We had to smile this morning when we reviewed HealthLeaders’ Media Marketing Weekly. Industry experts appear to agree with what we’ve been telling our physician clients all along: “Doctor, you have got to be on-line and you have got to engage on-line with your patients.” HealthLeaders’ Marianne Aiello agrees too.
Case in point is Marianne’s frustration with not being able to email her new PCP. She, like so many busy- with-life-do-as-much-as-possible-on-line kind of people, wants to be able to communicate via email with her doctor. Her anecdotal experience is now supported by a study done by Kaiser Permanente (published in Health Affairs )and reported on by James Carroll for HealthLeaders .
The study gives credence to Aiello’s gripe: Doctors who email with patients may improve the quality of care provided and we venture to guess that healthier patients are happier patients. Marianne Aiello says: “…if healthcare can learn anything from other industries, it”s that consumers don”t want to spend time on the phone looking for information—especially when they can find slots online what they”re looking for in a couple of clicks.” (Note she doesn’t even mention flipping through the yellow pages. See our previous post on June 23rd.)
So if you’re a physician grappling with whether you need a website for your patients to find you, we say unequivocally: “DO IT NOW!” With physician shortages in the news in some major cities, reimbursement being tied to satisfaction and other variables looming on the horizon, a solid web-based presence and a strategy to make it work for you is worth your time now. Your patients are on-line waiting to hear from you.
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