Why first consult Dr. Google could be a good thing

How do you diagnose a patient who went to the emergency department?

You control their vital functions, their heart rate and their temperature. You ask them what brought them today, what they feel; you check their prior conditions, medicines, allergies. Based on what they say, you can order relevant tests; Sometimes blood is taken, x-rays are taken.

  Research shows that patients who look up their medical problem online before calling for first aid can experience better interactions with caregivers. Photo by Andrew Quilty.

Research shows that patients who visit their medical problem online before they visit the emergency room can experience better interactions with care providers. Photo by Andrew Quilty.

Photo: Andrew Quilty

Patients are often discouraged from looking up their symptoms online. But new research, published in the Medical Journal of Australia, has found that consultation & # 39; Dr Google & # 39; before it was offered to the emergency department, the interactions between patients and their attending physician could improve.

A survey of 400 adult patients who found emergency care at St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne and Austin Health between 1 February and 31 May last year that had looked up their problem online more than a third in advance.

Of the 190 patients who had performed a preliminary internet search, 150 reported that they were able to request more informed questions, communicate effectively and understand their healthcare provider better.

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