Clinicians Who Email Patients Have Stronger Patient Relationships
Check this out. What you will see is a statement of the obvious, i.e., clinicians who are willing to exchange emails with patients enjoy stronger relationships with them. Likely, the same is probably true for physicians who will talk with their patients on the phone.
Duh. It’s 2018 folks. Why must the “office visit” be the only form of physician/patient engagement that the doctor accepts, and for which she will be compensated?
A recent personal experience. Several days ago, I got a piece of beef stuck in my esophagus. Not immediately life threatening, but not extremely pleasant either. After several hours, I realized that this situation was not going to resolve itself and would require medical intervention. My wife said I should go to our PCP’s office. I asked why?
I knew nothing was going to happen in her office that was going to resolve the problem.
I am blessed. My physician’s practice is concierge. 800 patients paying an annual fee rather than the 2,500 patients she had before going to MDVIP. A quick call to her receptionist got a return call from my physician, who quickly understood the problem and quarterbacked a connection with our local Gastroenterologist. He gave me a call, gave me his cell phone number in case I needed it, set up an appointment to meet him in the ER a few hours later, and the problem was dealt with. I will skip the gory details.No, I didn’t have to go to any physician’s office, and no I didn’t have to go through ER triage. Wham Bam. Thanks to my doctor’s willingness to talk with me on the phone, and then to take responsibility for the connection, not just a referral, to the Gastroenterologist. And his willingness to pick up the ball on his cell phone and run with it.
Bottom Line. As we ponder the quality and cost of U.S. health care in 2018, shouldn’t we give some consideration to how telephone and email could be used to increase efficiency? And patient connectivity and satisfaction? If lack of appropriate physician compensation continues to thwart such use of technology, can’t something be done to eliminate this barrier?