Physicians helping physicians

COVID-19: DO spearheads project to provide docs with the latest updates

Christina Lang, DO, assembled a team of infectious diseases physicians, who are distilling COVID-19 updates and information into succinct, up-to-date guidelines for primary care physicians.

As the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) rapidly spreads within the U.S., Christina Lang, DO, a hospitalist in Modesto, California, wants to make sure physicians are able to easily access the latest updates, guidance and information.

Dr. Lang, a community leader on a medical knowledge platform called Openxmed, has assembled a team of infectious diseases physicians, who are sorting through the latest updates, guidance and advice to curate the best information and provide it all in one place. Only physicians can make accounts on the Openxmed, and once they are logged in they can easily access the COVID-19 information and be notified by email whenever the team updates it.

In this edited Q&A, Dr. Lang discusses how she kickstarted this project, how she hopes it will help the medical community respond to this pandemic with a unified front, and how physicians can be a part of this growing platform.

What is Openxmed?

It’s a platform that’s focused on bringing together like-minded American and Canadian physicians. We want to bring medical data to physicians’ hands to speed up their ability to diagnose and treat patients. We believe primary care is the front line of medicine, and we want to empower those physicians to do their job as well as they can.

Information in health care is rapidly changing, and it’s almost impossible to keep up with it. Reading a textbook uploaded on the internet is not efficient enough.

What inspired you to get the ball rolling on the COVID-19 project for Openxmed?

When COVID-19 started spreading in the U.S., I reached out to my friends who also work in primary care. There was a major disconnect amongst physicians with what was going on and what we knew to do. A lot of the information we needed was dispersed across different web pages and not organized in a cohesive fashion. There was so much information, and none of it was filtered in a way that was easily applicable to practicing medicine.

With technology nowadays, we should be able to share information and have cohesive guidelines. South Korea has one protocol across the board, and we are dealing with multiple protocols.

Who did you reach out to for help, and what does the project look like now?

I’ve enlisted six infectious disease physicians across the U.S., and that list is growing. These doctors are filtering through all of the information out there and converting it to succinct guidelines that are up to date for primary care physicians. As a physician, you don’t have time to check for updates every five minutes, so Openxmed sends emails whenever the resource is updated, and you can get those on your phone in real time.

That’s the beauty of this platform. With any changes, these doctors are sharing the information with the community instantly.

What can physicians do to get involved and start receiving these updates?

They can register at app.openxmed.com. It is a closed physician community—there are screening questions that verify your credentials as you register. And this platform extends past COVID-19—we have teams discussing updates on congestive heart failure, diabetes and other topics. We need to be on top of what the latest guidelines are because they’re constantly changing.

Related reading:

COVID-19 updates: What to know this week

Doctors seek to build a better mobile clinical resource platform

5 comments

  1. Interestingly enough, when I attempt to register as a DO graduate from Texas, the options for TCOM or UIW-SOM are unavailable. Therefore, this program is shutting out DOs in at least 1 state from accessing this information.

    1. Hi Dr. Shanafelt,
      Thanks for your comment! I passed this along to Dr. Lang for her to address, and she said the list of schools will soon be updated.

      1. I’m sure this was a very simple oversight and they weren’t trying to inhibit or shut out people from accessing the site and getting information. I’m sure whoever runs the site can quickly add those colleges to their database and help you get logged in.
        -Eric N. Swensen, D.O.-
        KCUMB Class 2009

  2. Symptom #1
    Years ago I was told of Andrew Taylor Still and read some of his work on-line.
    The part that resonated with me was a paragraph that more-or-less said “everyone knows that at the onset of a cold or flu there is a ligature at C1 that prevents the flow of spinal fluid”.
    So every night (with head on pillow) since then I check my neck by massaging from just behind each ear around to the spine, with extra attention given to the main muscles. Several times I have discovered pain, discomfort or changes in texture that could be Dr Still’s “ligature” and once discovered I keep at them until I have ‘rubbed them away’.
    This practice has seen me avoid colds and flu for more than 25 yrs.
    I don’t want to get coronavirus in order to find out, but I’m betting the first symptom will be in the neck and if everyone checked for this, and isolated if they found anything, it would be a good start.
    I won’t go as far as saying – once discovered they could carry on and massage it away, but what have they got to lose!

  3. Hi! Just pointing out that when I registered under the specialties there is no General pediatrics so I was forced to choose Pediatrics – Emergency medicine. Thank you so much for creating this at a time when it is much needed and guidance is appreciated! Everyone stay safe!

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