Health care organizations that are able to route their emails to clinicians’ work e-mail accounts will likely compete with less clutter and deliver their message in an e-mail environment with an established professional context — increasing the likelihood the e-mail will be read, according to Pri-Med Director of Research Lynne “Sam” Bishop.
Pri‐Med, parent company to Pri-Med Point of Care, recently surveyed primary care clinicians (PCC) on their use of e-mail. The survey of 711 PCCs found that overall e-mail adoption and usage is high, with nearly three-quarters of clinicians checking 1‐2 email accounts at least weekly, and an additional 1 out of 5 checking 3 or more accounts regularly.
The survey results also looked at what types of e-mails clinicians receive via different accounts (personal vs. work; private access vs. shared access). The findings indicate that private, personal e-mail accounts are the most cluttered, and are used for a broad range of e-mails from both professional organizations and personal contacts. In contrast, clinicians’ private work accounts are more often constrained to professional interactions, and most often used for communicating with practice colleagues or other professional peers (59%), and event/education-related correspondence (43%).
“The data show that, not surprisingly, physicians are being bombarded by e-mails from a wide variety of organizations,” noted Bishop. “What’s interesting, however, is that — unlike many consumers — they do tend to more clearly segregate the types of e-mails they allow into their work e-mail accounts, limiting that account largely to correspondence related specifically to practice or professional needs.”
The survey further revealed that clinicians typically access e-mail across multiple devices and multiple locations. The overwhelming majority (85%) regularly check e-mail via a desktop/laptop at home, followed by a desktop/laptop at work (76%). Smartphones (40%) and tablets (29%) trail slightly in adoption — although those who have these devices often use them daily for e-mail access.
“E-mail can be an effective medium for communicating with busy, often difficult‐to-reach clinicians,” added Dara Warn, Senior Vice President, Product Management, Pri‐Med. “However, for e-mail campaigns to be effective, organizations must take into careful consideration design, timing and quality of e-mail addresses.”
Pri‐Med, a brand owned and operated by M|C Communications LLC, is the leading provider of professional education solutions to a community of more than 248,000 clinicians.