Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Qual Manag Health Care. 2013 Apr-Jun;22(2):161-6. doi: 10.1097/QMH.0b013e31828be314.

Timely response to secure messages from primary care patients.

Author information

  • 1Department of Family Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA. rohrer.james@mayo.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To assess delays in response to patient secure e-mail messages in primary care.

BACKGROUND:

Secure electronic messages are initiated by primary care patients. Timely response is necessary for patient safety and quality.

DATA SOURCE:

A database of secure messages.

SAMPLE:

A random sample of 353 secure electronic messages initiated by primary care patients treated in 4 clinics.

OUTCOME MEASURES:

Message not opened after 12 hours or messages not responded to after 36 hours.

RESULTS:

A total of 8.5% of electronic messages were not opened within 12 hours, and 17.6% did not receive a response in 36 hours. Clinic location, being a clinic employee, and patient sex were not related to delays. Patients older than 50 years were more likely to receive a delayed response (25.7% delayed, P = .013). The risk of both kinds of delays was higher on weekends (P < .001 for both).

CONCLUSION:

The e-mail message system resulted in high rates of delayed response. Delays were concentrated on weekends (Friday-Sunday). Reducing delayed responses may require automatic rerouting of messages to message centers staffed 24-7 or other mechanisms to manage this after-hours work flow.

PMID:
23542371
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk