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The joys of impersonal appointment-making

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This service will be offered by most physician groups within the next few years:

Summa Health, of Akron, Ohio, has started a new appointment-scheduling service that lets patients schedule themselves online.

The  service,, lets patients  see  doctors’ schedules in real time, select an open slot and schedule their appointments. The service also lets patients see provider qualifications, patient reviews and offers  other  tools for finding providers who might best fit their needs.

This sounds handy, except for those (human) staffers who have been providing this service. Presumably many will be laid off.  Savings from that will accrue to to doctors. And patients may find the consequent lack of human contact in dealing with a physicians office unpleasant.

However so-called concierge medicine, aimed at the affluent, will continue to have full human staffing.

Summa is pitching the  scheduling service, powered by Zocdoc, as improving the patient experience by eliminating time-consuming phone calls, and helping patients make  appointments with Summa Health providers 24/7. The service also sends e-mail and text reminders to patients about upcoming appointments — already a common service in many practices.

To read a Cleveland Plain Dealer article on this, please hit this link.

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