Thursday, 4:30 PM
Checking a doctor's bedside manner in a blog?
By Andrew Ryan, Globe Correspondent
Before choosing a doctor or starting a new prescription, imagine browsing Internet blogs to check a physician's bedside manner or read about other patients' experience with a drug.
Unfiltered information about the health care industry may not be widely available yet -- but the day of checking up on individual surgeons or doctors is not far off, said Dmitriy Kruglyak, who runs a website called The Medical Blog Network.
"You can now go beyond a dry encyclopedia article [online] and read a blog about real patient experience," said Kruglyak.
Kruglyak is speaking this morning at the Massachusetts Health Data Consortium in Waltham about what doctors, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies can do to keep up with blogs, podcasts, and other social media outlets on the Internet. While the health care industry's presence online has lagged behind political, entertainment, and media outlets, it is growing.
Patients' conversations about their treatment by physicians in coffee shops and at the corner store are increasingly playing out online -- where the information can be read by millions.
"This means consumers have more choices where they get their healthcare information from," said Kruglyak. "It means they have more choices about how [patients] provide feedback for the service they get."
As more blogs and other forms of online expression proliferate, the health care industry is working to establish its own presence beyond mere websites. For example, Paul Levy, the chief executive Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, is one of the first hospital executives in the country to have his own blog.
"The genie is out of the bottle," Kruglyak said. "People want more information."