Patients Turn To Online Community For Help Healing #pm #WhyPM #hcsm

When Americans go looking for information on health, they turn to the Internet as one of their first sources. According to a recent survey by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, 61 percent of adults say they look online for health information. There’s a term for them: e-patients.

Most e-patients go online to read about a health condition. But that seems almost passive compared to the way a small group of Internet-savvy people are connecting to get their health information.

About 20 percent of e-patients go to Internet and social-networking sites where they can talk to medical experts and other patients, says Susannah Fox, with the Pew Internet and American Life Project.

Patients are going online, patients are engaged and collaborating in pursuit of *quality* health care information.

The physician community needs to engage WITH these patients…eyes wide open— as a team leader. We need to engage to help filter the noise— and aid in minimizing the risk of information overload or analysis paralysis.… and perhaps even the physician will learn a thing or two. Different patients have different needs — different patients have differing abilities to synthesize the information and make the *right* choice.

How should the physician engage with these communities?

How can you help me to help you ??

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About hjluks

A busy Academic Orthopedic Surgeon, Digital Strategist, Chief Medical Officer and father... intently and efficiently navigating the intersection of Social Media and Health Care.
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4 Responses to Patients Turn To Online Community For Help Healing #pm #WhyPM #hcsm

  1. heartsisters says:

    Wish there were more docs like you . . . Many do not appreciate “engaged, collaborating” patients who go online.”In Canada, Dr. Stuart Foxman of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario has studied the growing phenomenon of patients who are now self-educated Medical Googlers. He has found that many physicians rate the know-it-all Googler as somewhere between “frustrating” and “irritating”.”Other concerns reported by docs: Some patients used the information gleaned on their own for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. Some doctors believed that the information caused the patient unnecessary confusion and distress. “The highly curious and informed patients were sometimes perceived as ‘challenging’ with a tendency to test the knowledge of physicians,” Dr. Foxman reports. “Some doctors felt that these patients were overly assertive, undermined their authority, and did not show sufficient trust in their health care provider.”More at: http://myheartsisters.org/2009/08/19/med-google/ Many thanks! – love this site!Carolyn Thomas

  2. Howard Luks says:

    Carolyn, so glad you “love the site”!!! Helps drive me to make it even better. Any suggestions of comments just send them along! Thanks again!I love medical googlers! I teach them, they teach me, we learn from each other and hopefully you are satisfied with what you learned and confident in the choice YOU made. Informed Choice… the proper standard. HJL

  3. Verria Kelly says:

    Wish I’d known you when I was ill. The doctor’s I visited weren’t happy with my searching for my own information online. It was an eye opening experience.Doctor/patient collaboration is critical to a patient’s care, especially if s/he has chronic health challenges. The patient is the expert on his or her body and the doctor has the medical knowledge. To me, it’s foolish for one to disregard the other. Working together is a win-win situation. The patient’s health gets better and, who knows, the doctor may learn and thing or two.This is a great site. Keep up the good work!Verria KellyThe Good Health Coachwww.goodhealthcoach.com

  4. SusannahFox says:

    Thanks for the shoutout! Stay tuned for @Pew_Internet report on ppl living w/chronic disease

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