The epatient community likes to remind people that the "e" in epatient, stands for "engaged," not "electronic" like in email. e-Patient Dave wrote recently: "Being online is a tool we use, but it’s not our purpose."
He describes their mission is to change the culture of medicine so that every provider, every insurance company, every vendor in the industry thinks in terms of putting power in the hands of the ultimate stakeholder: the patient.
Slowly, the patient is getting more power by gaining more access. The New York Times blogged last month about the controversy of allowing patients direct access to their test results.
Experts are concerned online access may leave patients confused and overwhelmed by information they do not know how to interpret, but a study in The Journal of the American College of Radiology found that more than 80% of patients said they would rather have online access to such results within three days, no matter how dense the jargon, than wait for a doctor’s interpretation.
In another study in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, found that giving patients greater control over their data helps reduce privacy and security concerns for a medical image sharing network. Read more from iHealthBeat.
Yes, this is uncharted territory for healthcare, but the epatients are demanding it, and their ranks are only likely to grow. If your hospital is ready to meet these increased expectations from epatients and get ahead of the curve, check out the Wellbe.me Patient Guidance System.