Guidelines for General Practitioners: Approaches for Managing the Information Influx for Effective Disease Management
The increasing speed at which new knowledge is generated and disseminated means that we have to learn knew ways of handling this information. Instead of trying to remember information in case we need it at a later date, we need to develop the skills of finding, appraising and using information as and when we need it. This information may range from detailed research information to distilled systematic reviews and guidelines. Rapid access to reliable information in a usable form will change both the way professionals work and the way patients approach their doctor. The speed of access to clinical guidance for the doctor will need to be complemented by the opportunity to access the more detailed research information on which the guidance is based. The sheer volume of information means that clinicians can never hope to stay ahead of patients. Instead, professionals will need to develop different relationships with the public and patients, guiding them through the task of finding and filtering information which is valid and relevant to that particular person. This changing relationship from paternalism to partnership in disease management should be accompanied by a spirit of openness. Only in this way can professionals develop a trusting and meaningful relationship with their patients, the crux of which is to share uncertainty in the doctor patient relationship without losing credibility or perceived value.
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