Physicians

A Doctor Grows in Brooklyn

Doctor Jay Parkinson became a media celebrity last year as word spread about his unconventional practice in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Instead of maintaining a traditional office and paying support staff, Parkinson’s operation is entirely virtual and requires almost no overhead. (Unless you consider a Mac overhead.)  Using his apartment as a base, He runs a web site loaded with Web 2.0 touches that allows patients to communicate with him easily and explains his services in plain English.  After an initial in-person consultation, exchanges can be online and are conducted through either instant messaging or web chat.

“The healthcare industry is so stuck in 1994,”  he says, “The only way they’ve used the Internet is to provide information.  I look at the Internet as something that provides communication.”

By concentrating on technologies that are inexpensive and readily available, Parkinson is able to focus on usability and efficiency and bypass many of the road blocks that have slowed other doctors trying to wire their practices. The web cam he uses is a standard feature on his system. He uses Gmail to handle his email load and has neatly integrated Google Calendar into his web site – allowing patients to see his schedule at a glance and book their own appointments.  For cases requiring referrals, he has built a simple database of inexpensive providers, creating his own social network of several thousand specialists and other care givers local to Brooklyn and Manhattan.

Parkinson resists the argument that technology has created a new Race to the Bottom in health care, by making medicine less human and the healthcare system increasingly complex. Instead, he argues that when used properly, Web 2.0 tools like mash-ups, mobile devices, instant messaging, digital video and social networking can free doctors to spend more time with patients – not less. 

"It’s really just practicing medicine in an old-fashioned way," he says.

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LarryΘεμις ΜαντζαβινοςGary LevinAnemia Treatment and Anemia SymptomsChris Recent comment authors
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Larry
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Larry

FINALLY! Someone in the USA, the last remaining SuperPower, has figured out a way to restore the friendly doctor visits of years gone by (before Nixon the the HMO). Of course – much of this was already in use in other countries having forward looking healthcare systems. Even the UK’s NHS had a remote meds dispensor for patients needing controlled dosages keyed to their vitals.(viewed on Beyond 2000 tv show) It figures the guy is a Canadian. Reminds me also of the Flying Doctor in Oz where people living in Outback sheep stations (not the US restaurant) could get a… Read more »

Θεμις Μαντζαβινος
Guest

Hi
It is a very nice and great post and I like it.

Gary Levin
Guest

Kudos to Jay Parkinson. The comments are even more interesting in that they reflect that practicing medicine is not monolithic at all. I don’t think Jay is saying this is the answer for everyone. He recognizes the limitations..Rbaer…you are mistaken…the internet has revolutionized education for physicians…there are literally thousand of CME course on line…video casts,skill training, Some physicians prefer this mode since it decreases travel expense, time away from home. I am curious Jay as to how many housecalls you make a week? Who handles the insurance billing. How do you handle (if you do) managed care. This approach raises… Read more »

Anemia Treatment and Anemia Symptoms
Guest

Useful infomation. I learned something today…. Keep the good work. Very impressive.

Chris
Guest

I think he’s onto something. There complications with any doctor patient relationship, whether trying to manage clients paperwork when they come through a clinic or communicating electronically via email & video chat as Dr Parkinson is attempting to do. However taking a different approach to cutting health care costs is worth a shot. It will be interesting to see how he does. It is forward thinkers like Dr. Parkinson that truly make changes in American lives and revolutionize industries.

Pretentious
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Pretentious

Hey, I remember this guy from Gawker a few months ago. The comments there were pretty much 1) hey, cute guy, 2) he’s only board certified in peds (if I remember correctly) and he did a preventive medicine residency, and 3) again, how cute is he?
I think his model works if the doctor’s a GP or pediatrician, but as many of you have noted, this would be a lot more difficult to pull off for a specialist.

reidmc
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reidmc
Jason Cafer
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Dr. Parkinson is brave for championing this new model of patient care. I’ve discussed this with Jay, and quality of care is truly his motivation. Another physician colleague pointed out that “only 5% of doctors want to be that available to patients…most of us want barriers to patient-initiated communication”. Fee-for-service doctors like Jay are doctors who want to be accountable and available to their patients. My only question is, How are home calls more efficient? The most limited resource is the doctor’s time, so why should he be the one traveling from patient to patient?

dan weberg
Guest

Its best we agree to disagree. I think it is easy to get caught up in view points and I am sorry if I seemed to attack. I do think we can leverage tech to do many things and maybe I will blog on my visions later and EBP back them. Patients are consumers and they are human, so they should be treated like both. Except in our health system they are deprived of all the information needed for a free market. I think steps towards transparency in healthcare is important, and I think tech will help bridge the gap…… Read more »

rbaer
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rbaer

Dan, I don’t want to turn this into anything personal, not even on an anonymous level. I still think you have unrealistic expectations what the discussed technologies can and cannot achieve. However, that is your position, and you are entitled to it. However, you try to push me into the corner of the technology fiend, just because I dare to show skepticism about some obvious red hot hype here. None of my comments are in any way hostile or obstructive towards new technologies, just read them closely (BTW, I consider myself an early adopter for EMR and PDA use and… Read more »

Dan Weberg
Guest

rbaer, thank you for spelling telephone for me, I appreciate that. I think you are taking the roll of the devil advocate and in so doing you are attempting to stop the innovation process. (I suggest reading Quantum Leadership by Tim Porter-O’Grady and Kathy Malloch) Dr. Parkinson is an early adopter (suggest reading Diffusion of Innovation by Everett Rogers) and is providing a new way to deal with an old and broken system Will technology solve everything? NO! Technology is a tool, but the processes need to be perfected for them to aid us. That’s why EMR and computer charting… Read more »

Peter
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Peter

“(meaning, they have to pay cash for healthcare)”
And why would that be?

Theron McCollough
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Theron McCollough

I am glad you are pushing the envelope, good for you, and keep it up.

Ira Breite
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Ira Breite

The real problem is that Jay is not offering things much different than many of us do already, although I do wish I had his website. Many of us call in for xrays when people think something is broken, handle lots of stuff on the phone (email is always a HIPAA issue), and, as opposed to Jay, actually accept insurance (UCR is NOT as good as that website says). also, what does jay do with an HMO plan with no out of network. is it $150 or $250?? If someone has a $3000 out of network deductible what does he… Read more »

Jay Parkinson
Guest

For a better description of my ventures and to alleviate many of the allegations against my practice style, please see this recent post on my blog: http://blog.jayparkinsonmd.com/post/28073454 That should help in much of the confusion. Of course there are critics. I’ve been used to criticism all my life. Is this the cure for healthcare? Hell no! Is it smart utilization of resources for a certain percentage of the population? I think so. Does this help overutilization? Sometimes. Restructuring reimbursement policies away from procedures and diagnostics and reimbursing more for a medical home, accessibility, communication, and rational primary care quality indicators…now… Read more »