“Futurist” view of Health Care

Via Kevin, M.D., an article about a “Health Care Futurist

“What are we looking for when we visit the doctor? We are looking for knowledge and the tools to help us get better. We can use the phone, Internet, e-mail. Why pay $70 to go sit in the guy’s office?” Goldsmith said.

He compares doctor visits to the way people use the Internet: people can visit a Web site for free, but to get more valuable information on some sites, a fee is charged.

“It’s goofy to pay for (doctor) visits only. We ought to be paying for content. I like the idea I can get a response in 10 minutes instead of waiting two weeks for an appointment. People want dialogue and a relationship with their doctor and they are not getting it now,” Goldsmith said.

I’m uneasy with the comparison of medical services to internet usage, and uncomfortable with the statement that “[w]e should be paying for content.” Aren’t physicians a whole lot more than content providers?

I like the idea of having a secure messaging system that neables patients to communicate with their doctors, but there are so many obstacles to this- and I can’t see how it would neccessarily save the physician’s time or reduce costs.

Further reading:

3 thoughts on ““Futurist” view of Health Care

  1. My primary care doctor’s office has secure messaging between patients and clinicians, as an extension of our electronic medical record — I just used it for the first time last week after an annual physical, when I realized I had forgotten to ask a minor question about my allergies – was able to message the doctor. His nurse responded within the hour (the system sends an email to your regular email address saying that you have a new message waiting, then you log into the patient portal to view the message), the doctor issued a new prescription to the Vanderbilt pharmacy, and the issue was completely resolved — rather than having to call the office, leave a message, wait for a call back, etc etc — definitely not suited for the management of urgent issues but did streamline this process at least.

    Some background information on the patient interface to the EMR (Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville) – a PowerPoint presentation about MyHealthAtVanderbilt and a related news story.

  2. That’s outstanding, Becky. Have a lot of doctors affiliated with your organization embraced this secure messaging service? Do they find that they need to make changes to the way they organize communications and workflow in their offices as a result? Do they like it?

    Perhaps you’d write a post about your experiences with secure messaging?