What If Healthcare Was Like Wikipedia?

What If Healthcare Was Like Wikipedia?

Posted Nov 9, 2021 from

Wikipedia works due to its army of editors (“Wikipedians”); some 127,000 have edited the English edition alone within the past 30 days. It is remarkable that it exists when you think about the history of knowledge in the world and who has access to it and the very idea that people can participate in it. In an Economist article, she attributed Wikipedia’s success to Cunningham’s Law, which holds that “the best way to get the right answer to a question on the internet…is to post the wrong answer.”  It works for Wikipedia, she says, because: “People love to be right, to demonstrate their competence.” Academics and some professionals may scoff at its entries, since Wikipedia’s editors come from a variety of backgrounds, but multiple studies have validated that the accuracy of its articles is high, even in specialized areas like science or medicine. Indeed, Wikipedia is believed to be the most used source of information on health – among not just patients but also physicians and other healthcare professionals. Mobile is now the primary way in which people access Wikipedia.” So what might someone like Jimmy Wales think was “obvious” about a better healthcare system? Quality, not credentials: sometimes personal experience, such as from patients, is a better source of health information than from “experts.”  Sometimes people with impressive credentials spew false or outdated information. Guide the way: When you have a health issue, the healthcare system often seems like a maze. Collectively, the information on them is a fraction of the data that healthcare institutions/professionals have about me. I don’t think the future of Wikipedia is guaranteed.


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