Many Patients Using E-Mail As First Method of Provider Contact

Share this content:
Many Patients Using E-Mail As First Method of Provider Contact
Many Patients Using E-Mail As First Method of Provider Contact

TUESDAY, Jan. 5, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with chronic conditions, the ability to communicate with their doctor via e-mail may help improve their health, according to a study published online Dec. 21 in the American Journal of Managed Care.

The study included 1,041 patients in northern California diagnosed with conditions such as asthma, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, diabetes, or hypertension. The patients had access to an online portal, which let them review their health records, make appointments, refill prescriptions, and send confidential e-mails to their doctor.

A survey found that 56 percent of the patients had sent their doctor an e-mail within the past year, and 46 percent had used e-mail as the primary way to contact their doctor about medical issues. Thirty-two percent of those who exchanged e-mails with their doctor reported improvements in their health. Meanwhile, 67 percent said e-mailing their doctor had no effect on their overall health. For 42 percent of the patients, using e-mail to communicate with their doctor reduced the number of phone calls they made to the office, and 36 percent said they made fewer office visits. Among those who used e-mail to communicate with their doctor, 85 percent had co-pays of $60 or more for each office visit, or high deductibles, compared to 63 percent with lower cost-sharing.

"We found that a large proportion of patients used e-mail as their first method of contacting health care providers across a variety of health-related concerns," lead author Mary Reed, Dr.P.H., said in a news release from Kaiser Permanente. Reed is a staff scientist with Kaiser Permanente's research division in Oakland, Calif. "As more patients gain access to online portal tools associated with electronic health records, e-mails between patients and providers may shift the way that health care is delivered and also impact efficiency, quality, and health outcomes," she added.

Full Text

Share this content:

is free, fast, and customized just for you!

Already a member?

Sign In Now »


Sign up for myCME e-newsletters


Drug Lookup

Browse drugs by: BrandGenericDisease


More in Home

Dermatography Helps Lessen Appearance of Surgical Scars

Dermatography Helps Lessen Appearance of Surgical Scars

Pigments can restore more natural skin appearance that patients are happy with

Drug-Resistant Bacteria Live in America's Water Systems

Drug-Resistant Bacteria Live in America's Water Systems

Bacteria found in plumbing may sicken thousands each year

Deep Brain Stimulation May Improve TBI Symptoms

Deep Brain Stimulation May Improve TBI Symptoms

Deep brain stimulation appears to boost function and quality of life

is free, fast, and customized just for you!

Already a member?

Sign In Now »