Thinking Outside the Box to Improve Practice Management

Younger physicians are driving the search for innovative practice management tools that provide greater flexibility and support for new business models.

I was scouting the Medicine 2.0 website for information regarding the upcoming fall program, and saw that a summit is being offered this year as a separate event. The Stanford Summit is bringing thought leaders together to discuss ideas within the context of themes in a TED-style format, which I think will be interesting.

One of the first things that I noticed when scrolling down the list of speakers was how young they all are. No longer are we in the day and age when transformation in the way we live and work come from age and experience. Generations just don’t see, feel, and experience life in the same way. This has always been true, but technology has amplified the gap, and we’re living in a time when our social and professional experiences can be profoundly impacted by 20-something-year-olds with a good idea.

And so, I suspect, it will go with medicine as younger generations graduate and find the traditional medical model of practice not much to their liking. While my generation is at work trying to create technology to support the business of medicine, they are looking at a smorgasbord of tools -- some created without medicine in mind -- and choosing them based not on how the tools support the traditional medical model, but how they want to live their lives.

Case in point is pediatrician Jay Parkinson, MD, who leveraged tools such as Google calendar, PayPal, e-mail, IM, and video chat to run his practice. He’s since worked with Myca Health, Inc. to package his ideas for flexible practice management in a solution called Hello Health, an online EHR offering that can be used to qualify for meaningful use incentives.

If you take a quick look at the demos, you’ll note that Hello Health can support the traditional medical practice, but it’s flexible enough to allow the practitioner to define his or her own business processes. And part of this is due to Parkinson’s desire to leverage his iPhone.

And as other graduates hit the ground running, I’m waiting with anticipation to see where the revolution is going to go.