Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The internet has revolutionized patient care and practice

Instant access improves care but professionals must overcome misinformation that patients might find online.

When a patient presented with a thyroid mass that turned out to be thyroid lymphoma upon further examination, Thomas Repas, DO, turned to the internet. Within 20 minutes, a simple search revealed an extensive list of reliable, published articles on the rare disease.
“The internet has really revolutionized medical care. It wasn’t too long ago when we were without these opportunities,” Repas, a clinical endocrinologist in Rapid City, S.D., told HemOnc Today.

A November 2008 survey by Epocrates, a leading provider of clinical information and decision support tools for health care professionals, revealed that physicians are accessing online clinical resources more than ever. Seventy percent of the 501 physicians surveyed reported going online for clinical information at least once a day, and 20% of those reported using web-based resources five or more times a day.