Hospital adds patient blogs to its website

High Point Regional Health System in North Carolina is giving patients the opportunity to blog on its website. The idea is to help patients feel less anxious.

I checked out the site and there are three bloggers. Mary writes about mini-gastric bypass, Sherrie about childbirth, and Amy about cancer. The bloggers are theoretically free to write negative comments about their experiences at the hospital, but according to iHealthBeat, the hospital’s marketing coordinator reviews each blog for “appropriateness” before posting it.

High Point posts its own advertising on the bottom of the page, which begins to explain the real motive. Not surprisingly, the mini-gastric bypass page has an ad about that lucrative procedure. But I was a little shocked to see the same ad on the cancer and childbirth pages as well, where it rotated with a general ad. I’d be surprised if Amy, who is 35 with lymphoma, is a good candidate for the procedure.

It will be interesting to see if the concept has staying power. I’m doubtful that the censors will be able to keep their hands off.

Welcome Grand Rounds readers! Feel free to visit the rest of the Health business blog.

April 27, 2005

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