Word of the Week: E-patient
E-patient – An e-patient is simply a healthcare consumer who uses the Internet to find health information. According to a recent study released by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 61 percent of American adults go online to find health information. This number is up from 25 percent in 2000. (During this time, the percentage of American adults with access to the Internet has increased from 46 percent to 74 percent, according to the survey.) Traditional methods of obtaining health information are still being utilized – 86 percent of adults ask a doctor or health professional, 68 percent ask a friend or family member – but there is no denying that the Internet and social media will continue to play an increasing role in how healthcare consumers obtain their information. From simply using Google or Wikipedia to accessing more specialized sites like WebMD or Medpedia, information has never been more readily accessible.