Responding to competitive pressure to enhance services and patient satisfaction while reducing cost, many healthcare organizations are turning to interactive health communication to enhance their practices. This article reviews computer-based patient education by focusing on a product, X-Plain, and describing how it is used in medical practices. The following benefits of computer-based patient education are discussed: risk management, time saving, enhanced patient satisfactions, and meeting regulatory requirements. Two classes of computer-based patient education systems are distinguished: documentation systems used in the back office to inform patients about their diagnoses and treatments and to document patient education; and public kiosks used in the reception area to provide general information, promote the practice's services, and collect survey data. The advantages of delivering patient education through the Web such as global networking and presentation of customized health information are discussed.