Case Report of International Journal of Case Reports
Use of Internet for medical information by patients & its impact on Consultation time- A Patient Survey
Hemanth.K.Subrahmanyam DLO, DOHNS ,DNB (ORL), Fellow of European Board in 0RL-HNS
Associate Specialist, Department of ENT, Kettering General Hospital, Rothwell Road, Kettering NN16 8UZ, U.K.
Our patient survey revealed that there is equal number of Internet user and Internet non-user patients visiting our outpatient consultation. This raises an interesting fact about the importance of the need for the present day clinician to keep updated about not only the recent advances in the field but also with the IT skills. Literature has suggested prior Internet awareness amongst patients have resulted in explicitly patient controlled outcomes during consultation (10). Our patient survey did not focus on this aspect. Statistically significant was the increased consultation time of 0.8 minutes among the Internet user group in comparison to the Internet non-user group is still debatable. But does this point to the possible change in the consultation models in the Internet age is still questionable. Poor IT skills among the clinicians may result in defensively asserting an authoritative “expert opinion” when encountered with the Internet user group of patients as studies do suggest (10).
Though the internet has revolutionized the world with access and availability of information, health texts needs more regulation as it does seem to start having an impact on the consultation times as seen in our patient survey. Is this the beginning of a change for the physician-patient relationship model in the Internet age?