Background In the last decades the internet has changed the way of communication with patients using email, social media and other technological tools, as a complement to the consultation. The development of websites and electronic history are part of these tools that have come to change communication with the patient.
Objectives To analyze the behavior and trends of Colombian patients with rheumatic diseases related to use electronic tools.
Methods We analyzed 425 patients between September 2015 and December 2016, who attended to consultation at Country Medical Center. Everyone was provided the website http://www.dra-mconstanzalatorre-reumatologa.com/.This website was developed by Octesoft (http://www.octesoft.com/),company specialized in development website and software. In this website have general information the clinic, access, schedules, glossary, news, medical information and can request online appointment
Results We included 425 patients with rheumatic diseases, 85.5% female, with an average age of 52.5 years old. 95% lived in urban areas. 92% had internet access. 80% had smart phone. They were stratified by educational level, finding that 70% had college level. And by age groups it was found that patients between 30 and 50 years old in 72% of cases used the electronic way to request the appointment or ask questions. Patients between 18 to 29 years old prefer social media. Patients over 60 years of age preferred to use the telephone. The reasons for using the online appointment were: easy access at any time 84% tool speed 10%. Difficulty for the use of the telephone at work 2%. Others 4%. When patients communicate via email 90% of the questions are related to requesting the appointment.
During this period the website had 3860 views. With a progressive increase from 60 to 538, with an average of 227, with the highest number of visits between November and December. The patients showed satisfaction with the use of technological tools by 89%.
There is no relationship with the use of technological tools with other factors such as gender, rheumatic disease, other diseases or job.
Conclusions In this study we find that patients gradually and progressively adopt the use of other tools for communication different from conventional, such as web site or email in the request of their appointments and in the communication with rheumatologist. We found that the main factors for adopting these changes are the group of age, especially between 30 to 50 years old and the level of education, when the level of study is university, tend to use on-line communication. It is important to give different alternatives of communication to patients according to their characteristics.
Bujnowska-Fedak BMC Public Health 2015; 15:194.
González ME, Quesada G, Urrutia I, Gavidia JV. Int J Health Care Quality Assurance. 2006;19(2):146–57.
Khoury,V. Kourilovitch,M. Massardo,L. Clin Rheumatol 2015; 34 (Suppl 1):S45–S49.
Disclosure of Interest None declared