What if doctors' offices were run like beauty salons? There could be many benefits for both patients and physicians.
Medical students have many diverse backgrounds. At my school, one of the most common undergraduate degrees is engineering. Some have already created and sold their software companies before going into medicine. Suppose one of those students was a cosmetologist or hair stylist before medical school? Here's how they would practice:
1. They would buy or rent a space and sublet the other booths to independent contractors or those in the gig economy.
2. The space would be in a convenient, upscale storefront, preferably in a mixed-use space, to accommodate drop-in business.
3. There would be no costly receptionist or front office staff.
4. All appointments would be done online using Schedulicity.
5. All records would be kept on a mobile phone.
6. Prepayment information would be included on the scheduling site. Prepayment is not just for the small numbers choosing retainercare. Amazon does it. Starbucks does it on their app. Even some gas stations do it. In fact, if you pay in cash, you save 5%. “Buy groceries at King Soopers and get $0.03 off every gallon of gas.”
7. The signage and marketing would be tasteful and impactful.
8. There would be no voicemail. Everything would be done online or via texting, with the exception of an emergency scheduling line. The expectation is that the doctor won't get back to you until there is a gap between patients.
9. They will offer "product" after your visit to be added to your bill.
10. The payment information would be swiped into a peripheral on their cell phone.
There are many benefits to this model for patients. I'm not sure the feature that adds a 15%, 18%, or 20% tip would work, but who knows? Things are changing quickly in medical practice.