Ok, so someone put a name to an approach that is not unique, nor is it new. I also have to admit that I haven’t really noticed this before.
But maybe “information therapy” – or Ix – is making a difference. Maybe giving it a name gives it context, gives is structure, and a focus. And results.
Information therapy is the name being used to describe the practice of providing more and better information to patients to engage them in their own health. TheJune, 2007 issue Managed Care magazine gives an overview and an employer based trial of information therapy, with some interesting results. The push has been on to both encourage the more active use of health information, partially by physicians “prescribing” information sources for patients. The Center for Information Therapy is pulling in insurers, providers and interested parties to promote the concept.
Information therapy is a wide ranging term, but a precise definition is less important than an orientation towards the concept. To quote the venerable Sy Syms, founder of the Syms men’s clothing chain, “an educated consumer is our best customer.” As I written in prior posts, physicians should be the center of the information that patients are looking for. They are going on the web – so isn’t it appropriate that you are there to guide them, using your website and handouts available in your office?
The Managed Care magazine article includes a case study from
Finally, some of the members of the Center offer patient education materials that you can use. See the links here.