Lege Artis Medicinae

[Meditation of the guest editor-in-chief]

PUREBL György

JANUARY 20, 2018

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2018;28(01-02)

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[How can the specialists be contacted? Ways of communication in the specialist-patient consultation]

MOLNÁR Regina, PAULIK Edit, KÖVES Béla, SÁGI Zoltán

[Consulting the specia­list means face-to-face meetings traditionally. Nowadays patients do not need to go to the outpatient clinic to see the doctor since many new communication options have already been available. The aim of our study was to explore how typically doctors and patients use other options (as phone call or e-mail) beside face-to-face appointments in the outpatient clinic. We conducted a focus group interview with specialists and health workers and an in-depth interview with the chief nurse of an outpatient clinic in Budapest. The specialist-patient consultation is mostly face-to-face in the specialist’s office in the presence of the nurse, whose role is complex and pivotal. Fur­ther­more, the landline phone is an essential device, as the patients can reach the specialist or nurse in their office hours. The application of e-mail or mobile phone is incidental. The website of the outpatient clinic provides practical information to patients. Traditional postal letters, leaflets, and publications are also typical for providing information. The doctors’ opinion was rather heterogeneous about the pa­tients’ Internet usage and about the on­line contact with patients. Beside increasing the capacities the deliberate and organized introduction and application of technical de­vices, may reduce the overburdening of health professionals.]