Computer-using patients want Internet services from family physicians

J Fam Pract. 2002 Jun;51(6):570-2.


Patients are increasingly using the Internet to obtain medical information. Few practice Web sites provide services beyond information about the clinic and common medical diseases. We surveyed computer-using patients at 4 family medicine clinics in Denver, Colorado, by assessing their desire for Internet services from their providers. Patients were especially interested in getting e-mail reminders about appointments, online booking of appointments in real time, and receiving updates about new advances in treatment. Patients were also interested in virtual visits for simple and chronic medical problems and for following chronic conditions through virtual means. We concluded that computer-using patients desire Internet services to augment their medical care. As growth and communication via the Internet continue, primary care physicians should move more aggressively toward adding services to their practices' Internet Web sites beyond the simple provision of information.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude to Computers
  • Computer Communication Networks
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Information Services*
  • Internet / standards
  • Internet / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Physicians, Family