Received: March 28, 2013
Accepted: August 20, 2013
Thompson A, Campagna J, Hernandez BF, Roberts T. An E-mail Service in a Military Adolescent Medicine Clinic: will teens use it and what for? Internet J Med Update. 2014;9(1):38-40.

An E-mail Service in a Military Adolescent Medicine Clinic: will teens use it and what for?

Amy Thompson* DO MAJ, John Campagna* MD MAJ, Belinda F Hernandez** PhD and Timothy Roberts*** MD CDR

*Adolescent Medicine Physician, Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio, TX, USA
**Assistant Professor, Houston School of Public Health, University of Texas Health Science Center, TX, USA
***Adolescent Medicine Physician, Balboa Naval Medical Center in San Diego, CA, USA

(Corresponding Author: Amy Thompson, Fort Sam Houston Adolescent Clinic, 3100 Schofield Road Building #1179 Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234, USA; Cell: +253-592-4389; Phone: +210-916-3160; Email:


The goal of this study was to determine utilization patterns of an Adolescent Medicine Clinic e-mail service. An e-mail service was offered to 6134 patients presenting for care to a military Adolescent Medicine Clinic in San Antonio, Texas over a 6-month period. Families had to complete an authorization form acknowledging that the e-mail service was not encrypted and was not to be used for emergent issues prior to use. 482 families signed up for the service. A total of 42 e-mails were received from 28 of these families. 75% of all e-mails were initiated by parents. The majority of e-mails were administrative issues including: medication refills, lab follow up, and referrals requests. In conclusion, the e-mail service was a low cost method to increase communication options for our patients that was not associated with a large increase in clinic workload because of low utilization rates, especially among younger adolescents.

KEY WORDS: Adolescents; E-mail; Internet; Electronic communication; Physician-patient communication