6 Ways Electronic Medical Records Could Make Your Life Safer and Easier - US News and World Report: "Primary-care office visits in Kaiser Permanente's Hawaii region dropped 25 percent from 2004 to 2007, after the healthcare organization started offering people the option of E-mailing doctors as part of the 8.7 million-member organization's Web-based electronic health record. No need to take time off work, and no miles driven; this even helps fight global warming! But since most doctors outside of a group program like Kaiser don't get paid for E-mail consults, this might be a tough sell."
We have a serious shortage of primary care docs, only 4% of medical school graudates are going into family practice and 62% of family practice residents are from non-us colleges. HIT and virtual visits can help mitigate that trend.