How health IT is shifting patient-doctor relationships

The relationship between Google and Mayo Clinic to provide better health information online for consumers has the power to create a "true paradigm change" in the industry, according to health IT consultant Michael Millenson.

As health technology gives consumers more control and knowledge over their health information, the relationship between patient and doctor will change, he writes at Forbes.

The Mayo-Google partnership will present health information through online searches in a better format and more accurately, FierceHealthIT previously reported. Doctors from the clinic will OK the information, which also will be verified by an average of 11 physicians. The information then will be displayed in a box on the right-hand side of a user's screen during Google searches.

Millenson also cites data collection devices like Fitbit and clinician programs like OpenNotes as examples of ways in which patients are engaging more in their care. But while there is a clear change in the patient-physician relationship thanks to technology, what that old relationship paradigm will be replaced with is not yet clear, he says.

However, Millenson adds, it is important that the foundation of that relationship remain--including careful listening and compassion.

"Collaborative health works best as a dynamic relationship," he says. "Doctors completely ceding control can sabotage care as much as hoarding all control does."

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