Live from Heidelberg - Synthesis of Health 2.0 & Primary Care: The Web Visit

Coming at you from Heidelberg, Germany this week.

Limited access to the web/email as my days are consumed canvassing the city trying every version of streusel and sausage available.

As I prepare for a Dutch hospital visit, however (analyzing a 2006 report on the state of the system - more detailed reviews to follow), I began thinking about how I personally will harness the power of being a customer in a consumer-oriented national system. What a great way to start the new year, no?

How will I find a GP or PCP practitioner in Europe?

Most likely, I will ask for recommendations and then interview potential docs, just as I've done in the States. Of course, as a non-Dutch national, I will have to find out who accepts my new private expat insurance.

A former United Healthcare member, I'm covered now by BUPA.

Lunching on some sort of obscenely delicious vanilla raisin-danish-thing from Grimminger, it occurred to me I'd better find a GP fast (cholesterol test anyone?).

The good new is over 90 percent of the Dutch population has confidence in their GPs and specialists.

As I removed some gooey custard substance from my lip (tough life huh?), the bad news is I caught myself wallowing in a brief moment of self-pity that I wouldn't be able to remain under the care of my PCP and her NP Marie Tarleton, who is one of the most caring and competent HC professionals I've met.

However, recent web coverage of an emerging Health 2.0 phenomenon perked me up considerably (or maybe it was the carbo loading)...although I have to wonder who will follow Aetna's lead and provide incentives for physicians to offer web visits.

If I lived in NYC, I'd hire Jay Parkinson, MD + MPH in a heartbeat.

In fact Jay, if you're reading, I did begin to fill out the "Be My Patient" form, actually hoping you'd accept your first international trial patient, but the website wouldn't let me submit.

Guess I'm significantly out of your demographic range this early in the enterprise, but if you've any interest let me know - I'm game.

So here's the question of the week, perhaps especially relevant for traveling hospital/healthcare executives:

If your doc offered web visits, would you be comfortable using the format? Better yet, would you select a PCP or GP based upon whether the doc offered email and web-based consults?

Or will it be patients like me who push the web visit trend - tech-savvy, laptop and cell-phone only mobile workers who want a doc with open-ended communications and open-ended 'office' hours?

Enough ruminating. I know any doc worth her caduceus would probably tell me to drop the danish and go for walk, so tot ziens dear readers. Sounds like good advice.

See Jay? Maybe this international thing could work...

1 comment:

jayparkinsonmd said...

You wouldn't be the first international patient who has requested my services. The whole field of telemedicine is too infantile to treat patients without having a face to face doctor-patient relationship. It will get there someday. But for now, here's a little hint about what I'm doing:


Thanks for the post. Good luck and be well.