Why are My Doctors So Behind the Times When it Comes to Technology?

 

Just tried to make an appointment on my doctor’s patient portal and it was DISMAL. I would be more forgiving if my doctor were ancient but she’s in her early 50s.

This is the experience I encountered:

  •  Logged on to her system, expected to see available appointments.
  • The site shows all dates and times – but doesn’t distinguish between those that are available and those already booked.
  • You are literally looking for a needle in a haystack.
  • To find an open appointment, you have to click on every single time/day until you run into an available time. Yikes.

I finally called her office to schedule an appointment (how last century is that?). When I see her later this month I will make a plea for zocdoc, or another similar service.

These are such little things, really minor annoyances, but they make a huge difference in providing efficient, seamless experiences. And they definitely affect my perception of the service provider. Neo-Luddism is not my thing.

Read on below for more on this, along with examples of businesses getting it right.

 

My dentist is a little better but his website was built without responsive design i.e. it doesn’t adjust to my laptop screen size.

  • Result? The appointment icon is dangling off the page where I can’t click on it.

My hairdresser – a rare bright spot.

  •  Her salon is on it.
  • If you’re an existing client, you can make an appointment online with your usual stylist/colorist.
  • The site clearly indicates that stylist’s open days and also shows what services you’ve previously booked. It prompts you about whether you’d like to book same or different. That’s very handy.

Overall, my experience with doctors, dentists and lawyers has shown them to be extremely opposed to consumer-facing technology.

  •  They don’t get how much more efficient it is for their patients/clients if they can get in touch online vs. having to make a phone call.

Conversely, my accountants are more tech-forward, providing many helpful tax services online (most likely because banks have been on the vanguard of online banking).

My first preference is always online. I almost always find it more convenient as opposed to trying to take care of an issue in-person or by phone.

Think about it, what do you prefer?

  •  Wait in line for a bank teller or use an ATM?

And now a big shout out to those companies who provide outstanding online services and in the process have made us less tolerant of anything sub-par.

  •  Warby Parker
  • CityMD (urgent care clinic)
  • Uber app
  • Venmo
  • Apple (although I initially grumbled about having less access to in-store geniuses, I now prefer to handle problems online with chat)

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