By Abby S. Van Voorhees, MD, October 01, 2012
There is a sentence in this month’s story about our online reputations that really resonated with me. A nationwide survey of all Internet users found that while only 4 percent of users posted a review of a physician online, 80 percent of users (which translates to 59 percent of all U.S. adults) seek health information online, whether it’s reading the experiences of others, watching medical-related videos, or finding others with similar medical concerns.” How is it that 4 percent talk and 80 percent of us listen?
Truthfully I can’t remember a single time that I ever posted a review about anything. Even survey requests which come by the hour about almost everything seem burdensome is there an entity in the ICD-10 list for survey fatigue? So I really shouldn’t be surprised about the power of those who take the time to do what I don’t. It is remarkable, though, how we all read those limited number of reviews and take them to heart, basing our decisions on them. Positive reviews are easy. Always fun to hear someone write that we were so caring or our office staff was so helpful. But it is even more critical to understand how to handle the less-than-complimentary ones in our technological age. I think that the approach outlined in our piece — acceptance and adjustment — makes good sense. Realizing that people will make comments both good and bad online for the entire world to see is the first half of the equation. The second half is taking the information and utilizing it to make our practices better. [pagebreak]
I hope that you find our piece on national politics of value. No matter whether you are a political junkie or a novice, this election season will be critical for medicine...change is clearly coming regardless of the outcomes. Jack Resneck Jr., MD, tells us that some of these changes will mostly likely be the same no matter who is elected. For other issues such as Medicare payment reform, the future of IPAB, and tanning regulation, the future is murky. The results of this election therefore will be critical to our practices. We trust that you’ll find our dermatology-focused perspective of interest.
My other favorite piece this month is on photography. Being able to utilize cameras in our practices has seemed so simple in the past. Take a picture, print it out, file it in the patient’s chart — all done. However, as offices become computerized, the potential to incorporate these pictures in the patients’ charts has become compelling, but also increasingly complicated. Photo capturing and photo storage are the new buzzwords. This is really going to help you sort out all the tools and technologies that are available whether you use an EHR or not.
Don’t want to leave you with the impression I was not a fan of the other stories this month. They have lots I think that you’ll want to read too. There is a piece on when to use the 25 modifier vs. the 57 modifier, a very timely piece on military derm, as well as one on the considerations of hiring physician extenders. Lots to chew on.
Enjoy your reading.