More Patient Access, More Challenges?

An increasing number of patients are bringing their own medical information with them into their doctor appointments.

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As patients have increasing access to their health information through electronic records and personal devices, physicians must develop skills to respond.

In this age of technology and consumerism, more and more patients are demanding greater access to their health data. This means that, for better or worse, patients are trying to interpret their own medical records and diagnose themselves prior to appointments.

Patients have wearable health devices, fitness trackers, and apps that allow them more access to their health information than ever before.

Patients often Google their symptoms prior to appointments with physicians.

Physicians must sift through patient information to make their diagnoses. Now, physicians are bombarded with information from patients outside of their medical record. Physicians must be able to determine what is useful to diagnose or treat a patient.

This is a newer challenge facing physicians.

It is likely that this trend will continue, as patients continue to demand more access to their information.

Let us know what you think! Have you had more informed patients at your practice? What challenges or benefits do informed patients provide for your practice?

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P.S. If you or your patients are interested in consumer healthcare issues, check out myhealthspin.com.

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