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Dependency On Internet To Access Patient’s Health Information

Dependency On Internet To Access Patient’s Health Information


More than a third of adults presenting at two EDs in Melbourne searched the internet for information about problems they had presented to ED, and half searched for health information on the internet, especially among younger and e-health educated patients. Searching online health information can have a positive effect on the doctor-patient relationship, as patients with greater e-health competencies are unlikely to cause the patient to doubt the doctor's diagnosis, which could affect treatment adherence.

We suggest that physicians acknowledge their online search for health information and are willing to discuss it with adult ED patients. With so many people accessing health information online, it is important that the information they access is secure, relevant, and trustworthy. That is why applications, like CollaboratED by Collaborating Clinics, are a great way to store, secure, manage and distribute online patient leaflets in Australia. 

The Consumer Medicine Information (CMI) leaflets give you important information about your medications. CMIs are only available if a medication is prescribed by your doctor or available at the pharmacy. They are not available if the medicine is sold through other outlets such as supermarkets.

As technology continues to improve our daily activities and patients increasingly use digital platforms to facilitate access to relevant product information, questions arise about the continuance of the physical PILs. Patient Information Sheets (PILs) differ in different jurisdictions and their shape and structure depend on the regulations they comply with. Paper-based physical documents remain the most widely used method of delivering important information to patients.

This article aims to illustrate the growing importance of the transition from print and screen to dynamic electronic products and information as a way to expand access to and use of patient information. It provides insights into the prevalence of Internet use and online health information sought by general practitioners.