Thursday, January 31, 2008

ePatients: Engaging Patients in Their Own Care

ePatients: Engaging Patients in Their Own Care: "Every day, more people get healthcare online than those who see a physician. About two thirds of Americans have sought health information online -- although this fraction is relentlessly rising -- and half changed their behavior as a result of their online activities.[1,2] Many don't discuss this activity with their physicians, and most physicians don't welcome it.

These eEmpowered healthcare consumers are simply behaving rationally. Patients are, after all, the biggest stakeholders in their own health. They know the traditional office setting is not user-friendly: It's hard to get a doctor on the phone for advice, difficult to get a timely appointment, and coming in for the appointment obligates up to a half-day away from home or work. So naturally, they look for alternatives. And why shouldn't they? The doctor's office should be reserved for people who really require the special skills offered by physicians."

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