Health Information Review of Systems


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In an era of information overload, it’s easy to be distracted by misinformation. Why not start the patient-doctor relationship right with questions about health information when they first meet?

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Health Information Review of Systems

  1. 1. Health Information Review of Systems For Doctors and Patients Matthew Katz, MD July 2014
  2. 2. Overview  Patients need useful health information  Want it from health care providers  Often easier to find online than to get from doctor  Medical jargon always creates barriers  ~72% of U.S. adults went online for health information in 2012* *Source: Pew Internet,
  3. 3. Overview  Doctors want patients to get correct health information  Time constraints  Online resources often not trusted  Frustrated when precious time focuses on  Incorrect or exaggerated information  Peripheral issues distracting from main concern
  4. 4. Both of us need help!  Patients should feel that doctors  Do listen  Are interested  Doctors should feel that patients  Do listen  Do trust them  Too much time and energy wasted  Patient-doctor relationship damaged
  5. 5. Solution – Start With…  Medical history that includes reviewing systems and screening for other possible health problems  Identifying patients’ learning styles and needs
  6. 6. Health Information Review of Systems  Allows doctors to  Assess what patients value  Assess how patients learn and retain information  Correct habits of gathering online information  Educate about effective learning habits  Identify and suggest reliable online health resources
  7. 7. Questions to Ask  Where do you get health information?  For focused health problem, make it specific (e.g. Parkinson’s, cancer)  What kind online health information have you used?  Google or another search engine  Health information websites (static, non-interactive)  Discussion forums  Health-oriented social networks  Health self-tracking websites, apps or devices
  8. 8. More Questions  How do you access online health information?  Desktop, laptop, smartphone?  Why seek health information online or off?  Helps identify patient’s key values/concerns re: health and health decisions  Helps define role  How do you learn best: see or hear or do?
  9. 9. Why ask?  Demonstrates interest  Care about how patients learn  Identify more effective ways to get health information  Good investment  Identify counterproductive learning habits  Opportunity to educate patient about better resources  Discover new resources to help other patients
  10. 10. What doctors should have ready  Inventory of information provided (e.g. handouts)  Educational goal(s)  List of reliable, credible online resources plus cautions about what to avoid
  11. 11. What patients should have ready  Learning priorities and concerns  Which online resources currently being used  What kinds of online resources work best
  12. 12. Summary  Patients deserve accurate, useful health information.  Doctors should be able to share health information effectively and efficiently.  Talking about online health information early on helps ensure a healthier, more productive relationship between doctors and patients.
  13. 13. Questions? You’re invited to contact me:  Twitter: @subatomicdoc  Website: