Patients like e-mail
but they don’t want to pay for it. No surprise, but no one has really studied this. Anand et al. have an article in this month’s Pediatrics (subscribers only) looking at parent reaction to communicating with their children’s pediatrician by email.
Ninety-eight percent were very satisfied with their e-mail experience with their pediatrician. Although 80% felt that all pediatricians should use e-mail to communicate with parents and 65% stated they would be more likely to choose a pediatrician based on access by e-mail, 63% were unwilling to pay forIt was encouraging that email seemed to be an efficient means of communication. The pediatricans estimated they spend 1/2 hour a day answering emails and 86% of parent e-mails were dealt with a single e-mail from the pediatrican.
It should be noted that this practice is pretty upscale, or at least the parents who used e-mail are: 86% werer college graduates
I think this is going to become increasingly popular and as I’ve noted before, for young technology savvy docs like me (you, techno savvy? –ed. Compared to my colleagues, I am. You have no idea how techno phobic many MDs are) it saves a ton of time wasted playing phone tag.
P.S. 2nd and 3rd authors Mitchell Feldman and David Geller are apparently the pediatricians whose email use was studied, although the article doesn't bother to come out and say that.
UPDATE: fixed title