Accreditation

Doctors, patients, and email

Accreditation Insider, December 28, 2015

Want to receive articles like this one in your inbox? Subscribe to Accreditation Insider!


How much of an impact does email have on patient health? According to a new Kaiser Permanente study published in The American Journal of Managed Care, email plays quite a large role. Out of 1,041 survey patients with chronic conditions, 32% said exchanging secure emails with their physicians improved their overall health with 36% claiming emails reduced in-patient visits. Only 1% of those studied said emailing their physician had a negative effect on their health, with the remaining 67% said it didn’t affect their health either way.
The internet has become a huge part of patient care, with patients using it to schedule appointments, refill prescriptions, check medical records and talk with healthcare providers. Researchers found that 46% of patients now use email as a first method of contact for medical concerns.
"We found that a large proportion of patients used email as their first method of contacting health care providers across a variety of health-related concerns," said study author Mary E. Reed, DrPH, staff scientist with the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, California. "As more patients gain access to online portal tools associated with electronic health records, emails between patients and providers may shift the way that health care is delivered and also impact efficiency, quality and health outcomes."
 



Want to receive articles like this one in your inbox? Subscribe to Accreditation Insider!

Most Popular