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Information therapy is a healthcare term, describing the timely prescription and availability of evidence-based health information to meet individuals' specific needs and support sound decision making.

Information therapy works by engaging the consumer in the process of care. Unlike free-floating health content on the Web, information therapy involves giving the patient only information relevant to his or her current moment in care. Information therapy can be clinician-prescribed, system-prescribed, or consumer-prescribed.

Some commonly used methods for information therapy include:

• Clinic visits can be preceded and/or followed by information therapy prescriptions.

• Medical tests and surgery can be preceded and/or followed by information therapy prescriptions.

• Information prescriptions communicated through physician/patient emails or delivered through a patient portal can extend the continuity of care.

The use of technology in information therapy[edit | edit source]

While information therapy can be delivered through low-tech techniques, such as handing out information pamphlets or sending them through the post, the advent of new technologies has enabled clinicians and health systems to more efficiently and effectively deliver information therapy over a variety of mediums.

Technologies such as electronic medical record systems, order entry systems, and the use of personal digital assistants (PDAs), are all examples of electronic infrastructures that can deliver information therapy to consumers. By attaching "information triggers" to these systems, tailored, customized information prescriptions can be automatically sent to either a patient’s email account or to a secure patient portal. As the patient experiences new symptoms, conditions or other health issues, the provider can respond with specific prescriptions of information. Furthermore, the user can track information that can be useful for managing chronic disease.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  • Bader, SA & Braude, RM. “Patient Informatics”: Creating New Partnerships in Medical Decision-Making. Academy Medicine. 1998 Apr;73(4):408-11.
  • Disease Management News. "Evidence Mounts on Benefits of Information Therapy in DM," April 25, 2005, Vol. 10, N. 8.
  • Disease Management News. “Use 'Information Prescriptions' to Improve DM Outcomes,” April 10, 2005, Vol. 10, N. 7.
  • Internet Healthcare Strategies. “Information prescriptions (Ix): Bringing Internet-based health content into the treatment process; patients to your site,” April 2005.
  • Kemper, Donald (Feb 2006). It’s a Jungle Out There: How Information Therapy Can Tame the Forces of Pay For Performance and Consumer-Directed Care.
  • Kemper, Donald and Mettler, Molly (May 2005). Brightening the Dark Side of Consumer-Directed Care.
  • Kemper, Donald & Mettler, Molly. Information Therapy: Health Education One Person at a Time. Health Promotion and Practice. 2003 Jul;4(3):214-7.
  • Kemper, Donald and Schneider, Steven (Dec 2004). Predictive Modeling and Information Therapy: Prescribing the Information That Will Help Each Patient Improve Health and Reduce Costs.
  • Managed Care Report."What Information Therapy Can Do For You," February 11, 2005.
  • Now, Wait for the “Ix” Effect. The Times of India. April 9, 2006.
  • Medical News Today. “Information Therapy” As Important As Other Medical Treatments Reveals Conference - Patient Focused Healthcare Championed At Annual Event. March 1, 2006
  • O’Kane, Margaret. A Strong Dose of Information: Health Plans as “infomediaries”. Managed Care Quarterly. 2002 Spring; 10(2):1-2.
  • Schneider, Steve. Information Therapy Answers the Institute of Medicine’s Harsh Report. Managed Care Quarterly. 2002 Winter; 10(1):7-10.
  • Seidman, Joshua & Steinwachs, D. & Rubin, HR. Conceptual Framework for a New Tool for Evaluating the Quality of Diabetes Consumer-Information Web Sites. Journal of Medical Internet Research. 2003 Nov 27;5(4):e29.
  • Wilson-Steele, Gale. Information Therapy: Improving Healthcare Through Patient Education. MedSeek.

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