Remember memos? As late as the 1990s, businesspeople would type, print and copy a formal memorandum onto a sheet of pre-printed letterhead to be delivered the next day. But those days before email are ancient history, right? Perhaps not, if you work in healthcare. Despite fueling nearly 18% of our nation’s advanced economy, the healthcare industry is notoriously slow to adopt transformative technological changes. And that includes the adoption of the least cutting-edge of all innovations, the humble email.
Case in point: a new study was released this week in the respected policy journal Health Affairs, concluding that email might just be a good idea for physicians communicating with patients. This is an important study with fascinating findings, but what’s most interesting is that the research was conducted at all. Businesses outside of healthcare don’t require a peer-reviewed study to weigh the merits of adopting email. Most of them did it years ago.
Abundant evidence exists suggesting patients would like to communicate with their doctors through email, but only about 10% of patients are able to do so, according to the study. This seems like a shame on many levels. Effective communication with patients is one of healthcare’s most pressing problems, so forgoing this obvious tool for communication defies logic.
Read Leah Binder’s full article on the Forbes website!