Hail to the digital age of cell phones, I-Pads and electronic delivery systems that deliver boodles of information to your fertile mind. Take healthcare, for instance. If you’re like most seniors you may stuck with a new title: the “impatient patient.”
No longer do you have to wait for the visit of your family physician or your local pharmacist to seek a health status update. As an “impatient patient“ you can discover options on the condition of your body and mind by logging in to the multitude of Internet outlets poised to reinforce or even second-guess the opinions of your personal health providers.
In an early study Pew Research found eight in ten Internet users have looked for health information online, with increased interest in diet, fitness, drugs, health insurance, experimental treatment and particular physicians, clinics and hospitals.
In short, healthcare has discovered the Internet and the Internet has discovered healthcare.
Not only that, if you partner with most providers—your doctor or hospital– you can set up your own web page on their patient website to display all the areas of your history like your health vitals, your latest blood tests, appointments to come, etc. You can even send messages direct to your doctor to communicate with he or she via the Internet on any concerns your may have during your treatment. Cleveland Clinic provides such services www.mychart.clevelandclinic.org for their patients.
Thousands of Internet websites have sprung up helping consumers find the information they need to make health decisions. Google “healthcare” and you will have over 14 million links.
For instance, patients are provide support with one another on a loved one’s critical illness. One site that defines this is www.caringbridge.org. There’s even health guidance for children: www.Kidshealth.org. And for you senior travelers, look to www.masta-travel-health.com
People more and more prefer to investigate their health concerns in the privacy of their homes before trotting off to see a doctor. The Pew study revealed that 41% of Americans used the Internet to determine whether or not they would seek medical help. For a list of the top medical sites go to www.top20sites.com/top-medical-advice-sites.
What do physicians think when they receive an “impatient patient” who has researched his illness to become an instant expert before seeing the doctor? I think most doctors would say: “You should not believe everything you read on the Internet….”
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