Monday, March 03, 2014

Information Therapy: A Valuable Tool for Patients



Information therapy is the right information given to the right patient at the right time, in order to help her make the right healthcare decision. It is a doctor’s duty to educate a patient about the treatment options Unfortunately, it is a common complaint that the same does not happen always. Most of the time doctors are too busy, and patients are forced to get the required information through internet research.

Sadly, the quality of health information on websites varies widely, and patients are often not sophisticated enough to be able to separate the wheat from the chaff. The right information should be ideally be provided to the patient by her physician , who can help her to make sense of it, as he knows her personal details. This can help to ensure the prescribed information is evidence-based, current, correct and customized to the patient’s needs. It should be provided in language which the patient understands – and the doctor need to ensure that the patient has understood the message.

Patients need to be given the information in a timely fashion – at the time when it will help her to take an informed decision. The silver lining is that some hospitals as well as health insurance companies have started taking the initiative. They have started delivering the information digitally, before, and after the consultation, to maximize the benefit to the patient.

As global healthcare evolves, India is slowly and steadily trying to match pace with this change.  We need to expand the patient’s role from being a passive participant, to being an actively engaged partner. 

Information Therapy is the best way to ensure treatment decisions are made in the best interests of the patient. The patient becomes the focus of the situation , and not the doctor.

Our book, Using Information Therapy to Put Patients First is available free online at

http://www.slideshare.net/malpani/using-information-therapy-2014-upload

Please share this with your friends as well !

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