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E-mail Consultation 2.0

June 6, 2008
by kate
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Call it a better method of patient-physician communication.

A few years back, the concept of facilitating e-mail communications between providers and patients made a lot waves, both among those who opposed it and those who were in favor of the idea. However, it never really got off the ground and has since settled into obscurity.

These days, we’re starting to see another solution that enables online communication between physicians and patients. Companies like Doctations, Kryptiq and many others are offering patient portals that enable patients and providers to share information in a secure environment. It’s kind of like a new-and-improved version of e-mail consultations; with the newer offerings, patients get more access to care providers (and trusted information) and providers can leverage data from EMRs.

Patient portals like DocPatient.com and the Connect IQ Patient Portal provide an online community where physicians, patients, and staff can generate medical records, learn about health conditions and treatments through streaming video and medical reference sources, and communicate with each other about changes in conditions, appointment scheduling, and other important matters, according to the company. Patients can also use portals to refill prescriptions, download forms, monitor blood pressure and manage chronic illnesses through Web-based communities. While the use of portals to help patients manage diseases like diabetes and hypertension isn’t exactly a new idea, and therefore may not garner much new interest, the use of patient portals as an extension of EMR is a critical concept that could possibly help these solutions to stand the test of time.

What do you think? Doe these portals have enough legs to stick around, and if not, is there something you would change about them?

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