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The Online Future of Patient Communication

Matthewholt An array of online communication tools, including email and beyond, can
enhance the physician-patient relationship and save you both time. But
for a variety of reasons, many physicians haven’t adopted online tools.
Matthew Holt, healthcare futurist, co-founder of the Health 2.0
Conference and founder of THCB
says that the day is coming fast when most physicians will communicate
this way with their patients. Are you already one of them?

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Nick LloydJesseRebecca MoreheadDevon Herrick PhD, National Center for Policy Analysis Recent comment authors
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Nick Lloyd
Guest

What an interesting and compelling post. Yet ultimately, when healthcare organizations consider the steps needed to improve patient communication, they face a business decision.
Here’s an interesting and compelling article by Cleveland Clinic Chief Experience Officer Dr. James Merlino that lays out the business case for the patient experience. It’s called “The Patient Experience: Why Top Hospitals Should Care.”
http://engagingthepatient.com/2010/09/07/the-patient-experience-why-top-hospitals-should-care/

Jesse
Guest

There are quite a few companies right now focusing on doctor-patient relationships. The concept for all of them are great, but, as Dr. Herrick pointed out, there is no incentive for the doctor to write an email until there is some compensation. Insurance companies are slow moving vehicles. It will come eventually, but we all wish it would come yesterday
Jesse
Founding Team Member
http://www.healthleap.com

Rebecca Morehead
Guest

It takes a little while for some physicians to get accustomed to using electronic means to communicate with patients. They are coming around though. It appears this is definitely the wave of the future to connect with patients electronically and speed up the visit process.
Believe it or not some holistic practitioners are already doing this with biofeedback machines and phone calls, as well as concierge physician services.
It’s definitely coming… Great post!
Rebecca
http://www.practicemanagersolutions.com

Devon Herrick PhD, National Center for Policy Analysis
Guest
Devon Herrick PhD, National Center for Policy Analysis

I like innovative practice models like DocTalker Family Medicine and TalaDoc, where the telephone and email is an integral part of their business model. These were established outside the typical third-party payment mechanism.
The reason most physicians do not communicate with patients by email or telephone is because doctors typically are not compensated for these services. As more people become comfortable with doing business online and demand these types of services, doctors will be under increasing pressure to embrace online communication. Before that happens to a large degree, the problem of who pays will have to be worked out.