Information overload is common today. With never-ending news cycles and social media, misinformation can spread quickly. It’s important to have reliable sources for health information to ensure you are making decisions that are rooted in what medical providers call evidence-based information. Evidence-based means the information is confirmed by research and patient outcomes and, therefore, can be safely relied on to inform decisions.
Let’s discuss the importance of understanding where your health information comes from so you can make informed decisions about your health and well-being.
Tips on Finding Reliable Medical Info Online
Take the COVID-19 pandemic as an example of the potential for misinformation to spread as quickly as the virus. From conspiracy theories to dangerous rumors about treatments, false information has continually fueled confusion and panic.
So, how can you fight health misinformation and protect yourself from falling prey to false information? Here are some tips:
Check your sources
Make sure the websites and sources you rely on for health information are credible and reliable. Sources that can be trusted have authority and expertise such as government health agencies, are supported by research findings, and are up-to-date.
Look for information from reputable organizations including:
- Snohomish County Health Department
- University of Washington
- WA State Department of Health
- National Institutes of Health (NIH), and
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Read more than the headline
Don’t make assumptions based on the headline or description of an article. Read the article in its entirety and check the supporting sources to get the full picture. Supporting sources that can be trusted have credibility and expertise based on research, such as government health agencies, healthcare institutions and professional medical associations.
Check the date
Make sure the information you’re reading is up-to-date. Articles from last year or even earlier might not reflect the current situation.
Ask an expert
If you’re unsure about the accuracy of the information you’ve come across, don’t hesitate to reach out to a health provider to ask for their professional advice or links to credible research.
“Helping people make good decisions about their health and their family’s health is an important part of my job,” said Dr. David Russian, WWMG Pulmonologist and Sleep Medicine Specialist. “It’s a privilege to share my experience and expertise with patients. I want to help my patients find reliable sources of medical information, so they can find trustworthy answers.”
By following these tips and being vigilant about the information you consume, you can better protect yourself from the spread of health misinformation and ensure that you make informed decisions about your health and well-being.
Have questions? Our providers want to help. Request an appointment today.