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The best formula for making health decisions
is to combine the most reliable medical facts with your personal feelings. Put
more simply: Medical Information + Your Information = Better Health
Your decisions influence your overall well-being as
well as the quality and cost of your care. By taking an active role in your
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Read these Healthwise stories to see how Healthwise helps people make better health decisions.
Patricia used the Healthwise Knowledgebase to save her own life.
just finished her Saturday-morning chores when her lungs began burning. She was
sweating and had some numbness in her arms. She drew a bath thinking, "I must
be having a panic attack-I'll be all right if I can just relax."
A few hours later, the 42-year-old still felt like she had "an elephant
sitting on my chest." Patricia canceled her usual horse-riding lesson and took
a nap instead. When she awoke, she felt even worse.
thought: Check the [Healthwise® Knowledgebase on]
the Internet," says Patricia. "I had almost every heart attack symptom
described in the Healthwise® Knowledgebase. I knew I
had to get to the hospital right away!"
Hospital tests confirmed
that Patricia had indeed had a heart attack, and the following Tuesday she had
triple-bypass heart surgery. Today, Patricia is back in the saddle, riding
horses and enjoying life.
You can count on Susan Van Houten-Healthwise medical writer, grandmother, and former ER nurse.
"Helping people like Patricia make important medical
decisions is our sole focus," says Susan Van Houten. "We know our work makes a
difference in people's lives, every day."
The people at
Healthwise are very much like the people who use our information. We're health
care consumers too. We care for our own health and for the health of our kids
and parents. And, we all share a commitment to the Healthwise mission.
Susan is a mother of 6, grandmother of 10, and daughter of her
78-year-old mother. Several people in her family deal with chronic diseases
like hypertension and diabetes. Just like you, she wants health information to
be easy to use for herself and her family.
Unlike many of our
readers, Susan is an expert in developing health information and has been doing
so at Healthwise for 14 years. She is also a nurse who practiced in hospitals
for 25 years, 15 of which were as the director of an emergency room.
"I've seen firsthand how valuable it is for people to have good
information," Susan says. "Helping you make better health decisions is
important to me-and to all of us at Healthwise."
World-class heart doctor Robert Kloner, MD, PhD, is in your corner.
is one of 295 experts who review Healthwise information for accuracy and
currency. He helps us help you make better health decisions on heart-related
Dr. Kloner is known as one of America's leading heart
experts. For the past 30 years Dr. Kloner has taught at medical schools,
participated in major research projects, and contributed to medical journal
articles. He is professor of medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of
University of Southern California. He is also director of research at the Heart
Institute of Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles and an attending
cardiologist at Los Angeles County/University of Southern California Medical
Dr. Kloner previously directed the Cardiac Research
Laboratory at Harvard Medical School. He has also edited 18 authoritative
"Good information is critical to good health and
good health care," says Dr. Kloner. "With easy-to-understand, reliable
information, people can make good decisions. When I hear stories like
Patricia's, I'm especially gratified to be part of the Healthwise review team."
Healthwise benefits from readers' input to keep our content helpful. Send us your comments by contacting your sponsoring organization or by emailing Healthwise at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you contact Healthwise, you can expect a reply within about two weeks.
For answers to your specific health issues, contact your health professional. Or if you think you need care right away, call 911 or other emergency services.
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Healthwise Medical Review Board
The Healthwise Medical Review
Board is directed by our chief medical officer, Dr. Martin J. Gabica, and
our medical directors, Dr. Adam C. Husney and Dr. Kathleen Romito, all board-certified family medicine physicians. Dr. Catherine Serio provides
leadership on behavioral health issues for all Healthwise products. There is also a panel of board-certified associate medical directors who are involved in the planning and the regular and routine review of
content written by
The Healthwise Medical Review Board also includes more than 200 health professionals and medical specialists who review Healthwise content from a specialist's point of view. Their credentials
include board certification, licensure, and/or registration; academic appointments at leading
medical schools; involvement in research; and publication in
peer-reviewed journals and medical textbooks. Most important, they share the
Healthwise commitment to empowering patients with reliable health information
and building strong patient-provider relationships. This encourages
partnerships in the decision-making process. With input from
these specialists, and with oversight by one of the Medical Directors or Associate Medical Directors, Healthwise medical writers develop health information based on
scientific evidence and current clinical practice.
