I was talking about EMR adoption with a few practices this week and was extremely surprised to hear two diametrically opposing views related to Practice Websites.
I try to emphasize the importance of getting and implementing not just for clinical documentation and workflow and meaningful use incentives, but as a way to help improve your practice efficiency and workflow. We all feel that we have no problems with our office workflow, efficiency, and staff. But that, in my view and experience is a myopic view and there is always room for improvement. You do not want to stagnate. The world around us is changing.
Talking of change, this is precisely where the two opposing views came into play.
“We feel we don’t need a Practice website. It encourages patients to ‘shop around’ for doctors. We are in a smaller community, we’ve been here so long that our patients know us, and we get more patients just from referrals. We are a busy practice”.
“We need a Practice Website that is not only attractive to our existing and prospective patients, but we need the ability to optimize the pages for search engines so that when people ‘google’ the kind of services we provide, we should come on top of search engines.”
Wow – diametrically opposing views wouldn’t you say?
I don’t want to overanalyze this, but all I will say is, that the world is changing so fast, so make sure you don’t get caught flat-footed. Remember when the mom-and-pop local convenience store said ‘I’m not afraid, we are in a small community and people know us’? The owners of these now-defunct stores are perhaps shopping for their own stuff at the local Walmart.
At the very least, keep an open eye, and get technology that prepares you for the future. You don’t have to use everything that it may have to offer to begin with, but when you are ready, when the world is ready, you have the tools.