E-mail consultation to the citizens: GP´s are gone online

Student thesis: Master programme thesis

  • Maria Veronica J. Raae
  • Else-Marie Laursen
3 year, Master of Health Informatics (Continuing education) (Continuing Education Programme (Master))
BACKGROUND. Most people have contact with their doctor on the phone between 08:00 to 09:00, or by personal contact as a consultation with their doctor or medical visits. It is often difficult to get through the phone, as there are many who can telephone in a short period, but more and more patients choose to "talk" with their family doctor by using the physician's e-mail consultation, when they need answers to simple inquiries, prescriptions refill and booking time. It is estimated, that both patient and doctor can benefit from e-mail consultation, with better service and more flexible working day. We imagine a number of consequences of online services in general practice, especially on citizens, and it is these consequences, we illustrate in the project. PURPOSE. To investigate how the implementation of e-mail consultation between citizens and practitioners, has been managed and the importance of this form of communication in terms of advantages and disadvantages may have to the citizens. METHOD. As a method, we have chosen a triangulation, consisting of an initial questionnaire survey of 100 informants (74% response), a questionnaire to general practitioners, 25 physicians (56% response) and a random telephone interviews with 50 citizens (88% response). RESULTS. 69 % of informants in the initial inquiry see no problem in accessing their own health data via secure Internet, 76% will be positively influenced by seeing their own health data. 85 % want to see results on blood test answers electronically. 61 % were aware about sundhed.dk, 24% use it for booking time, 24% renewed prescriptions and 20% use sundhed.dk as e-mail consultation. Practitioners have offered e-mail consultation during the last 5 years, a third part of them, just a year ago. 46 % of doctors see very much an advantage in that people use e-mail consultation, while 58% of doctors see in a few inconveniences that people use e-mail consultation. 46 % of doctors receive positive and 31% very positive feedback from their patients about their use of e-mail consultation. 44 % of the randomly polled citizens used e-mail consultation, 69% of them booked time and renewed prescriptions and 74% asked questions to the doctor via e-mail consultation. CONCLUSION. Doctors have offered e-mail consultation to citizens, since 1 to 5 years ago. They perceive e-mail consultation very much as an advantage and poor as an inconvenience to the citizens. Patients express themselves positively to their general practitioners about the use of e-mail consultation, while none of the doctors surveyed had negative feedback. E-mail consultation offer is still not widespread in more than 50% among doctors, and there are still a large proportion of citizens, who do not use the offer. This is likely due to a lack of information, advice and guidance to citizens about the offer, a lack of anchoring of the technology among both doctors and citizens and a more similar IT skills, on both parties.
Publication date2009
Number of pages114
Publishing institutionAalborg Universitet
ID: 17581099