'Telephone Medicine,' guide for physicians published

February 01, 2002

PHILADELPHIA -- (February 1, 2002) More than a century after the advent of the telephone, many of the concerns of early telephone medicine remain at the forefront today, according to a new book, "Telephone Medicine: A Guide for the Practicing Physician," edited by Anna B. Reisman, MD, and David L. Stevens, MD.

Published by the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine (ACP-ASIM), the nation's largest medical specialty society, "Telephone Medicine" aims to provide a solid understanding of how telephone medicine can improve patient care.

"Most patients are happy with the telephone care they receive, yet physicians are generally dissatisfied with their performance on the phone," said Dr. Reisman, an assistant professor at Yale University School of Medicine. According to Dr. Stevens, clinical assistant professor at New York University School of Medicine, "Nearly 25 percent of patient encounters will involve the phone. Yet only six percent of national residency programs teach telephone medicine."

Drs. Reisman and Stevens, who have developed a curriculum for teaching telephone medicine to residents and have spoken about the topic at medical meetings, designed "Telephone Medicine" to focus on reacting to calls from patients. The book is the first of its kind specifically developed for internists but is applicable to other primary care physicians.

Reisman and Stevens authored or co-authored several chapters of "Telephone Medicine"; 16 writers also contributed to the book. "Telephone Medicine: A Guide for the Practicing Physician" covers medicolegal considerations and the challenges of the telephone interview. A clinical section of the book provides evidence-based guidance for the management of 13 common medical problems over the phone. Each clinical chapter includes key diagnostic points and flowcharts, advice on what to document in medical records, and what to tell the patient. A chapter on difficult patients is also included.

"Telephone Medicine" also gives guidance on incorporating telephone medicine into the workplace, including office management of calls during and after hours, and electronic advances such as telemedicine, e-mail with patients, and using the Internet for patient information. A curriculum for teaching telephone medicine is included.

The American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine is an organization of more than 115,000 internists and medical students. It is dedicated to providing continuing medical education for its members so that internists may provide the best quality care for their patients. Its publishing program includes journals such as Annals of Internal Medicine, electronic products, and books for the medical community and general reader.
448 pages, softcover; 2002 Non-ACP-ASIM member price $40.00; members $32.00 ORDER FROM: ACP-ASIM Customer Service, 800-523-1546, ext. 2600; or 215-351-2600. Ask for product number 330301000. Or visit www.acponline.org/catalog/books for table of contents and more information. E-mail custserv@mail.acponline.org

American College of Physicians

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