With these new tools, I hope you feel more prepared to tackle the next new big bug—just don’t forget your PPE!