I recently sat down with Jeff Donnell from NoMoreClipboard. We had a fascinating all around conversation, but one of the most fascinating things he told me was the story of his last visit to his doctor’s office. I’ll do my best to recount what he told me.
When he decided he needed to go see the doctor for a visit his wife suggested that he call the doctor to make an appointment. Of course, Jeff “eats his own dog food” and decided that instead of calling for an appointment, he’d request an appointment through NoMoreClipboard. So, he logged into his account and sent off the request for an appointment with his PHR attached. Pretty interesting idea no?
Don’t ask me why, but when possible I’d much rather request something through my computer. Maybe it’s sitting on hold while you wait to talk to someone that’s turned me off to the phone call, but the idea that I could request an appointment online even if the doctor isn’t on NoMoreClipboard is a pretty attractive feature for a PHR.
Of course, since Jeff’s doctor wasn’t on NoMoreClipboard, his appointment request and health record were faxed to his doctor’s office. He got a call from the doctor and scheduled his appointment. The story certainly doesn’t end there.
When he arrived at the doctor’s office he wondered if they’d have his record or not. They handed him the standard clipboard to fill out all the paperwork. He still said nothing and dutifully filled out the paperwork. No one said anything about the record he’d sent until he was with the doctor and the doctor realized that Jeff was the one that sent in his PHR. I guess it was the talk of the office when that fax came in.
Obviously, the idea of requesting an appointment and faxing in your health record using a PHR still has a ways to go. In fact, NoMoreClipboard’s goal is to work with doctor’s offices like these so that the office gets the person’s health record on the forms that the doctor’s are use to getting it on. I think that’s a smart strategy. Not to mention the idea of the patients driving their doctors to use and work with a PHR provider. I think they call that Word of Mouth advertising right?
I’ve been thinking about this for a while when I recently talked with someone from Microsoft’s HealthVault division. I quite frankly asked this gentleman why I should use a PHR. Obviously, if I was a patient with a chronic or complicated illness I could see a compelling use case. However, what’s the use case that will drive and motivate healthy individuals to use a PHR. So far I really haven’t heard a good answer.
Requesting an appointment and not having to fill out that same lengthy cumbersome paperwork is the closest I’ve thought of.