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Doctors and Patients as Customers

Posted on May 11, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I’m not sure where I came up with the following idea. I had stored it in my list of future posts and I didn’t have any reference for it. So, if I forgot to acknowledge who provided me the comment I’m sorry.

This is the comment that I received from someone, “EMR provides benefits to the patient (better patient care) and payers (cost savings).”

Of course, we could argue these two points until we’re blue in the face. In fact, feel free to argue either point in the comments below. That will be interesting. I’ll just say that there’s the potential for better patient care and the potential for cost savings to the payers. Whether the potential will become a reality will be a fun discussion in the comments.

When I saw the above statement I started to consider the impact of “better patient care” from a doctor’s perspective. Better patient care seems like something that should benefit the doctor. Pretty sad to consider that the customer (patients) getting better service has little effect on a doctor’s business. Certainly there are some hyper competitive markets where this isn’t true. However, I believe that most patients (myself included) aren’t very good (shall I say knowledgeable) enough to be able to distinguish between good patient care and great patient care. Sure, there are outlier cases, but what measures do patient use to distinguish the quality of care their doctor provides?

If you assume the above statement of EMR software providing better patient care (Clinical Decision Support, Drug to Drug and Drug to Allergy interaction checking, etc etc etc), then why as patients (customers) aren’t we asking future doctors if they use these features? Maybe a few people are, but there’s far from an outcry of patients leaving doctors who are refusing to use an EMR.

For some reason this isn’t working:
EMR Use -> Better Patient Care -> Happy Patients -> Better Business for Doctors

I’m sure that some will come and say that it’s just not clear that the EMR benefits to patient care are tangible enough for this “customer demand” to occur. I remember about 5 years ago when on the EMR Update forum someone suggested a “Got EMR?” (similar to Got Milk) ad campaign for doctors to advertise the fact that they had an EMR. So, of course this topic isn’t new. Although, it’s still very relevant.

Although, even beyond EMR, I wonder what a company or website could do to help consumers/customers (patients if you prefer) to better evaluate the quality of healthcare that’s being provided. I don’t have any ideas on this regard. I’m as bad as the next person at figuring it out. However, whenever there’s a lack of good information I think there’s an opportunity. As you’ve probably figured out, I’m all about good information and accountability.

SpringCharts EHR Patient Portal Video Demo

Posted on I Written By

SpringCharts Patient Portal is an online patient portal uniquely branded to your practice.

Spring Medical’s SpringCharts Patient Portal offers your practice a secure, online, easy-to-use tool that helps your patients compile, manage and share their medical records. Patients can visit your website, click on a “patient registration” button and link to a portal that looks and feels just like your existing site — the patient experience is seamless. Or if you don’t have your own website, you can use the SpringCharts Patient Portal as the internet access point for your practice.

Benefits for your Patients:
• Avoid filling out lengthy forms with each doctor visit
• Communicate with the practice through secure messaging
• Control who sees their sensitive medical information
• Keep all their health records in one safe place
• Update their family records at their leisure, anytime and anyplace, including from their web-enabled mobile phone
• Access their records quickly in an emergency

Benefits for your Practice:
• Timely communications with your patients
• Secure, HIPPA-compliant record keeping
• Easy to use, deploy and maintain
• Minimize risk by eliminating errors during manual data transcription
• Affordable, customer-oriented application supported by ARRA Incentives

 

 

Watch the video here.

Medgen EHR Demo Video

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This video is a demo of the Medgen EHR.

 

 

Watch the video here.

Nike+ Continues to Inspire Runners and Encourage Exercise

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Nike+ started out as a relative unknown despite their huge parent company.  It was not that long ago that people really didn’t know about it and if you asked someone if they knew what it was they had no idea what you are talking about.

That has all changed.

You can now see Nike+ posts all over Facebook, and their devices all over the streets of the world.  According to their own website their members have logged over 376 million miles.  That equates to over 15,000 times around the world and nearly 15 million pounds being burned off.

What started as simply a way to track your training has developed into a worldwide community of runners that support each other without ever even knowing the other people’s names.  Like so many other social media groups, it is the power of community that makes Nike+ so powerful.

In case you are new to Nike+, there are a few different ways that you can engage in the community.

The first way is through a small attachment to the iPod Nano and a small sensor that you put in or on your shoe.  The combination of the two tracks your runs and even gives you audio encouragement letting you know how your training is going.  The biggest downside here is that it was, and still is, exclusive to the iPod Nano and not any other MP3 player, even those made by Apple.  I have often wondered why they never expanded to the other iPod devices.

There are now numerous other ways you can be a part of the community.  All of these other ways still require the small sensor to be placed in or on your shoe.

The simplest is a sportband that is comparable to a watch.  This is great if you don’t listen to music but still want your runs to be tracked.

The other option is to sync the Nike+ sensor to either your iPod Touch or iPhone.  Both of these devices have built-in support for the Nike+ sensor so all you have to do is sync it up and you are ready to go.

As part of the community you can see the types of runs that other people in your area are doing, and post your own runs to sites like Facebook.  This encouragement and sense of community helps to inspire you to run more often and farther.  You can even look at the runs of people worldwide.

What I think is one of the coolest features of the community are the challenges.  There are numerous challenges created by Nike+ such as challenges between cities to see who can run the most, running 365 miles during one year, and even monthly challenges to see who can run the most in each month.You can also create your own challenges so that you can talk a little trash amongst your friends, which for a competitor like me is great motivation.

Like many people, I really don’t enjoy running despite the fact that I feel so much better when I do.  It is communities and devices like Nike+ that make it at least a little more interesting and enjoyable.