Saturday, January 19, 2013

Is technology making patients impatient - The Dentist Experience

My son is studying in Mysore and we were looking for a dentist for him.   So we called our family dentist in Bangalore and got a good reference.  The first visit was quite satisfactory including the ease of parking at his clinic so I also fixed myself for the yearly check up at Mysore instead of Bangalore.

On the appointment date we happily reached the clinic on time (thanks to zero traffic and enough parking space).  The doctor was not in, so we got ourselves settled nicely in the air-conditioned waiting area with bunch of magazines and newspapers.  After few minutes my son asked the receptionist about the time the doctor is expected.  She said that usually he comes by this time but she was not sure why the doctor is late today and she was not able to reach him on his mobile.

My son pulled out his smartphone and I thought he is going to post an update on his facebook page "@ dentist…" with some pictures of him sitting in the clinic or the reception area but he was sending a text to the dentist asking when will he reach.  After few minutes when there was no reply he looked little impatient and he again pulled out his smartphone and this time opened his facebook page asking his friends if they knew any other dentist in that area.  While waiting for the response from his friends he googled on dentists in that area with ratings of 4.5 and above. He then stepped out and called just dial to get details of dentists with similar ratings from their database. He then compared the replies from his friends, google data and just dial data (mobility and analytics in action). He then came to me and said,  Dad there are 2 dentist equally good available nearby and can we check if they are available instead of waiting ?

With the data he shared I too was tempted to look for an alternate but I went into a comparison of a similar experience with my Dad when we use to visit our family dentist Dr.Gokhale in Mumbai.  There was no air-conditioned waiting area or a receptionist to receive us at that time.  Instead of air-condition there was a hamaara bajaj fan which over the years had changed from white color to yellow and then brown with built in music of bearings with every oscillation.  The compounder (derived from the word compound which means a composite of many) was a compound of multiple roles viz. care taker of the clinic, cleaner of doctor’s car, assistant to the doctor, receptionist etc.  There were no magazines or newspapers that Dr. Gokhale would subscribe for the patients except the one’s that he would get from his free conferences. The same set of magazines were there till he went to the next free conference or till the white papers turned yellow with edges torn from all sides. Yet at that time patients were not impatient with no smartphones, no facebook, no just dial, no google…

So I was thinking is technology  making the patients impatient ?

Besides technology what else do you think is making the patients impatient ?

What about our customers who we may loose like the dentist in Mysore may have lost his customer for not keeping in communication thru his channel – the receptionist in this case ?

2 Comments:

At January 19, 2013 at 11:15 PM , Blogger sid bhattacharjee said...

Great example Yogesh. Technology drives knowledge of choices. Good , in a way that you have alternatives. While Dr Gokhale, may have been good , knowledge of who was better was limited. The wheel between expectations driven by availability and tolerance to accept is getting inversely proportional in India. It is really about the rate of change. However, even in the present times, we do have loyalty - driven by relationships , but always put to test by experience.I think that technology does play a part in setting standards but if it does not translate into better quality experience, change will not take place.

 
At March 10, 2013 at 10:18 PM , Blogger Learn Share and Care said...

Yes and that is a journey we have to carefully travel thru.

 

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