Exploration of the e-patient phenomenon in nursing informatics

Perry M. Gee, Deborah A. Greenwood, Katherine K Kim, Susan L. Perez, Nancy Staggers, Holli A. DeVon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations


The availability of health information on the Internet has equalized opportunities for knowledge between patients and their health care providers, creating a new phenomenon called the e-patient. E-patients use technology to actively participate in their health care and assume higher levels of responsibility for their own health and wellness. This phenomenon has implications for nursing informatics research related to e-patients and potential collaboration with practitioners in developing a collective wisdom. Nursing informatics can use the data, information, knowledge, and wisdom (DIKW) framework to understand how e-patients and clinicians may achieve this collective wisdom. Nurse informaticists can use constructivism and Gadamerian hermeneutics to bridge each stage of this framework to illustrate the fundamentals of patient and clinician interactions and commonality of language to achieve a collective wisdom. Examining the e-patient phenomenon will help nurse informaticists evaluate, design, develop, and determine the effectiveness of information systems used by e-patients. The Internet can facilitate a partnership between the patient and clinician and cultivate a collective wisdom, enhanced by collaboration between nurse informatics and e-patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalNursing Outlook
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2012


  • Collective wisdom
  • E-patient
  • Nursing informatics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)

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