Thursday, June 26, 2014
Doctor's Perspective
Be careful of what you share online

By Dr. Anthony Policastro
Times have changed. Information is available everywhere and sometimes information overload can be harmful. We want to keep our children safe, however, we often give out so much information about them that we invite harm. There was a time when we could innocently place bumper stickers on our cars. They might talk about our child being an honor student in school, their sports activities or dance school. Those bumper stickers can now offer a wealth of information. It is relatively easy to use that information to find out who owns the car. It is then easy to stalk the child. We know where they go and we know when they go there. We post a lot of information on Facebook. Some information tells others when and where our children will be. For example, someone may post something about an event or an upcoming vacation and they will indicate who will be watching their children. This offers an opportunity for someone who might want to break into your house. This also gives someone an opportunity to know that your children are vulnerable. We see the same kind of thing with photos that are posted. They give a good indication of location of children which can be almost like a map. Twitter provides an ongoing account of what is happening which becomes an issue with adolescents who broadcast their whereabouts and their movements. A predator can easily follow them. This allows an opportunity that would otherwise not be there. There are two major lessons to be learned about childhood safety in all of this. The first is that as a parent you need to be cautious. You should not broadcast where your child is going to be. That is especially true if the child is not going to be with you. The more information you provide, the easier it is for someone to find them. The second lesson is that you need to provide advice for your children using social media. We already know about teaching them about being careful about who they contact online. We also need to provide them with advice about what they should or should not say on social media because they are not as experienced as we are. They will think nothing of letting the world know things that could get them hurt. Parents love to brag about their children. Most of the time, that is good. However, sometimes it can present potential problems. We need to think about what we say and where we broadcast it. We need to teach our children to be sensible about how they do it. If you have comments about this column or suggestions for other topics, send an email to Dr. Anthony Policastro at

Health information exchanges An important "first" is taking place in cyberspace between Delaware and Maryland that is expected to greatly benefit hospital patients in both states. The Delaware Health Information Network (DHIN) and its health information exchange counterpart in Maryland, CRISP (the Chesapeake Regional Information System for Our Patients), have begun exchanging admission, discharge and transfer summaries on patients across state lines. For Delaware residents who are patients at three hospital systems in Maryland – Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, the University of Maryland Medical System hospitals on the Eastern Shore and Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury – their personal physicians in Delaware can view the information from these significant hospital events in Maryland on DHIN, providing the opportunity for a faster response for follow-up care. The remaining 41 Maryland hospitals are expected to be added to the system in the coming months. Notifications for Maryland residents who are admitted, discharged or transferred from any Delaware hospital are being delivered through the Maryland exchange and are available to their Maryland-based physicians. Incorporating this information in the community health record of each state will help promote post-hospital care coordination and help reduce readmissions.

Diabetes education program Nanticoke Memorial Hospital, Seaford, will hold a four-session diabetes education program on July 16, 23, 30 and Aug. 6t, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the hospital. Registration is required. The cost of the four-session program may be reimbursable by insurance. This four-session program includes weekly education sessions and individualized meal planning for diabetes self-management.

The goal is to give you the self-management skills to control your diabetes. Family members/significant others are welcome to attend the weekly sessions. For more information and to register, contact Nanticoke Memorial Hospital's Diabetes Education department at 629-6611, ext. 2446.

Diabetes support group Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will hold a free diabetes support group from 5 to 6 p.m. on Monday, July 21, at the hospital. As a person with diabetes, are you struggling to make positive behavior changes in your life or would just like to share with others coping with diabetes? Come join our free support group for individuals with diabetes. A demonstration on "Seasonal Produce in Diabetic Cooking" will be presented by Nanticoke's Executive Chef, David Eanes. There will also be a question and answer period. Registration is required. To register and for more information, contact Nanticoke Memorial Hospital's Diabetes Education department at 629-6611, ext. 2446.

Stroke support group Nanticoke Memorial Hospital's next Stroke Support Group meeting is Tuesday, July 15 at 1:30 p.m. at the Seaford Library. The support group is designed for individuals who have survived a stroke as well as their families and caregivers. The two-hour support group meetings will consist of guest speakers and breakaway sessions, in which caregivers and stroke survivors will meet in two groups to discuss concerns, provide support and allow for networking. Refreshments will be provided. Pre-registration is not required for this free support group. For more information, contact Nanticoke Memorial Hospital at 629-6611, ext. 8626.

Hospice 5K Run & Family Fun walk Join the fun with hundreds of runners and walkers as Delaware Hospice holds the 6th annual Delaware Hospice 5K on Wednesday, July 9, at the Delaware Hospice Center in Milford. Registration opens at 5:30 p.m., the race begins at 6:30, and the post-event cookout and party will go on until evening. Individual entries are $20, and the team rate for a group of four or family rate for a group of four or more from the same household is $50. Register online at or contact Peggy Dolby, assistant director of development, at or 746-4666.

Comment on improvement plan Public comments will be accepted until June 30 on the Division of Public Health's (DPH) first State Health Improvement Plan. Comments are accepted from health providers and agencies, as well as members of the general public. DPH collaborated with non-profit organizations and medical providers to create a draft statewide health assessment. The assessment was then used to develop the improvement plan's goals. The process led to two priority goals:
  • To assure an infrastructure necessary to increase the adoption of healthy eating and active living; and
  • To improve access to mental health and substance abuse services and supports to include prevention, early intervention and treatment.
Efforts now will be devoted to building a work plan to address these two goals. Visit and scroll down to the "How Do I" Section. For questions, call 302-744-4703.

Program could help DUI offenders Problem drinkers who plead guilty to Driving Under the Influence could be eligible for an intensive alcohol treatment program that could help them get their driver's license back under legislation that cleared the Senate on a 20-0 vote. Senate President Pro Tem Patricia Blevins, D-Elsmere, said the program would be limited to 50 participants at any one time and would include:
  • Installation of alcohol-detecting ignition interlock devices on their cars, if they seek conditional driving privileges
  • Strict supervision
  • Aids, such as anti-alcohol skin patches.