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Comment & Response
September 27, 2016

Emailing Test Results to Patients

Author Affiliations
  • 1American College of Physicians Center for Ethics and Professionalism, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 2Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington
JAMA. 2016;316(12):1318-1319. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.12248

To the Editor We agree with Dr Friedman’s concerns about the communication of biopsy results and laboratory values by email.1 Unfortunately, the article contains an incorrect citation related to policy of the American College of Physicians (ACP).

The ACP does not have a document entitled “The Physician Patient Guidelines for Email Communication” as cited in the article. An informational document with a different title by the college’s Center for Practice Improvement and Innovation2 says that electronic communication can help increase practice efficiency and productivity and gives specific electronic examples of patient scheduling, prescriptions, and quick medical questions—but it does not address the disclosure of difficult news.

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