Health Information On The Internet
There Are Problems
If you search the Internet for advice on treating your health problems, much of what you get may be inaccurate, inappropriate, misleading or unreviewed by physicians according to a recent study by researchers from the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor.
The study, one of the first of its kind, statistically examined a sample of the pages retrieved when four popular Internet search engines searched for information on a particular topic. A rare disease was chosen to keep the search results manageable.
Four hundred (400) pages were evaluated in the study, pulled at random from twenty-seven hundred (2700) retrieved, utilizing four different spellings of the disease. Two independent researchers evaluated each of the sample pages and rated them. A statistical test showed good agreement.
Nearly 60% of the information had been reviewed or was from reliable sources. The rest of the information came from data that had not been reviewed, containing wrong information.
The message is that there is much inaccurate information being placed on the Internet and patients have to be careful in the web sites that they choose to obtain information. It has been our hope that, in the production of this particular web site, our Library of Information for patients would be useful, understandable to patients and their families and as accurate as medically possible.
Consumer Preferences for Health Web Sites
A Harris Interactive study recently issued the following information regarding types of web sites most frequently visited by consumers seeking health care information on the Internet.
- Medical Journals - 45%
- Academic or Research Institutions - 43%
- Pharmaceutical Companies - 34%
- Medical Societies - 34%
- Government Sites - 25%
- Hospitals - 16%
We have always considered Online Orthopaedics as different from other health web sites and apparently this supports my feeling. Online Orthopaedics does not fit neatly into any of these classifications. I consider it authoritative because I, Dr. Haverbush, write all of the articles and research the material personally and base it on that research as well as on my own thirty years of experience in the field of Orthopaedic Surgery.
Online Orthopaedics is not just a name out in cyber space, but comes from a well established office, the existence of which can be easily verified as can the author's experience and credentials.
We feel Online Orthopaedics has a great deal to offer persons seeking musculoskeletal information on the Internet.