Digital communication can be a powerful tool for patients seeking top health care, says author Nancy B. Finn, whose book discusses the ins and outs of electronic record keeping, finding reliable information online and keeping connected with your doctors.
Now that electronic health records are required by law, physicians can more efficiently share a patient’s information with others. But that record is only as complete as the information the patient provides. Finn gives tips for compiling a detailed electronic personal health record that can be quickly shared should a health crisis arise.
The book also discusses advances in telemedicine technology that benefit people in rural, medically underserved areas, and how to implement a home monitoring system to communicate with health care professionals remotely while recuperating at one’s residence. Other chapters discuss the best medical websites, how to protect privacy, managing health care costs and more.
Finn’s guide is chockfull of statistics, surveys and anecdotal stories, and a list of key points and documented sources close each chapter. Yet readers looking for quick, concise directives on how to use technology to manage their own health care, as promised on the book’s back cover, will have trouble finding it here. While Finn includes a plethora of details on things such as the evolution of health care and HIPAA laws, she offers limited workable or eye-opening advice. For example, she suggests obtaining your doctor’s email for more efficient communication, yet how many doctors are willing to do that? She also suggests using web resources to unearth health information, a tool most readers will find obvious. Additionally, the book is copyrighted for 2011 and 2014. It seems the material is only partially updated from the 2011 version.
Overall, while the book offers some information of interest, a more thorough updating and other revisions would make it a much more useful resource.
Also available in hardcover.