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August 25, 1999

Doctor, You've Got E-mail

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Interim CoeditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1999;282(8):729-731. doi:10.1001/jama.282.8.729

To the Editor: In the article addressing e-mail for patient-physician communication, Ms Spielberg1 discussed patient convenience. Generalizing from my own experience, I believe that many patients would happily use e-mail to communicate with physicians. Tasks such as appointments, managed care referrals, and prescription refills certainly could be handled by e-mail. For these functions, perhaps provision of an e-mail address could be taken as consent. E-mail also could be used to notify patients that test results were available, either with an indication that they were normal or, if they were not, an instruction to call the physician.

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