At 57, I see doctors pretty regularly. They take blood, listen to this, look into that. I don't do nearly all they want me to do, but I would like to do more. I understand there's a connection between how I feel and look, and how long I'll live.
I would do more of it, if it integrated with the rest of my life better. Having to wait for returned calls when ever I have to do something with my doctor's office -- so wasteful. Makes me avoid doing things with them. Why can't we use the new communication tools.
While various professions and industries have changed the way they communicate, doctors and their staff have not. For example, there's an app for the iPad from my pharmacy. When it's time to re-order prescription drugs, I don't have to call anyone, or wade through a voicemail tree, I just click a few buttons on a couple of screens, and the meds are waiting at the pharmacy down the street.
But if for some reason they have to talk to the doctor, it all reverts to faxes and phone tag. The contrast is stark. The doctors themselves probably don't have to deal with it, but they do have to pay for the human beings who implement all the steps manually, when they could do it with websites and email. And their patients have to deal with it too. BTW. :-)
I'm sure there are doctors that use the new communication tools. Does yours?
My doctor claimed that he was not allowed to do this because of security concerns. This should be something that would be easy to fix. Maybe the US Postal service should start offering a seure email service.
Duke Medicine has its HealthView patient portal. I was just on there this morning, checking my past cholesterol levels, seeing how often I've taken my daughters in for strep tests, and checking for the X-rays of my daughter's foot from this week (just a sprained toe, thank goodness). I've scheduled and rescheduled appointments, as well. And more functionality is coming with a new electronic health record system.