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Research Letter |

Association Between Clinician Computer Use and Communication With Patients in Safety-Net Clinics

Neda Ratanawongsa, MD, MPH1,2; Jennifer L. Barton, MD3,4; Courtney R. Lyles, PhD1,2; Michael Wu, BS5; Edward H. Yelin, PhD, MCP6,7; Diana Martinez, MD1,2; Dean Schillinger, MD1,2
[+] Author Affiliations
1Division of General Internal Medicine, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)
2UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations at San Francisco General Hospital, San Francisco
3Department of Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland
4VA Portland Health Care System, Portland, Oregon
5John Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii, Honolulu
6Division of Rheumatology, UCSF
7Institute for Health Policy Studies, UCSF
JAMA Intern Med. 2016;176(1):125-128. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.6186.
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This study reports that high computer use by clinicians in safety-net clinics was associated with lower patient satisfaction and observable communication differences.

Safety-net clinics serve populations with limited proficiency in English and limited health literacy who experience communication barriers that contribute to disparities in care and health.1 Implementation of electronic health records in safety-net clinics may affect communication between patients and health care professionals.2 We studied associations between clinician computer use and communication with patients with diverse chronic diseases in safety-net clinics.

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