The Role of E-Health in the Changing Health Care Environment

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Executive SummaryThe role of the Internet in health care information access and delivery is increasing rapidly as evidenced by the fact that 86% of adults with Internet access have used it for health-related information and health queries represent 37% of their total Internet usage.Consumers (50%) demonstrate significant interest in accessing their own medical information via the Internet as well as describe themselves as likely to switch providers in order to communicate electronically with their physician (33%).While privacy and information quality present notable risks, the opportunity for e-health technology to improve access to information, reach rural or underserved populations, reduce care delivery costs, and integrate health care services and information is significant.The role of nursing in this growing e-health market will be best supported if nurses play a role ranging from system architect to expert end-user, all requiring additional basic training and continuing education.

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