Information Therapy and the Empowered Patient


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How Information Therapy can empower patients and help doctors to provide them with better medical care

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Information Therapy and the Empowered Patient

  1. 1. Information Therapy and the Empowered Patient Dr Malpani, MD Founder HELP – Health Education Library for People
  2. 2. Patients are unhappy with the medical profession <ul><li>Seen to be uncaring </li></ul><ul><li>Money-minded </li></ul><ul><li>Doctors are too busy to talk or to explain </li></ul><ul><li>Overtesting </li></ul><ul><li>Overtreatment </li></ul><ul><li>Too expensive </li></ul><ul><li>Move to alternative medicine </li></ul><ul><li>Long for the family doctor of the past… </li></ul>
  3. 3. Doctor versus Patient <ul><li>Indian patients are becoming increasingly articulate – they want more information about their medical conditions </li></ul><ul><li>Unfortunately their doctors do not have the time to provide them this information in detail </li></ul>
  4. 4. Results ? <ul><li>Doctor –shopping </li></ul><ul><li>Doctors get beaten up and arrested </li></ul><ul><li>Hospitals get burnt down </li></ul><ul><li>Doctors go on strike </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone suffers ! </li></ul>
  5. 5. Doctor and Patient <ul><li>We are all on the same side – the patients’ </li></ul><ul><li>Medicine is a service profession </li></ul><ul><li>Doctors like helping patients </li></ul><ul><li>Want them to get better </li></ul><ul><li>How can we create a win-win situation ? </li></ul>
  6. 6. Information Therapy ! <ul><li>Information Therapy is Powerful Medicine ! </li></ul><ul><li>Help patients to make better health decisions </li></ul><ul><li>Patients are the largest untapped healthcare resource ! </li></ul><ul><li>Empower them with information – so they can take better care of themselves , in partnership with their doctor. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Don’t underestimate your abilities ! <ul><li>1. You are smart . With the right tools, you can make the right decisions ! </li></ul><ul><li>2. Knowledge is Power ! </li></ul><ul><li>3. Your doctor is your partner </li></ul><ul><li>4. You cannot afford to leave everything upto God – or upto the doctor ! </li></ul>
  8. 8. HELP helps you save money on medical care <ul><li>1. Promote SelfCare . Help you to do as much for yourself as you can, so you are not completely dependent on the doctor </li></ul><ul><li>2. Provide Evidence-Based Guidelines , so you can ask for the right medical treatment that they need - no more and no less </li></ul><ul><li>3. Help you with Veto Power, so you can say No to medical care you don’t need, thus preventing overtesting and unnecessary surgery . </li></ul>
  9. 9. We help doctors to talk to patients ! <ul><li>Improve doctor patient communication </li></ul><ul><li>Help doctors to look at things from the patient’s point of view ! </li></ul><ul><li>Improve empathy and their bedside manner </li></ul><ul><li>Help them to get more patients ! </li></ul><ul><li>Help them to reduce risk of lawsuits </li></ul>
  10. 10. My personal experience <ul><li>I learn a lot from my patients ! </li></ul><ul><li>If you treat patients with respect, they will respect you in return </li></ul><ul><li>Patients get the doctors they deserve – and doctors get the patients they deserve </li></ul><ul><li>Well-informed patients are easier to treat, because they have realistic expectations </li></ul>
  11. 11. We help patients to talk to doctors ! <ul><li>Demystify jargon </li></ul><ul><li>Remove the fear </li></ul><ul><li>Provide them with the tools they need </li></ul><ul><li>Help patients to make sense of what is happening to them </li></ul><ul><li>The quality of your doctor’s answers depend upon the quality of your questions ! </li></ul>
