A dialogue-based Web application enhances personalized access to healthcare professionals--an intervention study

BMC Med Inform Decis Mak. 2012 Sep 4;12:96. doi: 10.1186/1472-6947-12-96.


Background: In today's short stay hospital settings the contact time for patients is reduced. However, it seems to be more important for the patients that the healthcare professionals are easy to get in contact with during the whole course of treatment, and to have the opportunity to exchange information, as a basis for obtaining individualized information and support. Therefore, the aim was to explore the ability of a dialogue-based application to contribute to accessibility of the healthcare professionals and exchangeability of information.

Method: An application for online written and asynchronous contacts was developed, implemented in clinical practice, and evaluated. The qualitative effect of the online contact was explored using a Web-based survey comprised of open-ended questions.

Results: Patients valued the online contacts and experienced feelings of partnership in dialogue, in a flexible and calm environment, which supported their ability to be active partners and feelings of freedom and security.

Conclusion: The online asynchronous written environment can contribute to accessibility and exchangeability, and add new possibilities for dialogues from which the patients can benefit. The individualized information obtained via online contact empowers the patients. The Internet-based contacts are a way to differentiate and expand the possibilities for contacts outside the few scheduled face-to-face hospital contacts.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Communication*
  • Denmark
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Male
  • Patient Participation*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Prostatic Neoplasms
  • Surveys and Questionnaires