Not a day goes by when we don’t hear about fake news and mis-information, particularly online, and its impact on people’s lives and everyday decision-making.
In the healthcare arena, recent years have seen the advent of virtual doctor and consultation services that can be accessed via our smartphones and there now appears to be a website or blog for every medical condition or query. But how can we, and the population at large, be certain that the healthcare information we’re accessing is accurate? How can we trust services that we can’t see?
Trust in general online information and sources is an ongoing hot topic these days, but when it comes to our health, making the wrong choice can have a direct and indeed an immediate short and long-term effect on our wellbeing and the healthcare choices we make.
Part of MSD’s “My Healthcare My Future” research series, which first began in 2016, “The Right Click? Benchmarking levels of trust in online healthcare information” delves deeper into the area of online healthcare information, to examine how Irish people are accessing digital and online sources and identify what is driving their levels of trust in in those sources. It’s such a fundamental challenge to anyone even remotely involved in the Irish healthcare landscape and, with always-on technology enabling access to online information at the touch of a button, it’s a challenge that we need to meet head on if we are to ensure patients are empowered with the information they need to ensure they are accessing genuine, accredited sources and sites.
With trust a fundamental cornerstone of any health system, this report is intended to start a debate into this area and act as a framework for discussions as to how all of us in the healthcare industry and beyond can form partnerships to tackle new and future challenges in building trust. This will benefit not only patients but also healthcare professionals and providers, to ensure we’re all making the right click when it comes to accessing online healthcare information correctly and responsibly.
MSD is committed to playing a role as a trusted provider in the Irish healthcare landscape and we hope the findings of the research inform this fascinating, thought-provoking public health debate.
To view the 2019 report 'The Right Click? Benchmarking levels of trust in online healthcare information' please click here.
To view the 2016 report ‘My Healthcare, My Future: Public Perspectives on the Future of Healthcare in Ireland,’ please click here.