Last week I attended the E-Patients Connect 2011 conference and the DV-NJHIMSS conference. I got to notice the juxtaposition between the e-patients and the Health IT folks. And the message I came out with is our humanity. On a personal level we’re all the same: good and bad together, usually meaning well. We often discuss about the others as groups: the doctors, the patients, the HIT folks, and these groups seem to lose the humanity: “the doctors are always late”, “the e-patients are taking too much of our time”, “the doctors are the most resistant to change”, etc. I got to experience the humanity of Seth Godin and John Halamka, both my favorite morning blog read.
At the e-patients talk there were very few doctors and healthcare systems represented. So there was quite a bit of talk about them as a group. But then, the very next day, I got to meet them in person. And they were nice and friendly and ready to listen to others and ready to learn and having a lot to teach too. When you see them in person, one by one, they just lose all the group qualifications.
Seth was mentioning that one reason to keep a good receptionist in a physician’s office instead of replacing her with a voicemail robot is to keep the humanity in and attract the patient. He’s so right! In our favorite dentist’s office, the receptionist knows all about us. She’s nice and friendly and only adds more value to an excellent dentist.
I know that blogs are technical and they put a barrier to face to face online communication, but when there is no time for personal connections, personalized blogs will bring the humanity of the doctor out and will help patients understand more about the person. We generally like the people we meet, not so much the groups.
The mailman just delivered the book End Malaria. It’s beautiful and I will give it away at my talk at NJ/DV HIMSS conference in Atlantic City on September 22: We want you! Doctors 2.0 – A Physician-Patient Relationships through Blogs and Social Networking.
I discovered today that Doctors 2.0 is a trade mark – I did not realize that and I apologize for using the name. It is a European conference that is discussing social media in healthcare environments. It looks quite interesting!
Back to End Malaria – it’s a book published by Seth Godin’s The Domino Project. It contains articles from 62 business thinkers pushing you to rethink the way you work. All proceeds go to the non-profit Malaria no more. When we buy a book the non-profit will send two mosquito nets to Africa. The articles are written by well-known book writers and are really inspiring. They are not talking about malaria, but about doing good work, achieving goals, and being the best you can.
Why did I buy this book for you? Because I want to share my passion for stepping over the fear and the status quo and making a difference for the people that are important for doctors: the patients. Yes, writing blogs will take time and it will require some thinking. But ultimately it will help overcome the disease that plagues us: the lack of communication and relationships between doctors and patients. It’s not THE solution, it’s just a start to let us know more about our doctors and open up another channel of communication.
Seth Godin writes one of the most popular blogs. he made me appreciate that marketing can be honest, that openness is valuable. The blog posts are short, but he writes at least once a day and there’s a valuable idea each day. Give it a try! Seth’s Godin’s latest project is the Domino Project. He promotes the best business books, and they often come free on Kindle for the first month or so. Well worth following! After reading a few of these books for free, you too will want to pay for a book like End Malaria. It is well worth.
And BTW, if you care about patients and healthcare and coming to Atlantic City, you can spend the prior two days in Philadelphia and hear Seth Godin and other amazing speakers present at the ePatients 2011 conference!
E-Patient conference in Philadelphia on September 20-21
And then NJ DV HIMSS conference in Atlantic City on September 22-23
– … and my talk about blogging for physicians
If I had to create my dream week, it would look just like this! Really exciting week! I should come back with lots of positive energy and ready to get things done! I will try to blog and tweet as much as possible.