Before approving reviewers, Healthwise verifies that they have current licenses, registrations, and certifications with state or national agencies. We also verify with bodies that certify in specialty areas, if appropriate. The reviewers must be in good standing with these organizations during the time they review Healthwise content. We check this standing at least every 3 years. In addition, reviewers agree to notify Healthwise immediately if the status of their licenses, registrations, or certifications changes.
physicians and health professionals are members of the Healthwise Medical Review Board:
Healthwise® Knowledgebase Editorial Policy and Processes
The field of medicine changes constantly.
Each day headlines reveal new ways to diagnose, treat, or prevent health problems. Through a comprehensive topic development process, the
Healthwise® Knowledgebase content is regularly updated to keep pace with the changes in medicine and medical practice.
Healthwise develops content through the collaborative efforts of content and
medical teams using a comprehensive research and review process.
The Healthwise content team includes full-time professional
medical researchers, writers, and editors who have extensive experience in
scientific research and medical writing. They work closely with members of the
Healthwise medical team, including the chief medical officer, the medical
director, the associate medical directors, and the Healthwise Medical
The Healthwise Medical Review Board includes more than 220 health professionals and medical specialists who review Healthwise content from a specialist's point of view. Their credentials include board certification, licensure/registration and/or certification, academic appointments at leading medical schools, involvement in research, and publication in peer-reviewed journals and medical textbooks. Most important, they share the Healthwise commitment to empowering patients with reliable health information and building strong patient-provider relationships.
Healthwise content starts with evidence-based information. Content team members are experts at presenting
balanced, unbiased perspectives without influence from commercial interests.
Our Conflict of Interest policy enforces our editorial integrity: "All Healthwise personnel should avoid situations where their personal
interests could conflict, or reasonably appear to conflict, with the interests
of Healthwise. In this regard, personnel must avoid any outside financial
interest that might influence, or appear to influence, their corporate
decisions or actions."
Topic Development Process
There are four primary
steps in the development process: planning, research, writing, and
Writers, editors, and associate medical
directors work together to plan the topic.
Medical librarians develop a research packet for each topic based on extensive research and evaluation of biomedical literature. Research packets include evidence-based journal and database search results, gold standard textbook chapters, guideline statements, and outcome studies, as well as consumer health information.
Writing and review cycles include
collaboration among medical directors and other clinicians. Writers and editors also collaborate to ensure that the content is in plain language, follows literacy standards, and meets user-centered learning theory and behavior-change principles.
An associate medical director and at least one
specialist review topics during the development process. They ensure accuracy and consistency
with current practice standards and identify areas of important development.
These independent medical reviewers ensure that
Healthwise® Knowledgebase topics contain accurate,
New Topic Development
Healthwise selects new topics on
the basis of several criteria, including requests from consumers and
organizations using the Healthwise® Knowledgebase,
prevalence of the condition, and the potential of shared decision-making for consumers who have the condition.
Healthwise updates topics when warranted
by changes in medical practice. The content and medical teams
continually review medical news sources and journals so they can quickly identify
changes that affect the practice of medicine. When important changes occur,
we update topics and include them in the next quarterly release of the
Healthwise® Knowledgebase. In addition,
Healthwise reviews and updates topics on a regular basis.
Organizations and people using the
Healthwise® Knowledgebase may suggest changes or
additions to topics. Healthwise considers these recommendations during the topic
development process and includes them in our updates if they meet our standard
criteria and pass the medical review process. If a suggested change applies
only to a particular sponsoring organization's readers, and if it passes
medical review, then we may make the change for that organization's customized version
of the Healthwise® Knowledgebase. Any change to
the Healthwise® Knowledgebase must first pass
The last revised date is at the bottom
of every topic page and in the credits section of each topic.
Citing the Evidence
The Healthwise® Knowledgebase contains thousands of unique references to help readers find more information on topics. Our processes and policies ensure that entry points of content give readers reasonable access to references. We include citations that:
Support statistics, particularly those that play a key role in decision making.
Support outcomes, effectiveness, or risk data.
Identify testing or treatment recommendations or guidelines.
Support prevalence data.
Also, for all self-assessment or risk analysis tools in the Healthwise® Knowledgebase, we provide information that describes the source of the tool, the scientific basis for the tool, how the tool is maintained on the website, the evaluation process, and the last revised date.
Content Written by Third
Cerner Multum, Inc., Drug Reference (not included in all systems)
The drug reference
included in the Healthwise® Knowledgebase is
provided by Cerner Multum, Inc., of Denver, Colorado.
Multum updates daily. New information is incorporated
into a database as soon as it appears in the literature or in product labeling.
