Friday 13 August 2010

Doctor-patient communication (again!)

Hospitalized patients and their doctors often have differing beliefs regarding patients' knowledge and aspects of their care, suggesting a need for improved patient-physician communication, according to research published in the Aug. 9/23 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Nearly all physicians (98%) stated that they at least sometimes discussed their patients' fears and anxieties, compared with 54% of patients who said their physicians never did this (P = .001).

As a doctor if you really want to know if your communication with patients is any good (and where you can improve), then you need to ask every patient and every relative how well you are doing - they will tell you! iWantGreatCare makes this simple, easy and revealing, and can be fully integrated with your appraisal and personal development. Start here.

As a patient, please help your doctor by telling them how they are doing in this respect. All as good as it could be? Then use iWantGreatCare to praise and thank those looking after you.

Thursday 12 August 2010

Over-50s increasingly doing research online

Recent research by the UK Online Measurement Company revealed that the number of Britons using the internet had risen by nearly 2 million in the space of 12 months, with the biggest growth witnessed in the over-50s age group. The charity Age UK advises older people to make the most of the internet, claiming that they could save both time and money by getting online. It also notes that broadband access gives older people "a wealth of information at your fingertips" and - in a brochure produced with BT - recommends use of online comparison sites.

It is interesting how many people in senior health positions across the UK claim that web-based ratings and reviews of healthcare discriminate against the older patient. I wonder where they get that prejudice from?

Peer learning, support and online communities

If you were designing a disease treatment system from scratch, bringing together clinicians, patients, researchers, and advocates, what platform would you use to take advantage of the community created by this umbrella group?
This is the question posed by Susannah Fox of the Pew Internet project. She uses the extended discussion session that iWantGreatCare was part of at Health 2.0 in Paris earlier this year to consider some of the challenges, opportunities and lessons already learnt.

As we move from hospital-based to shared, integrated, community models of delivering services this is a question of urgent importance to all those in the UK.
Take home message: it is not about the doctors or buildings, it is all about the patients.

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