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Table 1 A Taxonomy of Patient Requests

From: Results of a content analysis of electronic messages (email) sent between patients and their physicians

Requests for Information about
Symptoms, problems, or diseases
Psychosocial problems
The physical examination
Tests or diagnostic procedures
Medications or treatments
Patient – provider relationship
Other physicians
3rd party payer or managed care issue
Other administrative issues
Other requests for information
Requests for Action
Physical examination
Laboratory tests, x-rays, or other studies
Referral to other physician(s)
Referral to non-physician(s)
Medications or treatments
Administrative action: 3rd party payer
Administrative Action – Other
Other request for action
Physician responses to patient requests
Acknowledges only
Fulfils (performs action or gives info)
Partially fulfils
Negotiates, with fulfilment
Negotiates, with partial fulfilment
Negotiates, with denial