Table 1

A Taxonomy of Patient Requests

    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


Sittig BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making 2003 3:11   doi:10.1186/1472-6947-3-11

Open Data