Title: Full of promise, failed in practice: a discussion of barriers encountered during an attempt to integrate physician-patient e-mail communication in the care process at a Dutch eye hospital

Authors: Samantha Adams, Roland Bal, Jitske De Jong

Addresses: Department of Health Policy and Management, Erasmus University Medical Centre, P.O. Box 1738, 3000 DR, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. ' Department of Health Policy and Management, Erasmus University Medical Centre, P.O. Box 1738, 3000 DR, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. ' Rotterdam Eye Hospital, P.O. Box 70030, 3000 LM Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Abstract: In this paper, we discuss an unsuccessful attempt to implement physician-patient e-mail contact in a Dutch eye hospital. This is the first known study that focuses on direct physician-provider e-mail communication for consultative needs in eyecare. We reflect on the failure of this implementation project in the discussion, where we look at how the underlying (mis-)assumptions about the technology and erred expectations regarding patient willingness to use e-mail, together with the chosen implementation methodology and the general research setting, contributed to this failure.

Keywords: patient-provider communication; e-mail communications; eyecare; Holland; The Netherlands; eye hospital; electronic healthcare; e-healthcare; project failure; technology assumptions; technology expectations; information technology.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHTM.2006.008435

International Journal of Healthcare Technology and Management, 2006 Vol.7 No.3/4, pp.252 - 265

Published online: 20 Dec 2005 *

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