Communication is critical to strong patient-physician relationships and high-quality health care. In recent years, advances in health information technology have altered how patients and doctors interact and communicate. Increasingly, e-communication outside of in-person clinical encounters occurs in many ways, including through e-mail, patient-portals, texting, and messaging applications. This American College of Physicians (ACP) position paper provides ethics and professionalism guidance for these forms of e-communication to help maintain trust in patient-physician relationships and the profession and alignment between patient and physician expectations.
Keywords: electronic communication; electronic health records; ethics; medical education; patient-doctor communication; patient-physician relationship; professionalism.