Web Zap*Germs Archive

December 15, 2005

Interactive Medical Tutorials for Patients

Writing in her The Informed Patient column, WSJ scribbler Laura Landro looks at the growth of web-based, interactive computer simulations for patients facing surgery or other medical procedures. About 85,000 patients have used Expectation Management and Medical Information, or Emmi, in the past two years, prior to nearly 60 different types of medical procedures.
The programs, sent to patients via an email link or viewed in a doctor's office, are part of a growing effort to improve the informed-consent process and better educate patients about what to expect from medical procedures. They are also being used to create an electronic paper trail to help protect hospitals and doctors from malpractice claims by patients who say they weren't adequately told of risks. Several hundred hospitals, clinics and private practices are using the Emmi programs, according to...Rightfield Solutions, which launched Emmi in 2004.
There's a similar system everyone can use for free, however:
A rival...Patient Education Institute, provides interactive patient-education systems for 20 medical specialties to more than 1,000 hospitals, clinics and doctors' offices nationwide, using interactive kiosks in waiting rooms to educate patients about procedures and document the sessions for risk managers to verify the information was received and listened to. The company also licenses interactive education programs to the National Library of Medicine, which makes them available free to consumers at


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