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Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Did you ever have a simple question for your pediatrician and wish you could talk to them about it without a trip to their office?

Well guess what! You probably can.

Most pediatricians will gladly give you their email address to use for simple questions or simple refill requests. You can use that email to communicate with your doctor without wasting your time - and his - with an office visit for something that is fairly easy to deal with.

You can ask for a refill to be called in for regular maintenance medications that won't need a visit, such as eczema cream or allergy medicine.

You can even keep your doctor updated on issues in your child's life, particularly if your child has other doctors.

When Kira had her surgeries, I kept her pediatrician informed about her progress through his email. I also avoided quite a bit of hassle when I needed some sort of information that could be dealt with without a visit. After all, taking Kira anywhere while she was in her cast was more than a little difficult.

If your pediatrician refuses to give you his email address, ask him why. He may have had a bad experience or saves this means of communication for certain special cases. Kira's orthopedic surgeon did just this. Only certain patients with extreme cases were given his email address. Others were directed to go through his assistant for any kind of questions they might have needed, so if your pediatrician won't give you his email, don't be offended. He probably has a good reason...


The Mother said...

No question, email addresses can be abused.

But unlike phone calls and office visits, you can trash an email.

I think it's great. More and more offices are going to electronic records, and the email complements that beautifully.

Petula said...

I've heard this before but have never inquired as to whether our pediatrician does this. It really would be more convenient sometimes.

Harmony said...

My doctor's office used to do this. They had a giant disclaimer about email not being secure, but it was all great for routine stuff...

The Mother said...

One other thought--not being in patient care medicine, I didn't know this--HIPAA regulations affect emails, as well. Docs may not be able to use them, depending on whether they are able to meet HIPAA criteria.