Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Doctors Offices Not Keeping Up with Online Demand from Patients

At a time when more and more patients are using the internet to research doctors, hospitals and medical conditions, there are still few physicians who utilize on-line services for patient care.  Thirty eight percent of  US adults have researched a medical problem online in the past 12 months, according to a Forrester Research Study.  The survey also showed that 26% of adults researched a specific drug and 7% looked up the quality or reputation of a doctor.  Despite this activity, few physicians interact with patients online.

In another poll reported in Modern Healthcare, 50% of patients say they would like to communicate online with their doctor or his office about clinical or administrative services.  They would like to use web-based tools to schedule appointments, access immunization records or schedules, complete screening forms or refill prescriptions.

How many physician offices offer any one of these?  Less than 15%.

It isn't a surprise to me that Doctors are so behind on implementing these patient connections.  Most physicians are still working in solo or very small groups and they have neither the time or the resources to overhaul their offices.  Communication with patients requires secure connections that are compliant with patient privacy legislation. Electronic programs require technical support and user fees.  The costs are in hard green dollars, upfront...often in the tens of thousands of dollars.  The advantages are harder to quantify.  With overhead running 65-70% in primary care offices, the dollars involved come from the doctors pocket. 

This is one of many reasons why physicians are joining hospital sponsored groups and employment situations.  Running a business with such lean margins and tough government regulations makes it hard to keep up with new technology and services.  Most doctors still practice like they did in 1950.  We can't afford the technology that patients want.  The world has moved on and medical offices just haven't  keep up.

21 comments:

KM said...

I used to have a physician whose office went on line and when being seen she would bring in a lap top for the chart and type while asking me questions so eye contact that used to be there became less and I wasn't sure if she was focusing on or got all that I said when typing. I know and understand the value of EMR, for everyone involved but the doctor I changed to over two years ago has the paper and ink charts, but I feel what is most important is I know I have the absolute best medical care possible and an open, honest, trusting communication and relationship with an excellent physician, which I would chose any day over the latest office technology but not a good patient-doctor relationship..

tracy said...

KM i dread the day my Physican starts doing that. i don't think he will, but one never knows..... Or becomes a ("Happy") Hospitalist.
Haven't seen him in some time...almost wish i had an excuse to go...how sad and pathetic is that? :*(

Just "Googled" a med problem yesterday....yay, internet!

Michael Kirsch, M.D. said...

Sadly, this is another force that is squeezing private practice out of the marketplace.

bijay said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Toni Brayer, MD said...

For Blog Commenters: I just want you to know that the only comments I delete are SPAM ads. I appreciate all comments and have never deleted one that disagreed with EverythingHealth. Fondly, TB

Candida Fratazzi, MD said...

You made some very good points Toni. A lot of doctors shy away from the technology because of the overhead costs involved. Maybe when the need becomes critical to the business' survival, people will come up with low cost solutions. But that's probably still a long way to go.

DBenzil said...

Having an internet presence and facilitating patient education, reinforcing patient-physician interactions, and similar need to become part of our 21st centruy health care and it shouldn't and need not impact on the core of the patient-physician relationship! If that means the end of solo-pracitioners, I am not sure that is a bad thing...

Medical Marijuana Doctors said...

A lot of doctors are looking into Marijuana Doctors because they have integrated appointment bookings for patients, patient verification and automated forms generation for doctors. Not to mention their system reduces the risks that MMJ doctors face. Check them out, MarijuanaDoctors.com

link wheel said...

Please inform me it labored proper? I dont wish to sumit it again if i would not have to! Either the blog glitced out or i'm an idiot, the second option doesnt shock me lol. thanks for an ideal blog! Anyway, in my language, there are not much good source like this.

linkwheel said...

I was questioning what is up with that bizarre gravatar??? I know 5am is early and I'm not wanting my finest at that hour, however I hope I do not seem like this! I'd nonetheless make that face if I am requested to do a hundred pushups. lol Anyway, in my language, there should not much good source like this.

sim so dep said...

David, I'm not sure how many other sites like this are up and running internationally. I think most of them are specific to particular countries, so they're a little hard to track for an English-speaker like me. I'd love to hear from other folks out there more knowledgeable than I!

so dep said...

Hi, i read your blog sometimes and that i personal the same one and i was just questioning if you happen to get a whole lot of spam feedback? If that's the case how do you forestall it, any plugin or anything you can advocate? I'm getting so much these days it's driving me mad so any assist is very much appreciated. Anyway, in my language, there are usually not much good source like this.

Flashlight Vagina said...

It will not succeed in reality, that's exactly what I think.

Medical Marijuana Doc said...

I went through a ton of doctors and centers at this marijuana doctor site and found a really good one in San Francisco recently. But I had to go through a ton of bad doctors that were really good people, yet some admitted to knowing less than others. It gets scary when they start pushing for epiderals to be pushed into you to get rid of pain that they assume is caused in an area.

HandyManz said...

There are a ton of doctor offices that feel like something out of the 1950's. And there are a ton of doctors in new facilities that seem to think it still is the 1950's as well. I am finding more people are looking for helpers and nurses like the ones i found in these bay area gigs

www.salamanca-3d.com said...

This can't work as a matter of fact, that is exactly what I believe.

www.cordoba-3d.com said...

In my opinion every person ought to browse on it.

sim dep said...

Keep up the good work, Your article is really great and I truly enjoyed reading it. Waiting for some more great articles like this from you in the coming days.

sim số đẹp said...

Hello, I saw a three of your attention-grabbing posted posts and needed to ask in the event you would be interested in reciprocal pages? Crew have weblog about alexis texas ass! Anyway, in my language, there usually are not much good supply like this.

Sim 10 so said...

Wonderful learn, I simply handed this onto a colleague who was doing some research on that. And he actually purchased me lunch because I discovered it for him smile So let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch! Anyway, in my language, there should not much good source like this.

Sim viettel said...

Your weblog is fine. I just wish to comment on the design. Its too loud. Its doing way an excessive amount of and it takes away from what you received to say --which I feel is basically important. I dont know if you happen to didnt suppose that your phrases could maintain everyone attention, however you had been wrong. Anyway, in my language, there aren't a lot good source like this.