"E-patients"

Discussion in 'Health and medical' started by Griffin, May 23, 2004.

  1. Griffin

    Griffin Guest

    Interesting online article:

    http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/478313?rss

    For some time, I've made it a point to ask all of my
    patients if they use the Internet, if they have e-mail, etc.
    My e-mail address is on my business cards, and I include the
    patient's e-mail address in their chart if they want me to
    use it as a method of contact. In these cases, they sign a
    simple "e-mail agreement" that basically says they
    understand that it's not to be used for urgent communcation
    or diagnosis, and that it's not secure. If patients are Internet-
    savvy, I'll sometimes refer them to specific web sites with
    information about a condition or health topic that we're
    addressing. I keep mailing lists of my online diabetic
    patients, for example, and will periodically send out
    broadcast messages to the list when I run across something
    that I think will interest them. Several people routinely
    send me their blood pressure and blood sugar readings, which
    are printed and filed in their chart, as are any other clinically-
    relevent communications. All of this takes very little of my
    time, and the patients seem to really like it. Just curious
    if anyone else is doing anything similar.
     
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  2. "Griffin" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:2004052118285216807%[email protected]...
    > Interesting online article:
    >
    > http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/478313?rss
    >
    > For some time, I've made it a point to ask all of my
    > patients if they use the Internet, if they have e-mail,
    > etc. My e-mail address is on my business cards, and I
    > include the patient's e-mail address in their chart if
    > they want me to use it as a method of contact. In these
    > cases, they sign a simple "e-mail agreement" that
    > basically says they understand that it's not to be used
    > for urgent communcation or diagnosis, and that it's not
    > secure. If patients are Internet-savvy, I'll sometimes
    > refer them to specific web sites with information about a
    > condition or health topic that we're addressing. I keep
    > mailing lists of my online diabetic patients, for example,
    > and will periodically send out broadcast messages to the
    > list when I run across something that I think will
    > interest them. Several people routinely send me their
    > blood pressure and blood sugar readings, which are printed
    > and filed in their chart, as are any other clinically-
    > relevent communications. All of this takes very little of
    > my time, and the patients seem to really like it. Just
    > curious if anyone else is doing anything similar.
    >

    Yes, I for one encourage it, along similar lines although my
    specialty is different, and therefore such communication
    patterns are different. I haven't done the email agreement
    thing, but over the last few years have had no occasion to
    regret that. It's not something that is misused in my
    particular practice.

    My home phone number is also on my card and it's more often
    that patients or their family members call me rather than
    email with questions about a particular surgical diagnosis
    or procedure that we are dealing with.

    HMc
     
  3. Griffin

    Griffin Guest

    On 2004-05-21 19:21:10 -0400, "Howard McCollister" <[email protected]> said:

    > Yes, I for one encourage it, along similar lines although
    > my specialty is different, and therefore such
    > communication patterns are different.

    General surgery, right?

    > I haven't done the email agreement thing, but over the
    > last few years have had no occasion to regret that. It's
    > not something that is misused in my particular practice.

    In the early days, I didn't do that either. I added it
    after HIPAA came into play, mostly because my practice
    advisors suggested it. In general, most HIPAA stuff strikes
    me as overkill.

    > My home phone number is also on my card and it's more
    > often that patients or their family members call me rather
    > than email with questions about a particular surgical
    > diagnosis or procedure that we are dealing with.

    You're brave. ;-) I'm listed in the phone book, but rarely
    get calls from patients. I don't encourage it, as I'm a big
    believer in compartmentalizing one's time for sanity's sake.
    I also can't ensure that I'll be able to respond in a timely
    fasion, so I prefer that patients contact our on-call
    physician after hours (which, every few days, happens to be
    me). If I absolutely, positively have to be contacted, the
    on-call doc always knows how to find me (my cell phone is
    practically fused to my hip).
     
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