C O M M E N T A R Y
|July 1997||What is this site all about?|
What is this site all about?
This site is all about education. Patient education is a challenge. As a physician, I have found that a truly well-informed patient will make my job easier, and that both the patient and I will be more successful. Over the years, I have developed a number of strategies to try and improve my success in this area. For several years now, I have used a system of educational "autotext" paragraphs to compose relevant letters to patients. This has proven to be an effective way to quickly provide patients with material they could study at their leisure and return to later for reference. Recently, I began to supplement these paragraphs with graphics to improve understanding. Interactive graphics on the web seems simply to be the next step.
It is a wonderful adventure and honor to be a cardiologist and care for patients, many of whom are extremely ill, and to be able to help them get better in situations of great danger and urgency. It is just as rewarding to help patients effectively understand and cope with a disease that scares them. HeartPoint is all about helping people deal positively with heart disease. Heart disease, even serious heart disease, is far from a death sentence these days. Most people live active, happy, full and long lives. This site is here to provide the tools to deal with these problems.
[ Who We Are ]
Characteristics of HeartPoint
While this site seemed inevitable once I started considering it, I spent a great deal of time surfing the web before finally committing to its creation. This allowed me to focus on features that would define its character. We will strive at HeartPoint...
- To be educational. We will try to show and explain the heart, its disorders, and the means to control or cure those disorders in the best way we can using this medium. As the reality of the new technologies become available, these will be incorporated as well. I can't wait for full motion video!
- To present what's new and important. There is plenty of the former, but not nearly as much of the latter. This will not be the place for late breaking news (there are already great places for that), but for a considered review of material that proves its importance. Information may not be presented for a month or two, but it will be important enough to pay attention to. We won't be dealing with "teasers".
- To be accurate. While it is wonderful to have access to medical information via the internet, it does not follow that all information available is accurate. Some is speculation, hype or hope. Some is indeed fact, but may be presented in a way that lacks appropriate perspective. We will take great care at HeartPoint to not only be accurate in the journalistic sense, but in the larger sense that the information will be presented in perspective.
- There are plenty of places to go to for controversy, and they can be fun. We won't shrink from controversy, but we won't go looking for it to drum up business. While we look for a better way, we shouldn't forget about all of things we know for certain help heart disease - good diets, exercise, control of blood pressure and diabetes, etc. - while arguing about whether a picogram (that's really, really small amount) of a trace element will help heart disease. Take a hint right from the start - there's no magic substance out there that will clean out arteries like Drano. If it were there, we'd know about it by now. If they come up with it, we'll tell you right away.
- The challenge in healthcare these days in many ways is not in finding a new solution, but applying the ones that are already known. Again, like controversy, exploration should not keep us from doing what's already known to work.
- Help you "be a better patient". There are certain things you can do which will help you deal with the medical "establishment". That's why we've included sections on "Questions to ask your doctor" and "What are the options". In addition, "Health Tips" should help you with the little things that no one ever teaches you, but you need to know.
- Be evidence-based. There is a lot of speculation about what might or should work in a given medical situation, and information regarding it can be handed out with great pronouncements and seriousness. Despite the appearances, there is much that "makes sense" that doesn't work. We'll deal with what's been proven. You will not receive speculation, but rather evidence.
- Concentrate on prevention. Prevention is not much of a social solution to healthcare costs (it costs money to prevent, while ultimately all patients fall ill and die). However, it is exceedingly effective for individuals who will invest in themselves to put off the onset of diseases they wish to avoid. There are no magic bullets, but we'll really work to give you the best information we can provide to help you manage your investment in your health.
- Listen to alternatives. While some non-traditional healing methods suffer from a lack of extensive research base, some alternative health care methods can be effective and synergistic with the more traditional "pills and surgery" approach. Alternative methods can provide a holistic and humanistic dimension to the effective but sometimes impersonal face of "modern medicine".
- Understand and respect technology. On the other hand, technology is incredible. But while sending a man to the moon is awe-inspiring feat, it is pretty unnerving to be the guy in the capsule at the top of the rocket at blastoff. Understanding the machine helps make the trip a lot easier.
- Keep it interesting and keep it fun. That's what will keep you coming back, and keep us working on the site.
We hope you enjoy HeartPoint, and that it is of interest and benefit to you.
I look forward to any comments or suggestions you may have. [ Contact us ]
Darrell J. Youngman, D.O.
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This site presents material for your information, education and entertainment. We can assume no liability for inaccuracies, errors, or omissions. Above all, material on this site should not take the place of the care you receive from a personal physician. It is simply designed to help in the understanding of the heart and heart disease, and not as a diagnostic or therapeutic aid. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues. Please feel free to browse the site and download material for personal and non-commercial use. You may not however distribute, modify, transmit or reuse any of these materials for public or commercial use. You should assume that all contents of the site are copyrighted. ęCOPY;1997 HeartPoint