The director of the 360 Positive Care Center at UCSF talks about technology and the consumer-directed healthcare push.
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We talk a little bit about this off camera, and I have to say that it really depends on the patient. As I mentioned earlier there are some patients who I've asked nicely that they consider not going on the internet to look up on health issues. Because it was essentially freaking them out. And they were getting a lot of anxiety and really just only seeing the bad pieces of the information they were obtaining, and not looking at the whole piece. I felt that it was more useful for us to have a discussion and then refer them to the Internet. Other patients come in well-versed on topics it makes our visits much easier, much quicker. And perhaps I should mention it's two-way exchange. I often refer patients myself to the internet for additional information, given today's environment where we have to have really shorter visits then I would like. It's helpful to be able to say okay we are considering these medications. Here is a trustworthy site. Once you go ahead read up on this, or you can being with a friend and then at your next visit we'll discuss it further; and I'll answer any questions you have. So in a way it's an agent, it's helpful to me. So in that way I think it's a great tool. And I think there are untapped benefits as well, some of the stuff you guys are doing in terms of patient sort of health profiles that they can utilize and track information online. Just like in weight loss it always helps to be able to see your progress. See what's going on, to be able to trend that for patients to get some sort of feedback on how they are doing. So that's also good. I think America response to consumer driven initiatives. I think consumers in general haven't known their power in the healthcare arena; and I think empowering the consumer could only be positive, because we all want the same thing. We want a good interaction, a sufficient interaction to address the healthcare means, make my job a lot easier and more gratifying, and so I think anything that helps with that is a positive thing.