If Symptoms Persist, Text Your Doctor

By James Hamblin, MD

March 6, 2013

The average American writes a novel's worth of email every year. They also read a novel's worth of trend stories about how all we do is text -- how 15 million texts sent every minute are destroying the art of conversation, rotting our souls. Still, only about one in ten Americans has ever emailed or texted with their doctor. The formal in-office face-to-face patient-doctor dynamic is largely sacrosanct.

In a survey conducted for The Atlantic in conjunction with GlaxoSmithKline, 1000 Americans talked about their health tech habits. That's among a sample where 73 percent said they had "doctors and dentists whom [they] can access regularly."(Please feel free to speculate as to the nature of the "Don't know" responses in the comments.)

So why isn't access to doctors more electronic? Confidentiality is one concern, and not every patient wants to text -- but a lot more than ten percent do. Many doctors just don't have a system to accommodate texting and emailing with patients. How often is too often? During what hours? When is it a billable service? 

Read more at The Atlantic


By James Hamblin, MD

March 6, 2013

http://www.govexec.comhttp://www.nextgov.com/health/2013/03/if-symptoms-persist-text-your-doctor/61710/