Interview with Jay Parkinson, the web-savvy doctor
Some weeks ago, I wrote about a special physician, a real web-savvy doctor, Jay Parkinson . His patients can contact him by MSN, Google Talk or video chat. Now, he agreed to asnwer some of my questions.
- Why did you decide to be a new kind of physician?
I have a very simple response to this. I grew up with the internet. My practice simply makes sense to me and my generation.
- Have you created your homepage yourself? Are you a web savvy doctor, I mean do you watch actively the medical part of the web?
I did design my website in its totality from the ground up. It went through a few incarnations and took about a month to do working all hours of the day and night. But I like challenging myself with these kind of projects. I’m a photographer as well and much of my web design can be seen in my photography. I think I have a decent sense of composition, color, and style. I took some influence of the design of my site from a Swiss graphic design textbook I found at a local bookstore in Brooklyn. There was this pamphlet shown in this textbook that was in every SwissAir plane in the mid 1950’s about how to survive a plane crash. I guess it was a bit of a metaphor for the US Healthcare System considering we’re slowly crashing.
- For legal reasons, do you store or log the online discussions?
Of course! It’s like having a transcriptionist in the room recording everything I actually say to a patient. I wish I could provide a recording of the interaction to my patients considering patients only remember 10 to 15% of what their doctor says. However, this feature will be available to my patients in about 4 months in their own personal profile on my website. If they forgot what I said, they’ll just log in and press play!
- Please tell us about the feedback of your patients! Do they like your innovative service?
Of course they do! I’m an accessible doctor who has the time to listen to them and treat them with respect. I don’t run an assembly line seeing 50 patients a day. I give them the time they need to feel like they got excellent service. Since I have no office and no supporting staff because I’ve used technology to streamline my processes, I have virtually no overhead allowing me to see less patients a day but manage more patients via the internet. Ninety percent of my fees are straight profit due to technology and mobility. My practice focuses on the consumer experience. Once a patient uses my services, they’re hooked for life. Half of my 250 patients (I’ve only been open since late September 2007 and all are age 18 to 40 and in my immediate 30 block neighborhood) even have insurance and pay cash — only one has contacted me to sign reimbursement papers.
People pay for service even when they have meager incomes. Doctors don’t understand this — mostly because the idea of customer service is so foreign to doctors stuck in a system that pays for volume rather than quality care and consumer experience. My patients are people everyone in the world knows. They are the movers and the shakers. They are the innovators of the world. They are the early adopters. They are the influential people you see and hear about on the news, on the internet, on blogs, in the music world, in the art world, in the advertising world, etc. And they’ve all been hooked on this new kind of doctor.
And we’ve banded together to pull all of our resources together to change healthcare for the better. We’re bringing to healthcare what FedEx, Amazon, Apple, Fresh Direct, Geek Squad, and Whole Foods understand. Keep an eye on the things Myca and I are doing and the people behind what we’re doing. Major things are happening and will be quite the disruptive force in the US Healthcare system. Change isn’t going to come from within the Industry or from the government. It’s going to come from the “little” guys like you and me innovating new ideas and means of delivery.