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Experiences of physicians who frequently use e-mail with patients.
Health Commun. 2003; 15(4):515-25.HC

Abstract

Despite its potential, the use of e-mail for physician-patient communication has not been widely adopted. Our purpose was to survey the experiences of physicians who are early adopters of the technology. Physicians, identified through a professional Internet information portal, completed a survey, including an assessment of satisfaction with using e-mail with patients. We identified 204 physicians who reported using e-mail with patients on a daily basis. Average age of the respondents was 49 years, 82% were male, and 35% were primary-care physicians. Among the 204 frequent users, commonly reported e-mail topics were new, nonurgent symptoms, and questions about lab results. Despite their daily use, 25% were not satisfied with physician-patient e-mail. The most important reasons for using e-mail with patients among those who were satisfied were "time saving" (33%) and "helps deliver better care" (28%) compared with "patient requested" (80%) among those who were not satisfied (p <.01). Dissatisfied physicians reported concerns about time demands, medicolegal risks, and ability of patients to use e-mail appropriately. Although the majority of these "vanguard" physicians reported benefits, some did not recommend that colleagues adopt this new technology. Increasing integration into practice to enhance time-saving aspects and improve patient education might lead to more sustained use of this promising communication tool.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Medicine, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

Language

eng

PubMed ID

14527870

Citation

Houston, Thomas K., et al. "Experiences of Physicians Who Frequently Use E-mail With Patients." Health Communication, vol. 15, no. 4, 2003, pp. 515-25.
Houston TK, Sands DZ, Nash BR, et al. Experiences of physicians who frequently use e-mail with patients. Health Commun. 2003;15(4):515-25.
Houston, T. K., Sands, D. Z., Nash, B. R., & Ford, D. E. (2003). Experiences of physicians who frequently use e-mail with patients. Health Communication, 15(4), 515-25.
Houston TK, et al. Experiences of Physicians Who Frequently Use E-mail With Patients. Health Commun. 2003;15(4):515-25. PubMed PMID: 14527870.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Experiences of physicians who frequently use e-mail with patients. AU - Houston,Thomas K, AU - Sands,Daniel Z, AU - Nash,Beth R, AU - Ford,Daniel E, PY - 2003/10/7/pubmed PY - 2004/1/6/medline PY - 2003/10/7/entrez SP - 515 EP - 25 JF - Health communication JO - Health Commun VL - 15 IS - 4 N2 - Despite its potential, the use of e-mail for physician-patient communication has not been widely adopted. Our purpose was to survey the experiences of physicians who are early adopters of the technology. Physicians, identified through a professional Internet information portal, completed a survey, including an assessment of satisfaction with using e-mail with patients. We identified 204 physicians who reported using e-mail with patients on a daily basis. Average age of the respondents was 49 years, 82% were male, and 35% were primary-care physicians. Among the 204 frequent users, commonly reported e-mail topics were new, nonurgent symptoms, and questions about lab results. Despite their daily use, 25% were not satisfied with physician-patient e-mail. The most important reasons for using e-mail with patients among those who were satisfied were "time saving" (33%) and "helps deliver better care" (28%) compared with "patient requested" (80%) among those who were not satisfied (p <.01). Dissatisfied physicians reported concerns about time demands, medicolegal risks, and ability of patients to use e-mail appropriately. Although the majority of these "vanguard" physicians reported benefits, some did not recommend that colleagues adopt this new technology. Increasing integration into practice to enhance time-saving aspects and improve patient education might lead to more sustained use of this promising communication tool. SN - 1041-0236 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/14527870/Experiences_of_physicians_who_frequently_use_e_mail_with_patients_ L2 - https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1207/S15327027HC1504_08 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -