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Reforming Delivery
Your Health Care Experience Will Get Better

New services like ZocDoc and InQuicker allow patients to sign up for spots at specialists, doctor’s offices, or even emergency rooms through an online platform that lists available time-slots. This facilitates other kinds of conveniences. ERs that use these services, for example, will text patients to come later if the spot they requested becomes unavailable. The response has been enthusiastic on all sides:

Jersey City Medical Center and its two urgent care centers rolled out InQuicker two years ago and use grew quickly. Together, they draw roughly 300 patients a month — 70 percent of them new patients — through InQuicker and their own site.

“It’s helped a lot with patient satisfaction,” says operations chief Kirat Kharode. His ER’s average wait to see a doctor is 35 minutes, versus 15 or less with a reservation.

This is just one small example of how technology could not only improve health care but make our lives in general less stressful. America is full of people striving to invent things that make everyday life more convenient. Those inventions will take longer to percolate through some systems than through others. Restaurants have been using Open Table for years now, and health care is only now catching up. But hospitals and doctors who have adopted the system find it helps them attract clients, suggesting that once technologies like this get a foothold market forces will make other providers adopt them. However haltingly and incompletely, we will see more and more of these developments in the future—and they can come not soon enough to our bankrupt, inefficient, insanely dysfunctional health care system.

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  • Boritz

    My prescription provider had a link on their website for prescription renewal. Just click here and we will contact your doctor and get the renewal. It didn’t happen. When I didn’t get my renewal (no status available) I called my doctor’s office they said, Oh, we don’t work that way. You have to call us. Hmmmm. The prescription website didn’t offer any caveats. There was a panel to fill out and a button to click and a confirmation message. It all looked so good there on the screen, like a seamless point of service to make my life easier. Expect this: There will be lots of loose ends and some participants will not play.

  • Andrew Allison

    “. . .and they can come not soon enough to our bankrupt, inefficient, insanely dysfunctional health care system.” You can say that again (and again, and . . .). If the Nanny state really wanted to do something useful, as opposed to the enriching hospitals and insurance company profits (the primary fresult of ACA) for patients, it would require that Urgent Care and Hospital recipients of taxpayer largesse participate in such services. Currently, participation is quite low. Note the exclusion of the primary care provider, who needs the task of integrating his or her appointment schedule with such a service like a hole in the head.

    • ljgude

      Yes, I think this is an overly optimistic article. Computer scheduling can increase efficiency, but this doesn’t look like reducing costs. Just taking another bite out of the healthcare dollar. I remember hearing a Clinton era HEW type saying back in ’99 that 50 cents of every healtcare dollar was spent before it read=ched anyone with medical training. Plus ca change

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