Docs Balk, But Email Improves Patient Experience
When I sit on hold, talk to a nurse, and wait an hour for my doctor to call me back, that is a negative patient experience.
When I email my doctor and receive a quick and informative reply that I can forever reference in the archive of my patient portal that is a positive experience.
A Prominent Detractor
It won't be an easy job for marketers to enact this drastic culture change, and physicians do have many legitimate concerns. In a candid blog post, Kevin Pho (a.k.a. Kevin MD) explains why he emailed with patients for two years before abandoning the practice, presumably never to start again.
"For sure, most patients loved using email," he writes. "The option to report any symptom or concern at any time of the day without having to bother with telephone menu prompts or dealing with the hassles of making appointments proved to be tremendously convenient. And for those questions that were straightforward and consisted of hardly two sentences at most, email at times was a definite time saver."
Two issues, however, concerned Pho enough that he ceased emailing with patients for good:
- Some patients either wrote unclear emails or misinterpreted his response, leading to confusion and complications.
- He worried that a diagnosis could be missed whenever an office visit was replaced with email communication.
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