ABC of health informatics: How computers can help to share understanding with patients

Frank Sullivan, Jeremy C. Wyatt

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


One of the most attractive features of integrating multimedia information into the consultation is that the process educates and empowers patient and doctor. Jointly, they retain control over the conduct and conclusions of the encounter. In particular, bringing information to the point of care allows the patient to participate in decision making, and encourages them to learn from the doctor's expertise in interpreting and critically appraising information, rather than depending on the doctor's memory and powers of recall. At present sources of relevant, well prepared, evidence based material are insufficient. Systematic reviews and other assessments of health technology could be amended to include sections presenting information for patients on the choices of treatment that they have, with input from relevant patient groups. Guidance from NICE (the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) always includes a detailed information leaflet, but this can only be as evidence based as the available research allows. Some patients will prefer to discuss their problems during consultations with a doctor they trust, but audiovisual aids can help that process during and after the consultation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)892-894
Number of pages3
JournalBritish Medical Journal
Issue number7521
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2005


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