There is one doctor that we wouldn’t recommend and that’s Dr. Google. Evidence suggests that people using Google to diagnose their symptoms could end up feeling worse and even less informed than before they searched. It’s no surprise that people search for medical information online; technology has been a useful tool for people to get information for all aspects of their life. However, unlike getting a new recipe or home decor idea, the risks of medical advice from sites that do not have regulatory oversight are real.
A non-commercial, evidence-based, Canadian alternative to help practitioners and patients get health information about chronic diseases online would be a more valuable resource than Dr.Google: enter Prevention in Hand.
Launched in 2014, the Prevention in Hand (PiH) initiative is the result of a partnership between the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). They have created a user-friendly website (and mobile app) that provides health care practitioners and patients alike quick and easy access to current and accurate information about the prevention of chronic diseases.
The information helps Canadians lead more active and healthy lives, and provides the tools for healthcare practitioners to support their patients in making those positive lifestyle changes. Dr. Kathy Lawrence, former CFPC President, says that the reality is that “technology has transformed the manner by which health providers and the public seek and access health information”; PiH allows users to get “timely, accurate information to help prevent chronic diseases or flag symptoms early so patients may then follow up with their family doctors.”
In August of last year, Prevention in Hand updated their interface that will increase functionality and ease of use. If you take the time to look around the site, you will see valuable healthcare resources and tools which allows healthcare professionals to review current chronic disease information, professional guidelines, e-Learning modules that provide Mainpro+® credits, online assessment tools, motivational interviewing videos, and wellness and healthy lifestyle management tools. It is all of these important tools and valuable information that make Prevention in Hand a valuable site.
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