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Study: Electronic messaging should be part of physicians’ job description

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As participation in patient portals grows, so, too, does the number of electronic messages sent between patients and physicians, showing a need for reimbursement and clinical structures that allow physicians to make use of the tool, according to a study published this month in Health Affairs.

The study looks at the use of messaging through patient portals at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston over a span of a decade–from 2001 to 2010. At the end of the study, more than 49,500 patients enrolled in the portal, and of those, 36.9 percent sent at least one message to a physician.

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