Sep 4, 2010

The Trend of "Bad," Empowered Patients

While on a brief vacation at my Poconos hotel, I leafed through the free USA today that came by my door, and noticed an interesting headline article about an increasing trend of "Bad" or "Empowered" patients. What was described were guidelines in which patients, empowered by information available on the internet, and increasingly responsible for paying health costs, have been questioning physician decision making regarding test and treatment decisions.

Cited often was a new book by CNN's Elizabeth Cohen on being an empowered patient. Find out for yourself who the best physicians are, whether the empensive tests indicated are necessary, whether the expensive medications are required.

Concurrently, another story gaining publicity that features a desperate kidney cancer patient who has benefitted from Internet communities is that of E-patient Dave deBronkart. "E-patient Dave" has become a strong advocate for patients to seek online information for communal support, and to never give up, or accept a grim fate.

This all reinforces the need for healthcare companies to make sure they are online, participating in the discussions that empowered patients are having. It also emphasizies the benefits of digital CRM, to make sure patients are educated about the benefits of treatments you advocate.