Patient Guide to WWW
361: Information Systems
Summer Term 2011
The Internet literature provides patients and families with an opportunity they have never had
before. It allows patients to have access to incredibly affluent, reliable and up-to-date medical
information. Not too long ago this information could only be found in medical libraries and
Today, patient and families have access to this information in the comfort and privacy of their
own dwelling. It is the nurse responsibility to foster this thirst for information and help guide our
patients to find information that is reliable and reputable.
“There is a great deal of information directed at patients on the Web.
What is most important is finding information that is reliable and consistent with best practice
and standards of care.
For the purpose of discussion, the educational tools are separated into four types:
Handouts: These are self-contained documents that are complete unto themselves.
Good for handing to a patient in their room.
Hyper-linked documents: These are pages that are cross-linked with other resources that allow
the patient to explore and find more information that fits their personal needs and is best viewed
Decision support: These tools allow a person to obtain information about an important decision
and to assess how their own personal beliefs influence their decision.
Evaluative: Allow the patient to assess their own health risks and is generally interactive and
best done on-line for immediate feedback (Kleebreg 2000).”
How to use the Internet
Printing information handouts for patients who want to know more about their diagnosis.
Finding patient information sheets about a medication when grabbing a sample from the cabinet.
Direct the patient to the internet site Medformation.com or some other reliable web sites where
they can find more information.
Direct patients to trustworthy on-line decision support tools.
Select a search engine:
At the top of any page on your computer, type the phrase “search
engines” into the Search Bar to attain access to several different internet sites that specifically aid
Common search engines:
Press the Enter key on the keyboard of your computer.
Choose a few of the most specific or relevant keywords or phrases to describe your topic.
Type your choice of words into the Search Bar offered by your chosen search engine.
Press the Enter key on your keyboard.
Assess your results.
Search through your list of web pages to pinpoint information.
Repeat above steps as necessary.
Choose a different search engine.
Choose new search words that are more or less specific.
While engines will likely be "consistent" for a highly popular web sites, less popular web sites
may be ranked very differently and it may make sense to try multiple engines.
Judging Quality Patient Literature
This may be viewed just as one would evaluate a medical journal or any other article appearing
in printed media, it is important to look at the publication (web site) the publications source of
funding and the source of funding for the study.
When evaluating web sites, a quick glance of the site’s domain can tell you a great deal:
Paul’s web pages at the educational institution
The teaching and learning process
“The process of patient teaching refers to the steps you follow to provide teaching and to
measure learning. The five steps involved in the teaching-learning process are:
• Assessing learning needs and learning readiness
• Developing learning objectives
• Planning and implementing patient teaching
• Evaluating patient learning...
References: Habel, M(2005). Getting the message across: The patient teaching part 3
Habel, M(2006). Getting the message across: The patient teaching part 4
Kleebreg, P (2000). Using the Internet as a Patient Education Tool
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