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Physician E-Mail Sends a Clear Message

Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders Media, September 15, 2010
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  • Message threads were shorter than one might think; on average, exchanges contained just slightly more than one patient message and one physician message
  • Most patient-generated e-mails were not frivolous: 63% required clinical assessments or decisions and 24% required clinical action such as ordering a lab test

Physicians don't get paid to return phone calls, either, but most still call their patients when warranted. It's time for physicians to overcome their resistance to online messaging. And if they don't? I say we take away their smartphones and see how they like being disconnected from their own worlds.

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