Advantages and disadvantages of using electronic communication between pts and healthcare providers

The use of electronic communication is one way in which technology is influencing changes in the delivery of healthcare today. I recently heard a physician interview on NPR (National Public Radio). The physician, a general practitioner, uses email to communicate with his patients. The physician’s rationale is that by using email he can respond to patients in a fast and efficient manner and perhaps save them a trip to the office. I see potential advantages as well as disadvantages with this form of communication. Use of e-mail is convenient and might be seen as increasing accessibility to the healthcare provider. One potential problem I see is in the area of cultural considerations as discussed in Chapter 3 of one of my Textbooks. Many cultures use body language and other nonverbal cues in communicating concerns or revealing symptoms. Without visual observation, the healthcare provider may miss important information required to make an accurate diagnosis.

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