Information Management by Patients and Parents in Health and Disease
An effective partnership between a family and a pediatrician depends on good communication. One of the most valuable services a pediatrician can provide a child and family is his/her experience and skills in eliciting a history to diagnose and treat a problem and in sharing health information to educate and empower patients and families. Communication tasks that a practitioner performs may range from explaining a diagnosis or test results to obtaining informed consent from a literacy-challenged parent for a medical procedure to listening to and counseling a distraught teenager.
Information and communication technology (ICT) can provide both benefits and tradeoffs to patients, parents, and pediatricians. For families, telephone, fax, and electronic mail with their health care providers may provide flexibility, speed, and ease in exchange for the reassurance and other nuances of direct contact with a trusted provider. For pediatricians, ICT may increase access, but must be managed to prevent overload and to maintain quality of care and clinical and fiscal productivity.
KeywordsElectronic Mail Personal Health Record Author Disclosure Secure Messaging Online Consultation
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