Doctors and pharmacists review the new information and make any necessary
changes. Multum conducts weekly Current Content searches on all of its drugs, and it surveys all key periodicals. All leaflets are reviewed by one or
more practicing clinical specialists. Healthwise receives monthly updates from
Multum. The updates are included in the quarterly releases of the
Interest Policy: Multum's content is authored by full-time associates with no
affiliations with drug companies. Consultants who work with the information in
other capacities are required to have no conflicts of interest.
The date of the last update is at the end of each topic.
National Cancer Institute (NCI) Topics
NCI Physician Data Query (PDQ®) topics in the
Healthwise® Knowledgebase are provided by the
National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Public Health
Service, Department of Health and Human Services.
All PDQ cancer
information summaries are peer-reviewed and updated monthly by six editorial
boards of oncology specialists in adult treatment, pediatric treatment,
supportive care, complementary and alternative medicine, screening, prevention,
and cancer genetics. They review current literature from more than 70
biomedical journals, evaluate its relevance, and synthesize it into concise,
clear summaries. Healthwise receives monthly updates from the National Cancer
Institute. The updates are included in the quarterly releases of the
Interest Policy: PDQ Editorial Board members are selected by the
editor-in-chief of each board. Potential biases or conflicts of interest are
discussed as part of the selection process.
The date of the last
update is at the end of each topic.
National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc. (NORD)
Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc., of Danbury, Connecticut, provides topics
on rare diseases for the Healthwise®
The NORD topics are updated on an ongoing basis as
new information. In addition, all
topics are periodically reviewed to ensure that all information remains current
and accurate. Healthwise receives quarterly updates from NORD. The updates are
included in the quarterly releases of the
Interest Policy: NORD uses independent sources such as the National Institutes
of Health and U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its information on standard
and investigational therapies. It does not rely on commercial sources for
anything other than brief notices that clinical trials are in progress.
NORD does not ask researchers at academic institutions directly involved in
studies of particular therapeutics to provide or review information related to
treatment of the disease in question. When a report is written by a physician
or other medical professional rather than by one of NORD's own writers, NORD
has it reviewed by an MD or PhD with appropriate expertise at a different
institution. To obtain input from more than one medical perspective, NORD does
not allow a report to be reviewed by someone who has participated in research
or clinical activities with the author of the report. NORD's staff regularly
reviews several medical journals and, if any discrepancies in opinion related
to information in a report are found, members of the Medical Advisory Committee
The date of the last update is at the end
of each topic.
American Self-Help Clearinghouse Information
The American Self-Help Group Clearinghouse, of
Cedar Knolls, New Jersey, provides information on self-help groups.
Healthwise receives semiannual updates from the American Self-Help
Clearinghouse. The updates are included in the quarterly releases of the
Healthwise® Knowledgebase. The content verification
date is at the end of each listing.
Headquartered in Portland, Oregon,
Healthnotes, Inc., dba AISLE7 is the premier provider of reliable, easy-to-use
health, food, and lifestyle information.
Each year AISLE7 reviews
tens of thousands of articles and more than 600 medical and scientific journals
to ensure that the content stays current, factual, and balanced. Citations
identify the source, the authors, and where and when the information was first
published. The AISLE7 editorial team includes medical doctors, pharmacists,
chiropractors, naturopaths, and dietitians. The Medical Advisory Board includes
medical doctors and experts affiliated with leading medical schools, such as
the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
Healthwise receives quarterly updates from AISLE7. The updates are included in the quarterly
releases of the Healthwise®Knowledgebase.
The date of the last review is at the end of each topic.
Last updated: February 2011
Healthwise Quality Standards
Healthwise is committed
to providing consumers with high-quality health information so that they can
make wise health decisions in partnership with their doctors. We adhere to the
We will create health information that is in
the consumer's best interest.
We will not allow commercial
interests to determine our content.
We pledge to protect the
privacy of individuals using our website.
We provide referenced,
frequently updated, evidence-based health information.
Healthwise ensures compliance with these principles through
internal review and URAC accreditation.
updated: May 2009
Date adopted: May 2005
Healthwise helps people make better health decisions. Healthwise is committed to respecting the privacy of individuals. Healthwise collects usage information to improve the usefulness of our products. The collected information is not personal; it is anonymous and does not identify individuals. Healthwise uses only aggregate information for reporting and improving performance. Healthwise may choose a third-party service to collect and maintain this site usage information. Healthwise may disclose this aggregate information to some organizations when required by law or to comply with legal processes. Healthwise does not release, trade, or sell any individual-identifying information about usage of a Healthwise product to people or organizations outside of Healthwise. Healthwise products may have the look and feel of a sponsoring organization's website. However, the Healthwise product you are using is hosted on servers of Healthwise. All Healthwise information can be identified by the Healthwise logo that is visible at the bottom of each health topic. Consumers should review the privacy policies of the sponsoring organization's website.
