Jump in Consumers Seeking Health Care Information Online

21 Aug
2008

According to a new study released by the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC), approximately 57% of American adults, or more than 122 million people, sought information about a healthcare releated topic.  The old addage of a digital divide is rapidly disappaearing as consumers across many different demographics are quickly seeking to become more informed.  While there is an uptick in the amount of individuals 65 and older who seek information online the delta compared to the younger population is still quite significant.  An important aspect of this study was the fact that half of those who participated said they changed their overall approach to maintaining their health.  Even more telling is that 4 out of 5 said that the information they found online helped them understand how to treat their condition.  This should be a signal to physicians that managing their patients and providing the resources for patients to find this information extends far beyond the routine office visit.  To make informed decisions throughout the continuum of care physicians will have to also manage or at the very least facilitate the information flow to patients.

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