Thursday, February 11, 2010

Physician Business Ideas: Helping Physicians Leap Into The Net

A few days ago, I ran a blog consisting of a message from Nicos Kakavoulis, MD.

He was describing a physician-patient website, called . He and his “team” developed the site, “ a physician/patient scheduling platform,” to help doctors and patients schedule appointments.

I was intrigued. The central purpose of this blog is to help doctors increase efficiency, productivity, profitability, and, if you’ll pardon a polysyllabic mouthful, connectiveness with patients.

Doctors and patients are having a hard time connecting with each other.

Doctors are short on time, aren’t paid to answer phone calls, are swamped with patients, are trying to cope with higher expenses and lower reimbursements, and suffer income losses when patients don’t show up for appointments or cancel at the last minute.

Patients are frustrated. They may have to wait interminably on the phone to speak to a nurse or doctor. And waiting times to see a doctor are lengthening , as shown in these wait times to see a doctor in Boston.

Average Time To Schedule a Doctor Appointment
Boston, Massachusetts

Days Spent Waiting to See A Doctor

Obstetrics/Gynecology 70 days
Family Practice 63 days
Dermatology 54 days
Orthopedic Surgery 40 days
Cardiology 21 days

Source: Merritt Hawkins & Associates 2009 Survey of Physician Appointment Wait Times

To make a short story long, I called Dr. Kakavoulis to get his side of the story. He is a 31 year old graduate of King’s College in London and a recent graduate of a Columbia University’s MBA program. He and his MBA colleagues have developed They have been working on for nine months and went public for doctors in December.

In doing their research, they were amazed to find that 80% of doctors had no online presence. They also found patients in New York City were having difficulties setting up doctor appointments, and increasing number of patients were cancelling appointments at the last moment.

He said, “So we launched It’s an online scheduler for doctors and patients. We have a web interface. Patients can find available appointments from doctors in their area. Doctors are happy with it. And we are working on integrating with EMR platforms. Also we have built minisites for doctors, an online basic page for their practices. Doctors can quickly build elegant, customized websites for themselves. We give them a unique URL with their name. I was amazed to find more than 80% of New York City doctors have no online presence. The cost for doctors to join is $49.95 for solo practitioners and $39.95 for groups. We want to help make doctors’ practices more efficient, and to help patients find available slots.”

Look at it this way. is an electronic safetynet for doctors who have not yet leaped into the Net.

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