Patients Know Best – Allowing Patients and Doctors Empowerment in Self-Management

Craig Agranoff wrote a lovely article about PKB at the Social Commerce Blog. Craig is the editor of sCommerce and he really understood how we hope to help patients to work with clinicians to manage their help. He even read our Personal Health Records encyclopedia, which we love to write in.

PatientsKnowBest – Allowing Patients and Doctors Empowerment in Self-Management

Submitted by Craig Agranoff on Friday, 9 October 2009 View

patients_know_best.pngThe United Kingdom has the National Health Service through which most UK citizens get their health care.  Their medical and related records are kept in the system but are not always easily found by health care providers and are nearly always inaccessible to the patient themselves. was created by three doctors who want to change that.  Troubled by what they saw as an over-focus on treatment methods and not enough focus on patients, the three decided to create a way to allow patients to regain control of their medical information so they can better interact with doctors.  This would drive the focus back towards patient care.

Offering secure tools for the patients and their health care providers to interact, the site also has an extensive wiki of medical facts and information.  Complete lectures and papers are also available from participating doctors.

The core of the PatientsKnowBest site, however, is their tools and services.  Using secure communications, the site offers tools for doctors and clinicians to communicate with patient data quickly and securely.  Patients can also be in the loop for important transfers of information and to get instant access to results or recommendations.  All of this communication leads to empowerment, giving the patient a better understanding of what is happening in their healthcare.

This allows for faster interaction without having to make phone calls or frequent visits for care.  Diabetics, for instance, can send in daily sugar levels from their tests and get feedback from nurses or their doctor on adjustments they may need to make.  This also keeps the patient care facility up-to-date on the patient’s data without waiting for the mails or frequent patient visits to give information.  All of this frees up time while increasing the knowledge base.

The site has won several awards and is recognized by the NHS’ secure network (VPN).  PatientsKnowBest is likely a harbinger of what’s to come for most of us, world wide, in future medical practice.

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