University of California San Francisco | About UCSF | UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco
Search Site | Find a Doctor
Winter 2012

Evaluations to Diagnose Dizziness, Balance Disorders

About 40 percent of people experience dizziness, vertigo or a balance disorder, a leading cause of falls and related injuries serious enough to warrant a visit to the doctor. The new UCSF Balance and Falls Center specializes in assessing patients with dizziness and balance problems to determine potential causes and recommend treatment. Audiologists, physical therapists and physicians use computerized equipment to evaluate the vestibular system. A typical test includes videonystagmography (VNG) or electronystagmography (ENG), rotary chair and vestibular evoked myogenic potential (VEMP) assessments. Based on the findings, rehabilitation or intervention may be recommended.

To refer a patient, please call (415) 353-2101. For more information, see www.ucsfhealth.org/balanceandfalls.

UCSF Diabetes Teaching Center Offers Online Tools

The UCSF Diabetes Teaching Center has launched a self-management website and DiabetesIQ, one of the first educational diabetes mobile applications to help people self-manage diabetes through an interactive game experience. Diabetes Education Online at http://dtc.ucsf.edu/ is designed to educate diabetics on self-care and problem-solving, with an emphasis on helping newly diagnosed patients. UCSF video lectures for patients, interactive quizzes and information about upcoming UCSF patient workshops are featured. DiabetesIQ is available to download for free at the Apple iTunes store and Google Android Market, and is available for iPhone, iPad or iPod touch devices running iOS 4.0 and above, or Google Android 1.6 and above.

For more information, visit the teaching center website or call (415) 353-2266.

Lung Cancer Screening Program for Smokers

A National Lung Screening trial found a 20 percent reduction in lung cancer-related deaths in smokers screened annually with low-dose computed tomography (CT), compared to screening with standard chest X-rays. The trial results were reported in the Aug. 4, 2011 New England Journal of Medicine. This type of low-dose CT scan and consultation with a pulmonologist is offered at UCSF's new Lung Cancer Screening Program at a self-pay price. (This screening is not covered by most insurance plans.) New low-dose scanning protocols and advanced scanning software reduce patient exposure to ionizing radiation. Patients eligible for screening must be 50 to 74 years old, and a current smoker or have quit within the past 15 years.

For more criteria, see www.ucsfhealth.org/lungscreening. Chest scans are analyzed by a thoracic radiologist specializing in lung cancer. Thoracic surgery, pulmonary medicine, oncology and radiology experts work together to develop treatment plans, if appropriate. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call (415) 514 8787.

UCSF Offers Online Registration for Adult Emergency, Pediatric Urgent Care

The UCSF Emergency Department at Parnassus offers a new online service, called InQuickER, for adults who have minor medical needs. Patients can register online at https://ucsfmedicalcenter.inquicker.com and select a time to be seen, depending on availability, and then wait at home and arrive at the ED at a designated time. If the treatment time is delayed because of ED patient volume, patients are notified via the InQuickER system. Patients are advised to use InQuickER only if they can safely wait at home with no health risk. An ED registered nurse screens each patient's reported medical issue to determine if it is safe to wait. If the nurse determines a patient needs immediate care, he or she will be instructed to go directly to the ED.

The service also is available for Pediatric Urgent Care at https://ucsfpediatricurgentcare.inquicker.com.

New Mission Bay Hospitals Designed for Comfort, Safety

The new UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay and its patient rooms will include evidence-based, hospital architectural design to maximize comfort, efficiency and safety. The new complex, slated to open in 2015, will include a cancer, children's and women's hospital. For more information about the design of patient rooms, visit www.ucsfhealth.org/missionbaydesign or learn more about the entire complex at www.missionbayhospitals.ucsf.edu.

Continuing Medical Education

UCSF's Continuing Education Program offers courses throughout the year including these conferences:

  • Primary Care Medicine: Concepts and Controversies, Feb. 19 – 24, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
  • 33rd Annual Advances in Infectious Diseases: New Directions for Primary Care, April 25 – 27, San Francisco, Calif.
  • Essentials of Women's Health: An Integrated Approach to Primary Care and Office Gynecology, July 1 – 6, Big Island, Hawaii

For more information, call the CME office at (415) 476-4251 or visit www.cme.edu.

Need Help Making a Referral?

UCSF Medical Center

The Physician Liaison Service assists physicians, medical groups and health plans to refer patients or arrange consultations. For more information, visit www.ucsfhealth.org/healthprofessionals. Members of Hill Physicians Medical Group can access referral and patient information electronically via RelayHealth.

Phone (800) 444-2559
Fax (415) 353-4395
Email referral.center@ucsfmedctr.org

UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital

A toll-free Physician Admitting Hotline is the gateway for inpatient services at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital. For more information, visit www.ucsfbenioffchildrens.org/healthprofessionals.

Phone: (877) 822-4453 or (877) UC-CHILD

Send Us Your Feedback

Do you have a topic you'd like us to address or suggestions regarding this newsletter? Let us know what you think by sending an email to referral.center@ucsfmedctr.org. Please put "PCC" in the subject line of your message.

Stay Connected

Get medical updates by subscribing to this newsletter. (We will not share your email address with any third parties.) Sign up here or contact us.