Asking the Right Questions to Get the Most Out of Your Healthcare

Asking the Right Questions to Get the Most Out of Your Healthcare

Health quiries

If you want to get the most out of your healthcare, it’s important to be well informed about any treatments or medicines your doctor recommends. That means asking questions – and writing them down so you don’t forget. This page is designed to help you think about the questions you need to ask, and helps you remember them so you can take them with you to your appointment.

As medical consumers demand access to credible, consistent and reliable health information on the Internet, it becomes imperative that all healthcare organizations communicate patient data in a manner that is accessible to other providers, thereby enabling truly interoperable care. Query-based exchange is the cornerstone of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology’s Interoperability Roadmap and a core capability of several networks already implementing it.

Despite the high percentage of advice-seeking search engine queries reported in The Pew Internet Project13,14 survey, examination of large-scale commercial web query logs reveals that medical or health searching represents only a small portion of general Internet searching. Moreover, users do not reformulate their queries extensively to express medical or health intent. Instead, most simply name a medical term (e.g., AIDS or flu) or a generic problem-related term (e.g., weight problems or headache).

To evaluate medical or health-related Web query intent, the authors used a combination of qualitative analysis and automated text analysis to classify each query. A Web query was considered to be medical or health related if strong evidence of intent was present: a term with medical or healthcare meaning, a context that supports the intention of seeking medical/health information, and a query-related url that contained a clinical reference.

Medical websites are rated for quality by the URAC accreditation process, the ‘Health on the Net’ logo program and the HI Ethics project. The quality of healthcare websites is also monitored through the AMA’s Medical Website Certification Program.

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