Wednesday, October 26, 2005

More on Patient Blogging

An interesting item came across my desk the other day highlighting the use of blogs by patients to keep family and friends informed about their status. I happened to email this information out to a colleague and thought it would also make an interesting post. I previously mentioned hospital sponsored patient blogs in a previous post.

The Charleston Gazette's Statehouse Beat written by Phil Kabler had a blog related item. The Statehouse Beat covers state government and legislative happenings. The news items was about the daughter of a state legislator whose child was diagnosed with CHARGE syndrome and is being treated in Oregon. The reason the daughter started the blog was to keep family and friends informed about the progress of her child. The legislator kept getting questions all the time about the status of his grandson, so he decided to let the political beat column writer know about the blog.

Here is the an excerpt from the article:
For readers wondering how Maxwell McKinley, who was born in June with CHARGE Syndrome is getting along, grandfather David McKinley sends along this blog from Amy McKinley:
With the blog, he says, his daughter can keep friends apprised of Maxwell's s progress without having to continually experience the rollercoaster of emotions with each call. Suffice to say, it's an extremely touching account of how young Maxwell fights for life each day with an indomitable spirit that puts the rest of us to shame.

After having read some of the blog posts I also found the blog very touching and it really shows the love of a parent for her child. It also documents the emotional story that most patients and their families face when having to deal with a severe medical condition.

The creative use of blogs in the health care industry is wide open for innovators. Some the ideas and questions that come to mind. Patients and families sharing information about caretreatmentement, especially in the case where there is distance between family members. Patients using blogs to document their own medical history and care. Patients sharing disease specific information. Doctors sharing diagnosis and treatment related information that can be used by other providers. Hospital sponsored blogs for external and internal use. The interplay with privacy issues and the list goes on. Exciting time for the health care industry.

For more on hospital sponsored patient blogs you might want to check out BeSpecific's post and an article in ComputerWorld. Also check out this WSJ article which mentions the some other patient blogs:

Amy Tenderich/
News, comment and information about dealing with diabetes; links to diabetes-information sites and other diabetes blogs.

Mary Blocksma/Mary's Breast Cancer Blog
Personal musings on breast-cancer treatment, recovery, and emotional and physical issues.

Don Cooley/
Prostate-cancer survivor's Web log of news and information for prostate-cancer survivors.

High Point Regional Health System
First-name-only patient blogs on various topics, posted on hospital Web site.

The Cancer Blog
Information on cancer treatment and recovery from several perspectives, including an ovarian-cancer patient.

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