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Point and Click Equals Sick?

I found this story in the Orlando Sentinel interesting. The story suggests that more people are turning to the Internet for medical information and becoming "Cyberchondriacs" as a result of diagnosing themselves with a worst-case disease scenario.

Any access to information has to be put into context. Without qualified medical opinion and assessment the medical information found on-line or sought in texts is next to impossible to use correctly. Should we limit public access to medical information? Absolutely not. While a person may over diagnose themselves with a condition they may be just a likely to seek evaluation and treatment earlier. We may actually see a decrease in denial!

In any event, I think we as responders have to recognize the fact that people who call 9-1-1 have access to a great deal of information...and that information may lead them to incorrect conclusions about their health condition or situation. That means a charge in expectation. Responders have to be able to speak intelligently and factually in the face of "Internet self-diagnosis". We have to be able to do this in order to maintain our credibility, elicit the proper information from the patients, make the correct decisions...the list goes on.

If you fail to acknowledge the fact that the public you serve is may fail to meet their expectations or elevate fears. Both are failures of service.

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