Internet availability and interest in patients at a family medicine residency clinic

Fam Med. 2011 Feb;43(2):117-20.


Background and objectives: The Internet has affected the day-to-day lives of physicians, hospitals, and patients. The medical information for each is available at a moment's notice. We surveyed patients to see how many have access to the Internet and whether they are interested in using the Internet to communicate about their medical care.

Methods: An anonymous one-page survey was given to patients over the age of 18 who had an office visit at the Family Medicine Center.

Results: A total of 258 of 300 surveys were returned. A majority of these patients have access to the Internet (80.6%). Patients were most interested in being able to receive appointment reminders by e-mail (44.6%), get answers to medical questions (41.9%), and schedule appointments online (41.5%).

Conclusions: Patients would like to be active participants in their medical care electronically. We encourage other physicians to investigate what patients in their practice would consider a service to provide electronically.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Communication
  • Family Practice / standards
  • Family Practice / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Information Dissemination
  • Internet / statistics & numerical data*
  • Internship and Residency / standards
  • Internship and Residency / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Care / methods
  • Patient Care / standards
  • Patient Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient Satisfaction / statistics & numerical data*
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States
  • Young Adult