Cookies and Web Beacons
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All of the usage information that Healthwise collects is securely stored and is protected against unauthorized use. This information is stored on servers protected by physical and network security, including keys, access codes, and passwords. Access to the servers is restricted to authorized personnel who are trained on security policy and processes. Independent companies perform annual security audits. Healthwise has the right to update this policy at any time without notice. If this policy changes, the "Date last updated" at the bottom of this page will change. If you have any privacy issues regarding any Healthwise product, please contact your sponsoring organization or e-mail Healthwise at email@example.com. If you contact Healthwise about any privacy issues, you can expect a response from Healthwise in approximately 10 days. Please do not send any personal health information to Healthwise.
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Last updated: October 22, 2009
Healthwise Advertising Policy
Healthwise does not
include advertisements in the Healthwise®
Knowledgebase; however, sponsoring organizations may include advertisements
outside but adjacent to Healthwise® Knowledgebase
content. These advertisements may have been selected based upon the specific
topic being viewed. Advertisements are controlled by the sponsoring
organization. For more information, check the advertisement policy of the
Last updated: August
Date adopted: August 2000
Healthwise Ownership and Funding Disclosure
Healthwise is committed to producing quality health information for
consumers so that they can make wise decisions with their doctors. Healthwise
health information is not determined by commercial interests.
Healthwise is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization.
Healthwise receives revenue from the following sources:
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of health content and software products to hospitals, health plans, employers,
health websites and other organizations. Healthwise may receive revenue based
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Grants from foundations and government
Other sources that account for minimal revenues
Last updated: August 2007
adopted: August 2000
not medical advice This product is for informational purposes only. This information does not replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have questions regarding a medical condition, always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional. Developments in medical research may impact this information. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.
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SELF-HELP CLEARINGHOUSE. By retrieving and/or utilizing information from the American Self-Help Clearinghouse database, you agree to hold harmless American Self-Help Clearinghouse, its owners, and employees from any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from your use of information contained in the database. You be the judge. The Self-Help Clearinghouse does not evaluate or rate the individual self-help groups, which are contained in the database. Therefore, Self-Help Clearinghouse's listing of a self-help group does not constitute an endorsement of that group. Neither does omission signify disapproval. We include groups in our database based upon a report of their organizations as being focused upon no-fee mutual aid; i.e., members helping one another. The use of any information is entirely the responsibility of the reader. You are the ultimate judge in deciding whether the group is appropriate to your needs. You can send for and review literature or call the phone contact. Self-help means more control, and more responsibility, in your hands.
NATIONAL CANCER INSTITUTE. Healthwise has an agreement with The National Cancer Institute ("NCI") for the use of the Physician Data Query (PDQ®) data files ("NCI Content") in which the following provisions must be met. You shall accommodate these provisions in its use of the Healthwise material.
i. PDQ is a registered trademark of the NCI and must be so referenced in all published material pertaining to PDQ files. The PDQ name must always be used in any public reference to the data files. Healthwise shall include the Software and you shall not alter or delete the notice making users aware at the point of initially entering the PDQ files that the source of the data provided is the NCI's PDQ files.
ii. Healthwise shall include the Software and you shall not alter or delete the following use restrictions (and any updates thereto) in the User License Agreement document and in all updated versions thereof and online in the system "help" message for use restrictions: "Some material in Physician Data Query (PDQ®) is from copyrighted publications of the respective copyright claimants. Users of PDQ are referred to the publication data appearing in the bibliographic citations, as well as to the copyright notices appearing in the original publication, all of which are hereby incorporated by reference."
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The information in the NCI content may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http://cancer.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
NORD'S RARE DISEASE DATABASE. The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for information purposes only. This information is presented for further understanding that could lead to the prevention, treatment, and/or cure of rare disorders. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of his or her own personal physician(s). It is possible that the title of the topic is not the name you selected. Please check the SYNONYMS listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report. The disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about the disorder.
NORD is a private charity. This information is meant to assist patients, their families, educators and health care providers in the understanding, possible prevention, treatment and/or cure of rare disorders. We advise you also to check the "Synonyms" listing to find alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s), and with the agencies listed in the "Resources" section for the most current information about this disorder.
Last updated: April 28, 2011
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The third party drug information (the "Service"), that may be included in the Healthwise products is for use by United States and Canadian residents only. The Service is a service provided to you by Cerner Multum ("Multum"). The Service and the Healthwise products are separate products provided by separate entities.
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How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.