Patients Utilize Online Technologies

 

typing.jpgHave you been sick recently and wanted to find fast and efficient answers to your medical questions?

 Good news!  Web sites are being created by health care facilities to provide patients with information and advice about health issues.

Thousands of people are turning to the Internet and using online resources to receive quick and credible medical information.

Since people are using the Internet as the number one way to find information, the health care field is beginning to explore new media techniques such as podcasts, videos and blogs to reach out to patients.  Cleveland Clinic and Akron Children’s Hospital are among the few health care facilities beginning to implement these techniques.

As a PR student, I have learned PR professional’s are responsible for introducing and integrating these types of technologies in their careers.  Web-based communication techniques have the ability to target a large amount of people.   

The new tools can offer patients a venue for learning and sharing health information.  WebMD gives general medical information, but using the new media techniques will allow doctors to directly communicate information to patients.  Just think…podcasts, videos and blogs presenting valuable information to patients given by an actual doctor.

Having such a reliable and trustworthy source will help patients learn the facts about different illnesses and treatments without searching through hundreds of  questionable Web sites.

I don’t think online health information has reached its full potential, but it’s on its way.  The new media tools will have a positive impact on the health care industry if information on Web sites is better organized and presented properly. 

How can the health care industry improve the way it’s currently using the new media tools to make it more efficient for patients to learn about different health issues?

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