Posted in E-Patient, Health Literacy

How do you feel? Inaccurate health info is readily available to those who aren’t fluent in search

‘If you consider yourself a discerning web surfer, how do you feel knowing inaccurate health information is so readily available to those who aren’t Google-fluent?

Have you ever headed that risk off at the pass by performing medical searches for your loved ones? How do you imagine your doctor would react?’

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Posted in #HCSM, #HIT, Health Literacy, Research Reports

WHO Report on Health Care Literacy

Social media, a great information equalizer, is radically transforming the way people communicate around the world. Instant and borderless, it elevates electronic communication to near face-to-face. Until recently the predominant communication model was “one” authority to “many” – i.e. a health institution, the ministry of health or a journalist communicating to the public. Social media has changed the monologue to a dialogue, where anyone with ICT access can be a content creator and communicator. Health professionals should ensure that information is correct and accessible.

Bulletin of the World Health Organization 2009;87:566-566. doi: 10.2471/BLT.09.066712

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Posted in #HIT, E-Patient, Health Literacy

Health literacy in health information technology

Dominic Mack writes:

‘In the middle of “Health Information Technology” (HIT) is the word “Information”. Information for whom?

HIT is all about information about the patient for the patient. The patient must be able to understand to a certain degree what is happening with their health in order to participate in their well being. Studies have shown that patients teaching patients in the community result in better retention of information than a health professional teaching a patient. This model is effective because of the cultural relationship and sensitivity which leads to a better understanding among the learners.

We should ask ourselves: if our patients are leaving our practices with little understanding of their illnesses, how does all this technology change things? The patient centered approach is more than giving an on time appointment, wowing the consumer with technology, and having them feel good walking out the door.’

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Posted in E-Patient, Health Literacy, Uncategorized

What do web-use skill differences imply for online health information searches?

‘Findings related to Web-use skills differences suggest two classes of interventions to facilitate access to good-quality online health information.

Challenges related to attitudes and technical skills should be remedied by improving people’s basic Web-use skills. In particular, Web users should be taught how to avoid information overload by generating specific search terms and to avoid low-quality information by requesting results from trusted websites only.

Problems related to discovery may be remedied by visually labeling search engine results according to quality criteria.’

J Med Internet Res 2012;14(3):e87

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