Patients want more access to physicians via e-mail, possibly social media

Patient Safety Monitor Insider

September 9, 2009

Patients want more convenient access to their physicians, and that increasingly means communication via e-mail, reports A 2008 survey by Manhattan Research showed that 5% of patients already correspond with their physicians using e-mail, and 49% were interested in doing so in the future. Additionally, a more recent study by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions found that 55% of patients would like to use e-mail for speaking with their doctors. The center plans to add a question about using social media on next year's survey

However, not all physicians are keen on the idea of communicating with patients via a new mechanism. Social media may blur the line between physician and friend. Additionally, many physicians using social media and even their own e-mail accounts do so during their personal time and don't want to be "on call" at all hours of the day.

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