Patients are coming to believe that exchanging emails with physicians improves the quality of their care. While that may come into play most easily in the primary care setting, urgent care providers might want to heed this growing trend and deepen patient loyalty by establishing electronic points-of-contact for patients, if they haven’t already. Nearly half of the participants in a new study from Kaiser Permanente have used email to communicate with their providers about test results, while 40 percent said they’ve sought information on medication via email. Patients with higher out-of-pocket copays were more likely to use email as the first method of contact with a provider when there was a health concern. A whopping 93 percent say they’ve used email to contact their primary care physician. In addition, the Institute of Medicine has suggested that use of patient portals may help reduce medical errors and increase the care of quality overall.
Kaiser Data Show Patients Think Email Improves Care Quality