Consumers Say Web Can Ease Doctor-Patient Relations

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A poll by Harris Interactive released yesterday found that a majority of healthcare consumers have had frustrating experiences with their physicians but believe online communications can help to improve doctor-patient relationships.

The survey of 1,000 consumers found that 57 percent of online consumers felt that the Internet would ease communication with their doctors. According to the study, the rise of managed care has limited the amount of time that doctors can spend with patients, who are often left with unanswered questions after doctor visits.

Nevertheless, focus group research conducted in tandem with the survey found that many doctors still resist using the Internet for communicating with patients. Many doctors are concerned about online security and the lack of personal contact in online healthcare.

The study was conducted for Aria Marketing, Newton, MA, and McKesson HBOC Inc., San Francisco.

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