CONSUMER INFO: L.A. Times Debuts New Column
Former California Healthline Executive Publisher Marla Bolotsky is writing a new column on online health information for the Los Angeles Times. In the inaugural installment of "Your Health Online", Bolotsky maps out her goal of helping consumers "navigate" the "maze of valuable and not-so-valuable health care information" posted on the Internet. Future installments of the weekly column will "review sites dealing with such topics as wellness, diseases, medical research, insurance and other health care resources." In each installment, Bolotsky will "identify the sponsors of the site, tell you whether they take advertising (and from whom) and assess the currency of the information." This week, the column provides a general overview of how to access information on the web and refers readers to www.healthfinder.gov, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' "gateway to health care information provided by U.S. government agencies and other organizations." Bolotsky is currently managing editor and director of online information for the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Her column will run in the newspaper's weekly "Health" section, which can be accessed online at: http://www.latimes.com/HOME/NEWS/HEALTH/ (11/2 issue).
Today's Newark Star-Ledger features a report on using the Internet to obtain health information. Reporter Lisa Rose writes that "many doctors are wary of the Internet, because of the lack of gatekeepers, the proliferation of biased information on commercial sites (many are just long sales pitches for a product) and bad advice found on personal home pages" (11/3). The Detroit Free Press looks at wealth of online information regarding rare diseases and disorders (Anstett/Gentleman, 11/3).