Staff Reports

MOULTRIE -- Remember that telephone commercial from several years back -- "Reach out and touch someone?"

Perhaps that advice is no more appreciated than when that someone is in ill health. And now, given the greater dimensions of cyberspace , touching that particular person can be only a few key strokes away.

One can now communicate with a patient at Colquitt Regional Medical Center from anywhere in the world that has Internet access.

CRMC recently launched a new Patient E-mail System that allows the public to send an e-mail message to any inpatient through the hospital's Web site at Just click on "E-mail a Patient" and send a get-well note or other message of encouragement to a friend or loved one. The sender must know the patient's exact name, as no patient names will be given out to secure patient confidentiality.

The e-mail messages are received by the CRMC patient representative, who will print the e-mail on nice stationery, place the note in an envelope, and deliver the message to the patient. Although the public can e-mail a message at any time, delivery hours for the messages are 8 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. If the patient has been discharged, the message will be mailed to the patient's home.

The Patient E-mail System was developed by CRMC's Patient Satisfaction Team, which works to develop new ways to improve customer service at Colquitt Regional Medical Center. According to team members Sheila Key and Lorna Green, the e-mail system offers many benefits.

"The new Patient E-mail System allows those who do not live close by, or those who do not have the opportunity to come by the hospital, to send a warm message to a friend or loved one," Key said. "The message benefits the patients by letting them know that someone cares and is thinking about them."

"Not only is the Patient E-mail System a great way to send an instant message from anywhere, but it does not cost anything to send a message that could mean a lot to a patient," Green added.

The sender will receive a confirmation that the message was received by the patient representative. If the sender does not receive a confirmation, he or she may not have typed in the patient's name correctly. Although the Web site asks for the patient's room number to help with delivery, the room number is not required if unknown by the sender.

To talk to reporter Jennifer Terry, please call 985-4545, ext. 222.

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