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MedWatch Safety Information Resources for Busy Physicians


“As the medical Director
of Patient Safety here, I want to know about
medication alerts, safety concerns, as early as anybody
else in the hospital.” “Health professionals
are really swamped with information that’s
coming in different ways. They need to have the best
information at the right time to manage
their patients.” As physicians, you
are bombarded with information. Knowing your time is
valuable and limited, the FDA provides
MedWatch Safety Alerts. These free alerts cover
drugs, medical devices, biologics and dietary
supplements and will provide you with new
safety information on these products. The alerts will be sent
right to your smart phone or computer via
text message, email or RSS feed. The choice is yours to
receive the alert where and when it is best for
your practice style. “These are actionable
drug, medical device and other human medical
product safety information delivered to you at the
point of care from the FDA so you know that they are
accurate, non-biased and science-based using the
best available evidence” These alerts include time
sensitive information on: Important labeling changes
such as boxed warnings and contraindications like a
new drug/drug interaction; Class One recalls of
drugs and devices; “Dear Healthcare
Professional” letters from manufacturers about
important safety changes; And early communications
about FDA reviews of safety signals received during
post-market surveillance for drugs and devices; “Whether you practice
in a hospital, private office
or clinic, extended care facility, or any other
medical setting, our FDA MedWatch safety alerts
allow you to stay current with the new information
available on drugs, biologics or
medical devices that you use during your busy
practice day.” Having the most current
safety information at the point of care allows you to
better educate and inform patients as you jointly
decide on the medical treatment or diagnostic
test that’s best for the individual patient. “The thing I liked about
it too is that a patient then sees you checking
their information and insuring them that the
information that you’re delivering to them
is accurate and as much up to
date as possible.” The MedWatch safety
alerts can be sent right to your
smart phone. They can also be
incorporated into a hospital’s or medical
association’s web site, whether it’s the public
Internet or a hospital’s intranet site that serves
as a practice or reference resource for
the busy doctor. “I utilize the Med
Watch system in two different ways. One is I’ve signed up for
the email alerts that are provided by the FDA. And then I also get that
information via my hand held” “I would like to have as
much clinical information available to me on a
handheld as possible.” “We are changing the
way we disseminate information. And I think that health
care professionals and the public has seen a
much greater flow of information directly
from the FDA in the last few
years.” The MedWatch Safety
Alerts play a big part in increasing patient safety
and can link you directly to more detailed
information on the FDA MedWatch website,
your gateway to safety information on all human
medical products used by busy doctors. For example, a visit
to the MedWatch website allows busy doctors to
quickly learn about drug labeling changes, including new boxed
warnings, contraindications, and precautions that can
inform your prescribing decisions and
minimize risk of harm. This information is
provided in a quick view table format that is
“clickable” to take the user directly to a
detailed view of the information and to
the current label. The speed of medical
practice these days is fast-paced and
busier than ever. The FDA recognizes that
you want to find new drug and device safety
information rapidly, to take advantage
of the FDA’s Safety Information
Resources. We now provide many
options, so you may tailor the type of alert or
information to help you avoid information overload
and better serve your patients. It is very easy to sign
up for our FDA MedWatch safety alerts and I know
that you will find that receiving this timely
and actionable safety information from the FDA
will be an enormous return on a small time
investment. For more information
on MedWatch, go to fda.gov/medwatch.

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