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Hospital Websites Can Be the Voice of Reason

NEJM Study Confirms Role of Medical Providers in on-line patient research

A seven year survey recently completed by the New England Journal of Medicine revealed that there is a growing skepticism about the health information that people are finding online. The survey also showed that while more and more people first turn to the web to research a medical condition, treatment or procedure, they still look to their medical providers to clarify and discuss their on-line research findings.

With the sheer volume of medical information on the web and the growing role of social media and on-line communities, it is no wonder that people are relying on their physicians to dispel myths, confirm protocols, and validate their on-line findings. There is good medical information out there and there is not so good medical information out there. For the e-patient, it is often hard for them to tell the difference.

This study confirms what we’ve known to be true for quite some time: Despite the presence of a few very good health information websites, many of our clients elect to use clinically accurate third party health content tools to round out the information on their websites. By doing so, hospitals are providing their patients access to information that they have essentially endorsed. Hospitals are positioning themselves as the voice of reason, which this this study shows patients very much need and want. Solid health information also gives people a reason to revisit a hospital website and build that trust consumers need to have when choosing where they will go for care.

Author Info

Jennifer Dunn