Sunday, February 10, 2008

An e-patient writes in has published A Healing Blog, a well-written article by the amazing Amy Tenderich, author of DiabetesMine, a prize-winning diabetes blog. (Amy just added a comment to my first e-patient post.) Here's a perfect e-patient snip from her article:

I'm just astounded to think that one sick mom in California can reach out to so many fellow patients, create a community, and actually turn the whole thing into a business.
Amy's story illustrates a major aspect of the e-patient movement: that if patients (the consumers of healthcare) get to start conversations and other patients get to take those conversations wherever they want (a.k.a. "We get to say"), the most useful conversations will thrive, and all of us - consumers and providers alike - will benefit.

Chapter 2 of the e-patients white paper lists seven principles of patient-driven healthcare. Amy's article illustrates three of the seven:
1. E-Patients have become valuable healthcare resources and providers should recognize them as such.

3. We have underestimated patients' ability to provide useful online resources.

7. The most effective way to improve healthcare is to make it more collaborative.
Plus, it quietly suggests support for a fourth:
4. We have overestimated the hazards of imperfect online health information.
#4 doesn't say there are no hazards - you and I need to be smart consumers, same as if we're buying a car or a camera. (See Lucy Jo's brilliant comment on last week's post.) It says that those risks are manageable: all of us (patients and providers alike) can publicly holler "BS!" when we see it. In the process, we learn to find trusted resources - like Amy's blog.

Welcome, Amy! Keep spreading the word, and keep in touch.

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