  12. 13. How do you find this information ? <ul><li>Google is great ! </li></ul><ul><li>24/7 </li></ul><ul><li>Free </li></ul><ul><li>Great for quick and dirty searches </li></ul><ul><li>Instant access from home </li></ul>
  13. 14. But – Internet searches can be frustrating <ul><li>Get lost </li></ul><ul><li>Information can be unreliable </li></ul><ul><li>Confusing </li></ul><ul><li>Conflicting information </li></ul><ul><li>Not updated </li></ul><ul><li>Whom do you trust ? </li></ul><ul><li>Need handholding – especially in an area like medicine ! </li></ul>
  14. 15. Internet positive patients <ul><li>Frustrated </li></ul><ul><li>Confused </li></ul><ul><li>Frustrate doctors as well </li></ul>
  15. 16. Google and libraries <ul><li>It’s NOT google v/s libraries </li></ul><ul><li>People who use google are the ones who will use libraries ! </li></ul><ul><li>They ask questions. They trust – then verify ! </li></ul><ul><li>Check and re-check – due diligence </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge is power ! </li></ul><ul><li>Click and mortar complementary approach - use both ! </li></ul>
  16. 17. <ul><li>Perfect for people who’ve already done a google search; and then need help </li></ul><ul><li>Librarians – human infomediaries </li></ul><ul><li>Librarian-mediated search </li></ul><ul><li>Provide hand-holding </li></ul><ul><li>Guides – online and the real-world ! </li></ul>
  17. 22. What we provide <ul><li>Easy to read materials – for patients and by patients </li></ul><ul><li>Wide variety of styles – from single page pamphlet to books </li></ul><ul><li>Comprehensive – from stress management, exercise, diet, all illnesses, alternative medicine </li></ul><ul><li>Over 300 DVDs </li></ul>
  18. 23. Brief history <ul><li>Established in 1997 </li></ul><ul><li>Mission - to empower people by providing them with  the  information they  need to promote their health , and prevent and treat   medical problems in the family in partnership with their doctor. </li></ul><ul><li>We are a registered charitable trust and a non-profit organisation. </li></ul>
  19. 24. HELP Talks <ul><li>Free talks daily </li></ul><ul><li>Doctors, alternative medicines experts and by patients ( Expert Patient) </li></ul><ul><li>Partnership with Times of India Foundation </li></ul><ul><li>Wide range of topics </li></ul><ul><li>Longest running series of health talks ( Limca Book of Records) , ongoing since 3 years </li></ul>
  20. 25. Outreach activities <ul><li>Courier information ( fee charged) </li></ul><ul><li>Email information – free value-add service </li></ul><ul><li>Health ezine for corporates </li></ul>
  21. 26. Services for doctors <ul><li>MDConsult ( World’s largest online medical library) subscriptions as reduced prices </li></ul>
  22. 27. Our focus areas now are: <ul><li>1. encouraging health insurance companies to invest in patient education </li></ul><ul><li>2. advocating information therapy </li></ul><ul><li>3. setting up a national network of patient education centers </li></ul><ul><li>4. developing patient educational materials in Indian languages for the web </li></ul>
  23. 28. HELP is growing ! National Network <ul><li>Every hospital should have a Patient Education Resource Center </li></ul><ul><li>Win-win situation </li></ul><ul><li>Great tool to empower patients </li></ul><ul><li>Helps doctors and hospitals too ! </li></ul>
  24. 29. New locations <ul><li>Mini-libraries in pharmacies </li></ul><ul><li>Mini-libraries in medical laboratories </li></ul><ul><li>Mini-libraries in clinics </li></ul>
  25. 30. How do we grow ? Corporate Partners <ul><li>Win win ! </li></ul><ul><li>CSR </li></ul><ul><li>80G benefits </li></ul><ul><li>Health insurance companies are the best fit - dollar spent on patient education is 10 dollars saved ( on unnecessary testing and surgery) </li></ul>
  26. 31. Why libraries will always be useful ! <ul><li>Data v/s Information v/s Knowledge v/s Wisdom </li></ul><ul><li>Libraries and librarians help transmute information into knowledge </li></ul>