The Internet as a Healthcare Tool

The Internet as a Healthcare Tool

Sometimes patients are afraid to tell their doctor they don’t understand the doctor’s directions or the diagnosis. With the invention of many medicine-based websites, patients can get questions answered more frequently. But, this is a double-edged sword. If the patient gets a website that is not reliable, or they are unable to make sense of the information it contains, they can become unduly scared, or misled to take steps that may not make them well. On the other hand, with the correct information, patients will become more educated about their condition and even help the doctor by relaying things that they thought were insignificant but now realize was actually important.

An HIM professional may be able to recommend specific websites to the patient and encourage them to write down questions to bring back to the next visit. View the two links below to learn more about how to educate patients:

  • Do Patients Understand? (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
  • The Doctor, The Patient And The World-Wide Web: How The Internet Is Changing Healthcare (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Here are two videos that explore websites you can trust for medical information, and why.

Top 5 Websites for Medical and Health Care Problems – Trustworthy Research (4:41)

What are the Best Websites for Health Advice? (1:08)


It is a trend for patients to be considered “consumers” in today’s healthcare system. Research has indicated that patients who have good relationships with their physicians tend to be more satisfied with their care and have better results. Write a 4-paragraph paper that indicates what would constitute a “good relationship” between a medical provider and a patient, and why it might result in better outcomes. Save your file as “Relationship”

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