Friday, April 14, 2006

Dr. Bill Crounse: Healthcare self-service offers patients the conveniences they've come to expect

Dr. Bill Crounse: Healthcare self-service offers patients the conveniences they've come to expect: "Time is ripe to personalize healthcare. The Internet is a valuable tool to personalize healthcare. With access to pertinent information, patients actively participate in their own care, manage their wellness, and make better health decisions. Ultimately, this can lead to increased compliance to treatment regimes, a healthier population, and potentially lower costs for all. These advancements couldn't come at a more opportune time. There are many factors in today's healthcare setting that prompt the need for patient self-service. Exorbitant healthcare costs have dramatically impacted consumers, providers, and health plans, leaving more Americans uninsured and more providers grappling for reimbursements from services provided. Chronic disease is one of the root causes in these rising costs, accounting for approximately � of all healthcare spending. With an aging population and more individuals in need of care, the system will be strained even further, especially in underserved rural communities with inadequate medical resources.

Patient self-service creates positive ripple effect

Patient self-service would have a positive impact on all entities in the healthcare system, much like the effect in the airline, financial, and shipping industries. Within the confines of a hospital or clinic, patients would spend less time waiting and enjoy more time with clinicians. From their homes, patients can register for appointments in advance and/or access medical records and other health-relevant information. Providers benefit through reduced risk of liability, increased productivity of personnel, more streamlined processes, fewer medical errors, and reduced redundancy in data entry. These benefits translate into savings in time and money, high-quality care, and satisfied patients."

So why aren't we doing this ?

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