By Katherine Hobson
Doctors: they’re just like us!
General web browsers like Google and Yahoo are behind only professional journals and colleagues as a source of information physicians frequently use to diagnose and treat patients, according to a survey of more than 300 doctors.
The survey, from Wolters Kluwer Health, covered a sample of American Medical Association members, both primary-care physicians and specialists. We weren’t too surprised to hear that “spending more time with patients” ranked highest on a list of areas in which doctors would like to see improvement. Nor was it particularly shocking to read that expense is a big barrier to adopting new health technologies.
But the Google and Yahoo findings initially surprised us. When doctors were asked how often they used certain sources to gain information used to diagnose, treat and care for patients, 68% said they “frequently” consulted professional journals and 60% said the same about colleagues. And just under half — 46% — said general web browsers. Conferences and events and online free services like WebMD were each cited by 42% of respondents as frequent sources of information.
Then again, no one says Google and Yahoo don’t lead people to tons of useful info — just that it can be tough to sort the wheat from the chaff. Physicians, presumably, can assess the quality of the health information they dig up better than the average consumer.
On that topic, the survey also asked whether improved access to medical knowledge by patients has a positive impact on the doctor-patient relationship: 53% said yes. About a fifth think it has “been detrimental, leading to misinformation and incorrect self-diagnosis,” the study found.
- Posted from my iPad2
Location:Georgetown,TX United States