Consumer Health Informatics ( Chi )

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Consumer health informatics (CHI) is an up and coming field that utilizes technology and the internet, to provide health information to the public, and enhance healthcare making decisions (Flaherty, Hoffman-Goetz, & Arocha, 2015). The public is becoming more involved in their own care by having access to healthcare information 24/7 (Hebda & Czar, 2005). Furthermore, they are relying on the fact that the information they are given is accurate and up to date. Therefore, it is extremely important that the consumers are able to evaluate and analyze credible websites. Below is an evaluation tool that will help my patients make informed decisions. Evaluating a Website Tool • Does the website end in .gov, .com, or .org? • Are there credible references cited and sources given? • Is the grammar and spelling of the website accurate? • Is the webpage associated with medical schools or medical centers? • Is the website regularly updated? (Thompson, 2012). • Does the website provide who compiled the information? (Thompson, 2012). • Does the website ask for credit card information? • Is the website trying to sell a product? (Thompson, 2012). • Does the website provide an address or other contact information? (Thompson, 2012). According to Thompson (2012), there are three main goals when delivering a health information service: • Improve knowledge and understanding of health concerns • Increase confidence in managing symptoms and adhering to treatment • Prevent illness and avoid the risks associated with health concerns At my facility I work with a patient population of twenty to thirty year old clients. They are often dealing with mental health issues and chronic diseases. I have researched three different websites to evaluate, tha... ... middle of paper ... ...anxiety, depression, suicide, stress, and abuse. For example, when exploring the anxiety information page, they offer insight on how to cope, quizzes to help identify anxiety, and treatment options. The website also provides feedback from other users, resources, and has a voluntary donation page, which helps fund the website. Just as important as it is for the health information website to be effective, the consumer must also be knowledgeable about how to retrieve this information. In order for consumers to be successful in effectively evaluating an information website, they must possess certain qualities. They must possess basic reading skills, be able to operate a computer, and be able to obtain and apply relevant information (Hebda & Czar, 2005). With improved consumer knowledge about healthcare, the public can enhance their overall health and lifestyle choices.
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