We surveyed a multidisciplinary cohort of physicians at a large, tertiary care facility to evaluate communication preferences for clinically relevant but non-urgent information.METHODS:
A survey was distributed electronically utilizing Qualtrex to physicians at a large, academic multispecialty center. Demographic information obtained included: age, gender and classification of their practice (medical/surgical). The preferred method of communication of non-HPI, non-urgent but clinically relevant information was elicited for the following scenarios: 1) in the hospital/clinic, performing clinical duties, 2) on-call, but outside the hospital/clinic, and 3) not on-call and outside the hospital/clinic. Possible response options included: traditional page, text page, text message to telephone, email, direct telephone call, N/A and other.RESULTS:
Results were received by 1081 out of 1860 physicians (58%). Of these, 727 (74.1%) were a medical specialty, 676 (68.7%) male, with a relatively even age distribution. Majority (75.5%) prefer a text page when in the hospital/clinic. The preference when on-call and out of the hospital/clinic was text page (46.6%). The preference for receiving information when not on-call was an e-mail (30.2%). There was no difference in preferred method of communication during clinical duties or on-call when stratified by specialty, gender, or age. However, when out of the hospital and not on call surgeons, males, and those between ages 30–34, 45–49, and 60–74 years old preferred a direct call.CONCLUSION:
Although smartphone technology use is increasing, the preference for receiving clinically relevant but non-urgent information during clinical duties or on-call was text page. This preference persisted despite stratification by specialty, gender, and age.