HCPLive Network

Delayed Response to Patient E-Mails Higher Over Weekend

THURSDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of delays in opening and responding to primary care patient e-mail communication is significantly worse at the weekends, according to a study published in the April/June issue of Quality Management in Health Care.

James E. Rohrer, PhD, from the Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, MN, and colleagues assessed delays in response to primary care patient secure e-mail communications from patients in treated in four clinics. A sample of over 300 messages, randomly selected from 7,322 messages collected for the study, were analyzed.

The researchers found that a minority of messages were not opened within 12 hours (8.5 percent) and 17.6 percent did not receive a response within 36 hours. Delays were not linked to clinic location, being an employee of the clinic, or patient sex. The response was more likely to be delayed for patients older than 50 years (25.7 percent delayed). On weekends, the risk of both kinds of delays was significantly increased.

"In a way, this shouldn't have surprised us," Rohrer said in a statement. "But the fact is, most people don't work on the weekends. The clinicians are not there, and these things pile up in their in-boxes, and no one is responding."

Abstract
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Further Reading
Researchers at Hong Kong University and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute have identified a link between the influenza A viruses’ genetic diversity and severity of the infection.
Carol Burke, MD, FACG, FASGE, talks about her phase-3 placebo-controlled trial of Celecoxib in pediatric subjects with familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) at the 2014 ACG Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, PA.
Carol Burke, MD, FACG, FASGE, discusses pediatric familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) and colorectal cancer at the 2014 ACG Annual Scientific Meeting in Philadelphia, PA.
The immune system is the new focus of much work on traumatic brain injury (TBI). In a challenge to the paradigm that the blood brain barrier prevents harmful leukocytes from entering the brain, a Texas team tried to neutralize the impact of these cells. Peripheral lymphocytes are activated after TBI. They may then act as potential antigen presenting cells and get into the brain, causing cells there to degenerate.
Black women undergoing in vitro fertilization are only about half as likely as white women to become pregnant, and the racial disparity persists even when donor eggs are used. These findings are being presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, held from Oct. 18 to 22 in Honolulu.
Hospital conversion to for-profit status is associated with improvements in financial margins, but has no effect on process quality metrics or mortality rates, according to a study published in the Oct. 22/29 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association
Drinking sugar-sweetened sodas may affect cellular aging by shortening telomere length, according to research published online Oct. 16 in the American Journal of Public Health.
More Reading