A group of Dutch researchers (Celik et al. 2008) performed a study on diversity in Healthcare and found out that most patients are treated with a ‘one-fits-all’ approach. Only gender is taking into account to treat patients (women and men) in a more personalized way. The researchers state that “special needs and preferences related to different cultural backgrounds, age, and social economic status are hardly noticed”. According to them, this could be changed through education and training of professionals in the particular context they are immersed. Likewise sharing of knowledge is also pointed out as a very important aspect. Nowadays, this could be implemented through knowledge (online) networks where professionals can exchange information and experiences.

This is a very interesting article as it could be a way towards a more “patient-centric” healthcare.

For more information: Celik, H, Abma, T, Widdershoven, G, van Wijmen, F, & Klinge, I (2008), ‘Implementation of diversity in healthcare practices: barriers and opportunities’, Patient Education And Counseling, 71, 1, pp. 65-71

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Once upon a time… the Doctor was some kind of magician that could save lives. He/she was the expert, the savior. The patient trusted him/her blindly…
However, that time is past. The influence of Web 2.0 is also visible in Healthcare. As a consequence, a patient nowadays makes use of free services such as ‘doctor google’, wikis, blogs, twitter, or ‘patientslikeme’, before he/she visits the GP. No longer is the patient forced to blindly trust his doctor’s judgement.
Is this positive or negative?
As a complementary service, it can be seen as a good thing: the patient gets more information, shares experiences, etc. However, this can lead to dangerous situations of wrong diagnosis (made by the patient self) and self-medication. It is important not to forget that doctors receive special training for years and enrich their health knowledge with everyday experience, so, ‘probably’ they know better than non-doctors what is wrong with the patient. However, there are many cases of wrong diagnosis by doctors, so the tools offered by Web 2.0 can give the patient an answer when things don’t go the expected way, and can trigger him/her to look for a second expert opinion, for example.
With Web 2.0, the role of a doctor has changed to one of facilitator of health, rather than the unquestionable saviour.

E-health insider has come up with a report ‘Web 2.0 in the Health Sector: Industry Review with a UK perspective’

What is knowledge?

September 3, 2009

Take a look at this website: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08673a.htm