The truthiness of the Internet

The Internet has become a part of everyone’s lives, and most of us rely on it heavily for information. Tell me you don’t Google your symptoms when you feel like you’re coming down with something. I think just about everyone conducts research online, and most of the time we believe what we read. Well, that might not be the best idea. According to the Hartford Courant, an online database of physicians (the State of Connecticut eLicensing Website, to be exact) at the Connecticut Department of Public Health web site lacks crucial information.

The database is designed to help people select doctors, and the database supposedly has information about medical malpractice awards paid by the physicians over the past decade. The newspaper discovered, however, that this information was not current. In fact, the malpractice data was missing from more than 100 doctors. These include settlements of a record $36 million as well as one case that made it all the way to the Connecticut Supreme Court.

The database used to have malpractice award information, but much of the information disappeared after the State upgraded its technology into a new system. The Department of Public Health claims it did not know the data had gone missing and promises to conduct an investigation.