Low-Income Patients Want to Communicate Electronically With Healthcare Providers, But Can't

A study called "Access, Interest and Attitudes Toward Electronic Communication for Health Care Among Patients in the Medical Safety Net," published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, found that lower-income patients want to communicate electronically with their physicians, but can't because of inadequate health information services within the healthcare clinics they frequent.

The study surveyed 416 patients from six San Francisco Department of Public Health community clinics, which serve primarily uninsured and publicly insured patients. Participants were ethically and racially diverse and earned low incomes.

Key findings of the study are:

•    Seventy-one percent of respondents expressed interest in using electronic communication with healthcare providers.
•    Only 19 percent of patients currently reported using email informally with health providers as a part of their care.

More Articles on Disparities in Healthcare:

Report: Strategic Use of Technology Can Reduce Racial Disparities in Healthcare
The U.S. Health Disadvantage: A Crisis That We Must Address Together Today
Saint Francis in Connecticut Receives Grant for Health Equity Fellowship Position

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