Monday, March 02, 2009

MedPage: Bookmark It Today!

In a speech at the Health 2.0 conference in San Diego last year, Susannah Fox of the Pew Internet & American Life Project spoke about the impact of the internet on health and healthcare. She began her speech by referencing the notorious press release distributed by the American Medical Association in 2001 that advised Americans to “trust your physician, not a chat room.”

“Of course most people ignored that advice and flocked online for health information, just as they ignored the advice of the recording industry and flocked to music downloading sites,” said Fox. “When 80% of internet users are doing something, the horse is out of the barn.”

Today, the medical establishment is as passionate about the internet as a source of high-quality medical information as the wired healthcare consumer. Now the most important issue is determining which online resource offers the highest quality and most accurate medical information.

One such resource is MedPage Today, a leading provider of accurate, timely, unbiased and useful information including breaking health news, journal and medical meetings coverage and enterprise stories for medical professionals. (In the interest of complete disclosure, you should know that MedPage is a client. You should also know that I’ve personally searched the website for information about my own health … and I plan to do so whenever I have a question about a medical condition or a treatment. It’s easy to use, with great summaries and lots of actionable information. Nevertheless, it doesn’t replace checking with your physician.)

MedPage’s healthcare journalists file stories from 70 national and international medical meetings a year. The health policy beat is covered by a full-time Washington correspondent. Articles undergo review by the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine before publication. Doctors and other healthcare professionals can also receive Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits — at no cost — by taking a test.

Check it out and see why, for the second year in a row, MedPage Today has won praise from eHealthcare, the world's largest program evaluating Web quality and content for health information.

Technorati Tags: Health 2.0 conference, Susannah Fox, Pew Internet & American Life Project, internet, health, healthcare, American Medical Association, healthcare consumer, MedPage Today, health news, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine , eHealthcare, business, communications, public relations


Blogger Barbara Figge Fox said...

Ken, as a blogger myself, I love to get comments, so here goes.

If the U of Penn web pages are as good as they were in 2004, when I was combing them for news about an unusual form of cancer, I'm sure that MedPages are also good. Back then, when I was what you call an Expert Patient, Penn's website was among the few that volunteered to reply to specific questions -- and I actually got a reply. At the time I thought such responses were difficult to provide. Does MedPages provide for responses?

Also, I hanker for more information about exactly what these relationships are between web sites and institutions. No matter impeccable the medical advice may be, I would still like to get some transparency on:

Does the website pay particular attention to research done at HUP? No harm done if it does, but it would be good to know.

What is its business model? How does it differ from, for instance, WebMD and MayoClinic?

And am I missing something -- does Penn continue to have its own medical website in addition to this one, which focuses on CME credits?

I apologize in advance for not having studied the site for a good long time, but the answers to these questions did not pop up easily. I think they should.

Monday, March 02, 2009 8:30:00 PM  

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