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Some days ago, I wrote a newsletter for the Second Virtual Congress of General Practice and Family Medicine, regarding health literacy and the impact of knowledge in healthcare. This is a subject I am very keen on, and it will dramatically change the way health systems organize themselves and also the relationship between healthcare providers and patients.
For an aditional point of view, I’m also posting a video interview to Sir Muir Gray, Director of the UK NHS National Knowledge Service, focusing the importance and goals of mapofmedicine®. Thanks to @amcunningham for the bookmark on the video.
Globalizing Health Knowledge
Tell me, I forget.
Show me, I remember.
Involve me, I understand.
The everchanging essence of knowledge and the continuous seek for new discoveries have driven mankind to a tenacious dedication for unveiling the paths and boundaries of the human body. The extent of our knowledge about ourselves has increadibly reached the genetic book of life, allowing in a certain way to forecast the future. But is this immense knowledge leading us to higher levels of health literacy?
Nowadays, citizens are empowered through the fast access to information, and the gap between patients and health information has significantly been curtailed. Health related searches on the internet have increased over the past few years, and online communities of patients, that have physically never met, are flourishing at a fast pace. These current trends of the information and communication technologies are changing the lives of individuals and their families, and also the way that health systems are developing.
We see health consumers rapidly becoming key health players, taking increased responsability for their health status and data, and ultimately gaining critical knowledge about the quality the health care they receive. Patient-centeredness is a new order, and consequently the web 2.0 effect on the patient-doctor relationship is far for being totally understood.
For general practitioners and family physicians, who are at the forefront of health care systems around the world, this represents an exciting challenge. Moreover, this undoubtedly requires an upgrade of skills which entails joining the technological breakthrough and to face a new set of communication channels: instant messaging, electronic mail and virtual reality, just to name a few… Reassuring the important role of primary care providers in promoting health literacy is of crucial importance and can be achieved at a global scale, and not just simply in local settings.
Thirty years after the Declaration of Alma-Ata, primary health care needs once again gather forces in order to help decreasing inequalities around the world. The demands of health care systems require innovative solutions. As such, eHealth now represent the common voice for globalizing health literacy. The main goal for the Second Virtual Congress of General Practice and Family Medicine is to enable the use of eHealth, so as to empower citizens to use health information in an operational way – in other words, working globally for a wiser health.
Dr Amina Ather is discussing. Toggle Comments
In 2008, the World Health Organization had a double celebration: its 60th anniversary and the 30th birthday of the Declaration of Alma-Ata on Primary Health Care, signed in 1978.
The World Health Report of 2008 was called “Primary Health Care: Now More Than Ever” and settled 4 “avenues” to be crossed in order to globalize and develop qualified and sustainable health systems: universal coverage reforms, service delivery reforms, public policy reforms and leadership reforms.
After such an important year as this, WHO has published a photo essay with the key public health issues to remark and to keep fostering the global consciousness regarding healthcare inequalities.
See this video regarding the Declaration of Alma-Ata: