Evaluation of the use of an "ask-the-expert" e-consultation service for support on health-related requests

N. Nijland*, J.E.W.C. van Gemert-Pijnen, S.M. Kelders, B.J. Brandenburg, E.R. Seydel

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

E-consultation in health care can be used to respond to an increasing demand for care by offering support on health-related requests. In this study we evaluated the use of an "ask-the-expert" e-consultation service in order to assess whether the service is efficient and useful. A content analysis of e-mail exchange between clients and online health professionals was performed to gain insight in the purposes of use of the service. Our findings show that the e-consultation service was used for health requests on not urgent, minor ailments. Clients asked for health information to increase knowledge on the cause of their injury or disease, its consequences, possible self-care solutions and treatment options. Decision support on assessing the necessity to visit a doctor for a certain health problem was another important reason to use the service. We believe that web-based triage systems could be used to more easily assess whether certain symptoms need to be investigated.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMedinfo 2010 - Proceedings of the 13th World Congress on Medical Informatics
EditorsC. Safran, S. Reti, H.F. Marin
PublisherIOS Press
Pages821-825
Number of pages5
Volume1
ISBN (Print)9781607505877
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010
Event13th World Congress on Medical and Health Informatics, Medinfo 2010 - Cape Town, South Africa
Duration: 12 Sep 201015 Sep 2010
Conference number: 13

Publication series

NameStudies in Health Technology and Informatics
PublisherIOS Press
Volume160
ISSN (Print)0926-9630
ISSN (Electronic)1879-8365

Conference

Conference13th World Congress on Medical and Health Informatics, Medinfo 2010
Abbreviated titleMedinfo 2010
CountrySouth Africa
CityCape Town
Period12/09/1015/09/10

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Keywords

  • E-consultation
  • E-mail
  • Internet
  • Patient-provider communication
  • Primary care

Cite this

Nijland, N., van Gemert-Pijnen, J. E. W. C., Kelders, S. M., Brandenburg, B. J., & Seydel, E. R. (2010). Evaluation of the use of an "ask-the-expert" e-consultation service for support on health-related requests. In C. Safran, S. Reti, & H. F. Marin (Eds.), Medinfo 2010 - Proceedings of the 13th World Congress on Medical Informatics (Vol. 1, pp. 821-825). (Studies in Health Technology and Informatics; Vol. 160). IOS Press. https://doi.org/10.3233/978-1-60750-588-4-821