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Physician Use of E-mail: The Telephone of the 21st Century?

Physician Use of E-mail: The Telephone of the 21st Century?


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by Mark Meyer, B.A.
E-mail, as an element of a physician?s clinical practice, can provide the means to accomplish a variety of tasks more effectively and more efficiently, increasing patients? involvement in their care and optimizing face-to-face office time. Concerns about billing, improper use, privacy, and confidentiality have complicated its introduction and acceptance. This article discusses guidelines proposed for clinical use of e-mail and barriers that will need to be overcome to move this mode of patient-physician communication into the mainstream.