Friday, February 09, 2007

Emailing your doctor


…According to USA Today (Feb 5, 2007), only 8% of adults have ever received an email from their physician.

…Yet, 25% of docs say they do use email.

…Medicine is behind on this, the experts say. Some reasons? Docs worry about confidentiality and also think this will take a lot of unpaid time on their part.

…They also think patients may email them about having a stroke or heart attack and thus die before the doctor checks his incoming.

…HA once emailed with a doctor. Silence fell. Later she learned it was his kid’s computer and the kid took it to his mother’s house.

…Oh.

…Other doctors don’t admit to typing. And don’t want to.

…Studies have shown, though, that patients do not abuse this privilege.

…So many times, this would have saved HA time and a copay for something where she absolutely did not need to be seen. And she certainly did not think her question was worth wrangling a ride, paying $20 and waiting for hours, a day shot.

…She has tried laying out a question and faxing it to the doctor, too. Usually these get no response whatsoever. Not even a call from an assistant relaying the doc’s response.

…Just the big No Answer.

…Maybe someday.

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