[ Tuesday, September 05, 2006 ]


Patient-Created Web Sites: A few months ago I posted about an article on sick blogs, which are blogs that patients create where they discuss their disease, diagnosis, prognosis, progress, therapies, therapies they aren't pursuing, etc. It's a great exercise for them to vent, express themselves, and also receive comments and support from others who might be going through the same type of health crisis. It also allows the patient to have a one-stop location to put up the information that they would otherwise have to repeat to each well-wishing family member or friend: what happened, how they got the condition, the possible treatments, the treatment they chose to undergo, the progress, the prognosis, etc.

That's the basis reason I started blogging, by the way: I found that I was repeating myself to clients who called asking how HIPAA came about, what it was supposed to do, what they needed to do to comply, etc. It just seemed to make a lot more sense to have all of that information in a single location so, when someone asked, I could say, go to my blog and read the original posts, then call back with questions.

Last week's Modern Health care has an article on patient-created web sites, which takes this concept and makes it a little more user-friendly. It's also an opportunity for a hospital to provide a little extra to its patients and makes the patients more attuned to and in control of their own healthcare. It also saves the hospital employees from the "awkward HIPAA moment" when a nurse or other caregiver is asked by a friend or family member about the patient, and the caregiver has to decide just how much to tell. There are a few risks, but it seems that the benefits far outweigh them.

Speaking of which, I might have to do the same. I ruptured my left achilles tendon playing softball and had surgery last week. I've been working from home, but came into the office for the first time today, and had to have the conversation ("softball, achilles, last week, six weeks") several times already. I do have MRI pictures, which I may post if I can figure out how.

Jeff [11:35 AM]

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