The GP and the Geek
I got to the article of Dean Gustini through http://del.icio.us.com and really liked it.
As a general practioner - first in a big multidisciplinary centre in Belgium, now in a community-based ngo-program in Manila, I can not but look at it the practical sight. How does the internet improve the quality of care I deliver to my patients? I like to bring to the attention the pioneer-work done by collegues of mine in Belgium in using websites with medical information during the consultation to answer patient unattended needs and/or doctors educational needs.
Online On-the-Spot, Evidence-based medicine in de spreekkamer, Huisarts Nu 2003, 32(10), 513 – 518. http://www.pubmed.be/oos.php?lang=en
Patient Educ Couns. 2007 May 29; : 17540531 Online on-the-spot searching increases use of evidence during consultations in family practice. Van Duppen D., Aertgeerts B., et al.
Contrary to the wave in IT-development were more and more information becomes free, it is obvious that this is not the tendance for medical science. Example is the BMJ itself who stopped partially sharing there information for free through the internet. http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/london/2003/08/275054.html
On the other hand the commercial influenced medical websites become more and more professional and user-friendly in there appearance. http://www.merckmedicus.com/pp/us/hcp/hcp_home.jsp
The real challenge for us general practioners - who most of the time are not geeks- will not be to get the information, but to filter it, and to asses it's scientifical value.
Competing interests: No competing interests