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3 Ways to be a Smart Patient

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Carol Marak
Contributor for the senior living and healthcare market

Pew Research says 70 percent of healthcare consumers go online to research products and services before buying. The web can make you smart when faced with a surgery or a chronic disease.

The Internet can educate patients and help them find clinical medicines, patient-centered care plans, apps for healthcare, medical sites for chronic illnesses, wellness and more. It can take some time researching useful content, but here’s my list to shorten the search for healthcare knowledge.

1. Find Healthcare and Patient Planning Information

Cleveland Clinic – A nonprofit academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education for patients.

Patients can search online to discover more information on:

  • Diseases & Conditions
  • Treatments & Procedures
  • Diagnostics & Testing
  • Drugs & Supplements
  • Medical Devices
  • Healthy Living
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( protects patients and consumers from health, safety and security threats in the U.S. 

Patients can find chronic or acute data whether it’s curable or avoidable. The research is credible and reliable.
  • Data and Statistics
  • Diseases and Conditions
  • Emergencies and Disasters
  • Environmental Health
  • Healthy Living
  • Injury, Violence, and Safety
  • Travelers’ Health
  • Workplace Safety and Health
MedlinePlus delivers information on the latest treatments, drugs or supplements, the meanings of medical terms, and videos for illustrations. Patients can access medical research on topics and clinical trials for a disease or condition.
  • Read about symptoms, causes, treatment and prevention.
  • Get up-to-date info on prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines.
  • Learn by watching health videos on the human anatomy, surgical procedures and health news.
Google, the top search engine among physicians, arms patients with information to use during a doctor’s appointment to promote a two-way dialogue.
  • Over 60 percent of patients use the web to research health topics before and after a doctor’s visit.
  • Topics of interest include weight loss plans to prescription drug information.

2. Find Resources for Post Care

Since healthcare now focuses on a person-centric approach, a patient also needs to know the best options for post-acute care. For example, what is the best care setting? Learn about your long term & post-acute care options by visiting the following websites, whether going home or to a facility.

3. Find a Disease-specific Organization

Patients need help on disease-specific questions and concerns, and the following organizations provide information on individual chronic illnesses.
When searching for healthcare information and help, the Internet is very useful. Always make sure the sites you visit are creditable and discuss your findings with your medical team.

Carol Marak is a contributor for the senior living and healthcare market. She writes on tough topics that older adults and family caregivers face; chronic issues, senior care and housing. She advocates preventative measures that promote healthy and fulfilling lifestyle options. Her work is found on and Contact her at

Tags: patient engagement, doctor's appointment
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