Over the last 29 years of consulting we have seen the complete evolution of technology, including the development of the internet from “no such thing” to a whole new world of technology, marketing opportunities and ways of doing business.
As healthcare providers, there is a responsibility to keep up to date with the latest technology for the good of your patients, but on the soft side of the practice, i.e. dealing with the patients, where do we draw the line?
The Hard Side of Practice
We have seen and worked with doctors who have taken great advantage of all the online technology to modernize their practices, bought all the latest delivery equipment, have digitized their files, have online appointment setting, and even have eliminated most of the reception duties by having patients check themselves in and pay their bill afterwards through computerized systems.
The Softer Side
However amazing the technology is though, we must keep in mind that you are still dealing with living, breathing human beings who need the personal touch. They have questions and concerns, and the FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) section of your website can’t possibly have all the answers that you can just send someone to for information.
YOU are the healthcare provider and have the answers based on an examination and diagnosis. Your interaction with the patient is the ingredient that helps the patient accept the care they deserve to have. No machine can substitute for that personal touch.
When deciding what technology to go with, always put yourself in the patient’s shoes and try and perceive how you would feel about it. Keep it real. Did it put you off, scare you, or make you want to go somewhere else where you were more cared about?
Don’t reject technology
This doesn’t mean to shy away from learning about the latest technology, online or otherwise, and buying into it. Learn about it and see if it brings better care to your patients and if it will make them feel more cared for. If the answer is yes, then go for it.
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