Friday, December 14, 2007

Patient Internet Use Revisited

Trisha Torrey left a thoughtful comment to my post The Patient Who Knew Too Much and her point is well-taken. The title of my post was intentionally a bit glib. Certainly, patients need to be proactive in understanding their illnesses and can't actually know "too much".

She's quite right that the problem is not really too much information but rather too much bad information. In fact, there are things patients can do to dramatically increase the quality of information they get from the internet. One simple thing is to limit their searches to government or academic sites. This can easily be done by adding this to your (google) search term(s):

"search term(s)" site:gov OR site:edu

The "OR" needs to be capitalized. For example check out this search for information on the common cold. It filters the 2.3 million hits on the common cold down to 62,000 hits exclusively from government or university sites.

This is not to say that information from government or universities is always correct or unbiased but you definitely up the odds of getting better information this way.

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Blogger Chrysalis said...

This was excellent advice. The schools are now teaching students this information, to help them weed through the untruthful sites or sites with hidden agendas. These are especially found while looking for historical information and such. You have a nice blog here.

December 15, 2007 9:51 AM  

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