Electronic Mail in Pediatric Practice
E-mail is an important component of the revolution in the delivery of health care.1 “Just as the telephone transformed American society and the practice of medicine, electronic communication is having a similar impact and will become an integral part of pediatrics.”2 E-mail use has benefits to the patient and the physician. It can reduce unnecessary office visits, increase practice efficiency, make office visits more productive; improve access to care, improve physician—patient communication and improve chronic disease management.3,4
Of non-face-to-face patient—physician communications (telephone/fax, electronic mail, short message service (SMS or texting), videoconference), e-mail is the most ubiquitous. However, barriers to its adoption in practice are: (a) lack of physician reimbursement for adopting such technology for patient-centered work (that can be time-consuming), (b) uncovered liabilities incurred during such transactions, and (c) fear of breaches of security and privacy.
KeywordsShort Message Service Electronic Communication Electronic Mail Current Procedural Terminology Pediatric Practice
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- 3.American College of Physicians. Policy Paper: The Changing Face of Ambulatory Medicine: Reimbursing Physicians for Computer-Based Care; 2003. Available at: http://www.acponline. org/about_acp/special_programs/revitalization/tel_care.pdf. Accessed December 21, 2008.
- 8.American Medical Association. Current Procedural Terminology; 2008. Available at: http:// www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/category/3113.html. Accessed July 11, 2008.
- 12.Freudenheim M. Digital Rx: Take Two Aspirins and E-mail Me in the morning. New York Times; March 2, 2005. Available at: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=940CEE DD133DF931A35750C0A9639C8B63. Accessed December 21, 2008.