The following is a paper I did for my first OHSU class, Introduction to Biomedical Informatics with Dr Hersh. I turned out pretty well, and I go back to it every now and then to grab a nice citation… so I’m putting it up for all to see.
Nothing much original here, just a good overview of the situation in 2006.
Reviewing 10 recent, highly cited papers, as well as other works, we note the issues surrounding asynchronous patient physician communication. While healthcare has dealt with this sort of communication in the past, new modes of asynchronous communication (the Internet) offer advantages.
Patients gain access to information, are empowered, and have alternative ways of expression and understanding that have not been available in the past. Clinicians have the opportunity to communicate more clearly, efficiently, and with greater convenience. All this is tempered by security, fiscal issues,
changes in workload, and possible loss of communication. While it is still too early to tell about the efficacy of this type of communication in general,(28) it is not too early to put begin to elucidate its issues and start to build that which has a promising future.