We live in a world where communication can in many ways be considered to be louder and faster than ever before. Many people – especially those who regularly use the internet either for work or leisure - talk about suffering from ‘information fatigue’. Putting aside the fact this isn’t a medical condition, it’s a term that’s not too hard to grasp the meaning of.
There’s certainly a vast amount of medical information of varying quality available to the general public at the click of a mouse, the volume of which has significantly grown over the last ten years. Research suggests that good quality and reliable medical information reduces levels of patient anxiety.
As a doctor, I also receive benefits from the free provision of high-quality, reliable medical resources. If my patients are given such information, the quality of the consultation experience is enhanced for both parties – in other words, better informed patients ask better questions and the number of repeat consultations they tend to have with their clinicians goes down so the GP’s workload is lightened.
The best producers of patient information have improved over the last ten years but the challenge remains the same as it was when this site was launched back in 1997 - to rise about the tide of misinformed and inaccurate medical online information and maintain a consistently high standard of material, which is easily-accessible to patients and healthcare professionals alike.