This topic contains 12 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Jean Mellano 1 week, 4 days ago.

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  • #15747
     Jean Mellano 
    Keymaster

    I have some doctors (my neuro) that do NOT support email.  As a result. I have to phone, leave a message with their coordinator/assistant and maybe get a response back in a day or two  Also, the time to leave a message is never enough.  My primary care doctor does support email and it is wonderful when I can drop a quick email and get a quick response for simple questions.  Do any of your doctors support email communications?  Do you like it or would you like your Dr. to offer it to patients?

  • #15849
     Mike P 
    Participant

    Hi Jean-

    My MDS actually prefers email (secure portal messaging) as the primary communication method. Unfortunately, it is very hit or miss for me in terms of both timeliness and quality of response versus when I see her in person. I have to be very brief otherwise my doctor often asks me questions for information I already provided in the message. It’s a delicate balance between being concise and being able to provide all the information that she needs to make a recommendation. I actually need to talk to her about that next visit and find out why we often have miscommunication over portal messaging. Does she tend to skim due to time crunches? Does a poor user interface on her end make it difficult to read? Is there a tiny bit of a language barrier occasionally? Since there are no office visit charges for these communications do they receive less priority/focus? We will figure it out.

  • #15851
     Jean Mellano 
    Keymaster

    Mike, you bring up some good points.  Regardless if one is a doctor or not,  some people are not very good at communicating by email. This is something i remember well in my career. Some respond better to phone calls or text or facebook message; the key is finding what the individual you are attempting to communicate with prefers.  Plus, most of us have short attention spans (myself included) and only read the first sentence or two.  Unfortunately the healthcare privacy concerns add another layer to the complexity.  I hope you can find a way to become more efficient in communicating with your doc.

  • #15868
     Pamela 
    Participant

    Jean, my MDS responded within an hour yesterday when I emailed to correct something in his notes regarding my initial consultation.

    He agreed to update the notes to reflect my symptoms, which leads me to believe he is agreeable to communicating this way.  I appreciated his quick, personal response.

    Several of my other providers have their staff respond and I doubt they ever actually read the emails.

    • #15874
       Jean Mellano 
      Keymaster

      pamela, that is excellent, especially since the MDS plays such a crucial role in our treatment

  • #15895
     Mehmet Güney Şenol 
    Participant

    This is a choice, but the choice of doctor. Email or phone, I think it’s important to communicate.

    • #15915
       Jean Mellano 
      Keymaster

      Mehmet, communication is so important.  i prefer email since most people are not available for phone calls.

  • #15899
     Norm 
    Participant

    My wife has been very lucky in communicating with her neurologist via email. She will only email him in the event that there has been a change in her condition, usually as a result of the medication she takes.

    • #15916
       Jean Mellano 
      Keymaster

      Norm, how you wife uses email is so important.  I think what many doctors may fear is that they will be overwhelmed with daily emails from their patients.

  • #15934
     John H Lambert 
    Participant

    Being in NC and a patient at Wake Forest Baptist Medical in Winston-Salem, they have a pretty good email messaging mechanism called “MyChart”. I think everyone gets an account for the asking. I use mine, and so does my wife, she has her own account. However, the accounts cannot be cross-genned so that there’s a sharing of contacts namely doctors and other pick lists, but it’s still quite useful. Like any large corporation the usefulness of a system sometimes becomes skewered in the minds of the designers & maintainers of said system, to the point that certain things are left out. Like the need for the system to be family oriented.

    • #15944
       Jean Mellano 
      Keymaster

      john, my primary care doctor uses my chart and i love it! i wish my neuro did since i am always playing phone tag with his office.

      i was in IT for over 33 years and i remember a time when applications were designed with the end user in mind in terms of what they like and need.  Those days are long gone…

  • #16107
     Jo S. 
    Participant

    I use the messaging system that my insurer provides (as all my docs are in that system). I mainly communicate with the PA, as she’s very responsive (and I really like her). The upside is that there is a record of our communications (on both sides), so either of us can refer to what we discussed. The downside is that sometimes she doesn’t read my full message (even though I try to keep things very clear and concise) or misses something I said that’s important in terms of fully understanding my request or concerns. I suppose that could happen in face-to-face or phone communications too, but at least then you can immediately clarify things.

    My doctor gave me her email address, but I haven’t reached out to her that way yet. I’ve only seen her one time (I saw another doc initially, and I’ve seen the PA at least three times and have communicated with her quite a bit). The doctor was a bit cold, so I’m hesitant to contact her directly between appointments. The phone doesn’t work well for the practice I’m in. All the docs are also researchers, so they only see patients part-time and are very difficult to reach by phone. That’s fine by me — I prefer online written communications anyway.

    • #16120
       Jean Mellano 
      Keymaster

      jo, since speaking directly to a doctor has become passe, i much prefer online communications as i can include a lot more info than in a voicemail.   like you said, a lot of people may not read the entire message which can be a disadvantage, but, there is a written trail.  we all have such short attention spans these days LOL

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