Use of electronic mail in a teaching hospital.

TitleUse of electronic mail in a teaching hospital.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1993
AuthorsSands DZ, Safran C, SLACK WV, Bleich HL
JournalProc Annu Symp Comput Appl Med Care
Date Published1993
KeywordsAdult, Boston, Female, Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice, Hospital Information Systems, Hospitals, Teaching, Humans, Logistic Models, Male, Medical Staff, Hospital, Nurses, Office Automation, Surveys and Questionnaires

Electronic mail has been in use for almost 20 years at Boston's Beth Israel Hospital and is an integral part of the clinical information system. Through a study of usage patterns during a one-week period, we found that 1247 persons sent 7482 messages to 1302 different recipients. Each category of user (attending physician, house officer, nurse, etc.) sent the most e-mail to others of the same user category. Through an electronically administered questionnaire, we found that self-reported usage patterns had a high correlation (r = 0.6) with measured use. Sixty-six percent of respondents used e-mail daily or weekly, and 58% used it for issues of patient care; nearly all users found this useful for communicating about patient care issues. Ninety percent of respondents felt e-mail made their lives easier and 61% felt it had a humanizing influence on their lives. We conclude that the e-mail system is well-utilized by clinical personnel and felt to be useful in both patient care and nonpatient care situations.

Alternate JournalProc Annu Symp Comput Appl Med Care
PubMed ID8130484
PubMed Central IDPMC2248523