Parents want email consults for pediatric illnesses

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HealthDay News -- Most parents would seek email advice for their children's minor illness if the service was available, according to a report published by the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital.

Researchers from the Children's Hospital conducted a survey involving a national sample of 1,420 randomly selected parents of children aged 0 to 17 years to examine their desire for email consultation for their child's minor illness or injury, and their willingness to pay for this convenience. The survey response rate was 51%.

Only a small proportion of parents (6%) reported being able to get email advice from their children's usual site of health care. Most parents (77%) reported that they would be likely to seek email advice for minor illness, if the service was available. About half of parents (49%) felt that the co-pay for an email consultation should be $0.

"Given the overwhelming desire from parents for an email option, we hope these poll results can get the discussion started on the best way to use technology to get better, more convenient care options for young patients but still [provide] a workable solution for both providers and parents," Sarah J. Clark, MPH, associate director of the National Poll on Children's Health, said in a statement.

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