Swine Flu and Virtual Support Groups?

While looking up the efficacy of online support groups, I found this rather timely information. It concerns what people wanted from their hospital during the SARS outbreak.  (The bold is my emphasis)

Their most frequent suggestion was the ability to communicate with
family members, as visits were restricted. Others wanted to use the
Internet to access their electronic health record, participate in
virtual support groups, replace certain follow-up visits with
online consultations, and find information on drug compatibility or
clinical trials.

“What Internet Services Would Patients Like From Hospitals During an
Epidemic? Lessons From the SARS Outbreak in Toronto”

I know there are some efforts starting up within Second Life to help share information.  It looks like it may be a good venue for a wider variety of activities.

This report also shows that hospitals should be an online partner as well.

About John

Interested in how information intersects daily life, technology, and art. Collaboration specialist, working in social and collaborative media. Biomedical Informaticist, focusing on patient/patient, patient/provider communication.
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4 Responses to Swine Flu and Virtual Support Groups?

  1. John
    Saw your posting on SLED .. but not your email so responding. here.

    I have a webpage on “Pandemics” with info for schools and educators …. feel free to link from your SL display if suitable. http://tr.im/kbi6

  2. Oscar says:

    That is a good paper. Thanks for sharing.

    I think that this “Remote access to UHN’s electronic health record” isn’t just important to UHN, but to anybody that holds these kinds of records.

    And I totally agree with “telephone-based communication proved to be a resource-intensive solution that may not be sustainable in the event of a more widespread epidemic or external disaster.”

    Telephone is one of the worse ways to communicate in a disaster or epidemic nowadays. It is prone to fail under heavy loads, and it requires one on one interactions. IN a disaster you need to be able to quickly disseminate information to as many people as possible in whichever methods are available.

  3. John says:

    Thanks, Oscar. I really liked that paper too and agree with the remote access issue.

    I am also quite interested in how social media, such as Twitter…and others…could help out during a healthcare emergency.

  4. Oscar says:

    Yup, Social Media is unfolding at neck-breaking speed. Surely it will be used for this kind of thing soon.

    I mean it takes seconds for new stories to break on Twitter. CNN takes hours!


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