Friday, May 12, 2006

Electronic Patient-Physician Communication: Problems and Promise

Electronic Patient-Physician Communication: Problems and Promise : "Guiding Patient Communication. A well-designed interface could guide patients as they create messages and could help triage messages received at the physician's practice. Patients could create messages by choosing from menu categories; simple scheduling questions, for example, could be automatically directed to the front desk staff, or prescription refill requests could be directed to the practice nurse. The interface should also have safety features to ensure appropriate communications. For example, the patient could be required to specify the priority of a message. If the patient indicates that the message is urgent, the system would either display a warning screen suggesting a telephone call or a visit or trigger an alert to the physician, such as an alarm or a page."
This article was published in 1998 ! Considering how quickly other industries have embraced email as their preferred mode of communication, it's disheartening to see how slowly doctors have accepted this option ! Do doctors prefer being inaccessible ?

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