Intended for healthcare professionals

Personal Views

Email contact between doctor and patient

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 22 May 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:1428
  1. Badal Pal (, consultant rheumatologist
  1. Manchester

    The medical profession has been ahead of business and industry in its use of the telephone, but this is not the case with regard to its modern counterpart—email. However, with the rapid increase in the use of the internet the importance of email and its impact on health care cannot be ignored.

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    Face to face consultations are currently supplemented by mailed or faxed letters and telephone messages, but much more rapid communication is now available to patients and healthcare professionals via email. Email has many advantages that the others lack. For example, it is a direct means of contact between patients and doctors and is reassuring for the patients to know that the messages will be received. Doctors …

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