Since I went to see my doctor last week for my annual physical I thought about the interaction that I have with my doctor and how mobile communication could enhance that experience. If you are like most people you get to the doctor’s office on time for your appointment and more times than not are then informed that the doctor is running late.
Many physicians now have your mobile telephone number as a way to reach you with important news. However doctor’s offices could also use SMS texting to inform you that the doctor is running late by fifteen or however many minutes. This does not happen and there are probably several reasons for that, the primary one being the medical profession is not conditioned to communicate with patients in that manner.
An article in Media Post Wednesday by Reggie Bradford http://bit.ly/HHfmlw, highlights other ways in which mobile is being used to enhance the patient experience. Kaiser Permanente, the largest managed care organization in the United States, has launched an optimized mobile site. So now Kaiser-Permanente patients are able to access their own medical information, securely and from anywhere in the world, through any Web-enabled device.
Mr. Bradford writes ‘Kaiser Permanente hopes to greatly increase the customer experience by featuring 24/7 access to lab results and diagnostic information as well as providing direct and secure email services with their doctors via a site that has fast load time, automatically scaled to the device’s screen size and providing easy navigation and scroll features. By focusing on the services that matter most to their patients, the company expects mobile traffic “to increase significantly with the new mobile-optimized site.”
Walgreens and CVS are two examples of pharmacies that truly understand the priorities of customers that are accessing their storefronts via mobile. In both their smartphone apps and optimized mobile Web sites, customers are able to input and/or scan their prescription barcodes for quick and easy refill orders. Additionally, these two sites feature a consumer-friendly navigation system with efficient scrolling features as well as e-commerce capabilities. Upon accessing the site, customers have the option to immediately download their respective smartphone apps -– a feature that more loyal and frequent customers surely appreciate.’
Mr. Bradford makes a great case for how mobile communication can enhance the doctor-patient relationship. I find that there is an increasing use of mobile communications by my doctors and friends of mine in the medical profession. The former reticence to mobile and internet information by medical professionals seems to be on the wane as doctors have realized that informed patients are not always ‘infused with a little knowledge that can be termed as dangerous’ and can be actually easier to consult.
I wholly agree with Mr. Bradford that mobile should be built into marketing efforts. The healthcare industry is a perfect example of how it can benefit both patients and medical professions.
Have you offered your mobile phone number to your doctor? If not would you?