Physicians, Patients Prefer Phone Conversations, Office Visits Over E-mail, Study Finds
E-mail communication between physicians and patients may not be as helpful as previously expected, according to a study conducted at the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor. Use of e-mail for physician-to-patient communication did not increase physicians' or patients' overall satisfaction with communication, nor did it reduce the volume of telephone calls at participating clinics, Dr. William Bria, medical director of clinical informatics at UMHS, said. The study tested a specialized e-mail system used by 248 people. Participants said they still prefer telephone conversations and office visits to e-mail when they discuss medical issues with doctors. "Face-to-face communication is very important," Bria said (Technology in Practice, 4/16).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.