The Patient:

The What, Why, and How of Medical Information

The What, Why, and How of Medical Information


In a recent Q1 Productions survey, patients and caregivers shared their thoughts about medical and disease information. The preferred vehicles of information, trusted sources, and unaddressed needs were answered by a diverse group comprised of 14.8% caregivers and 85.1% patients.

Medicinal Information

Though the majority of survey respondents (77%) claimed that their preferred way of getting information about a medicine is to speak live with someone, a close second preferred method was watching a YouTube video. Following the video, the third most popular option was reading an article on the internet.

When survey participants have a question about medications, the majority (77%) go to their doctor while another large group (74%) search online. Other options in the survey include reading a leaflet, or calling the product manufacturer. When it comes to the correct information, though more people are confident in the answers of a human, some are still preferring to scour the internet.

What it means: Medical information is moving past the label and into the hands of the consumer. Healthcare providers, pharmacists, and even insurance companies may give the most accurate advice, but consuming user-based content is gaining popularity.

The Disease State

Obtaining answers to questions about your disease state and treatment may be a daunting task. Readily available information online and professional advice may clash in an effort to bring you the most information possible about your disease state.

Though patients now have a variety of information sources, many are still choosing to talk to their doctors. A majority of survey participants (88%) explained that they would rather enlist the help of a medical professional rather than risk misinformation online or through a pharmacist.

What it means: Though information regarding medicines is moving towards a consumer-focused industry, disease information is still highly suspect without the intervention of a healthcare professional. Correct information is crucial in helping patients make the right choices for their treatments.

Assessing Patient Needs

Knowing which areas of information are not satisfying patient’s helps the industry understand where it can facilitate more comprehensive treatment. Though lack of information on the internet and the lack of awareness surrounding information were both chosen as unaddressed needs, the most common unmet need participants chose was the lack of knowledge about resources available in general.

Patients are looking towards a diverse amount of information avenues without knowing which fit their specific needs. Unknown resources could mean the difference between carefully assessed care decisions and improper treatment.

Likewise, when patients have questions, they’re looking in many directions. Though most respondents chose doctors and nurses as their primary information sources, popular answers also included the internet and friends & family. The majority of patients and caregivers concluded that these sources were most useful because they trusted the information and the source.

What it means: Making resources known and readily available to patients and caregivers means giving a second opinion, and building trust in that source. Providing a variety of information resources may help patients become more involved and informed about their treatment.

Medical information development is an integral part of disease treatment and healthcare evolution. To learn more about the industry’s best practices in an ever-changing environment, register for the Customer Centric Medical Information Conference, July 24-25 in Boston, MA.