Ordering: Do me a video consultation with a sprinkle of chat
Home News Ordering: Do me a video consultation with a sprinkle of chat

Ordering: Do me a video consultation with a sprinkle of chat

JULY 11, 2024 BHH Members Initiatives

In this follow up blog, BHH member Webcamconsult delves into the parallels between the four pillars of e-commerce—viewing, ordering, payment, and delivery—from which healthcare can learn with regarding to e-health. Drawing on the extensive experience of their CEO in both online shopping and digital healthcare, Webcamconsult explores what e-health can learn from the more advanced e-commerce sector, focusing this time on the concept of ordering.

Ordering in healthcare

At first glance, the idea of "ordering" may seem out of place in healthcare. However, the concept is more nuanced than just clicking a button for a transaction. It encompasses creating interest, making decisions, and ultimately, committing to a choice after thorough consideration.

In the healthcare context, patients often don’t choose their providers or know the costs upfront, unlike in traditional shopping. Prices are not transparent, and there is little emphasis on customer reviews or service comparisons, which are crucial in e-commerce.

Lack of market forces

One significant difference is the absence of market forces in healthcare. Patients usually don't know the costs of services until they receive a bill, making cost-performance comparisons difficult. In contrast, e-commerce thrives on transparency, efficiency, and competition, which drive improvements and cost reductions.

The Dutch Healthcare Authority (NZa) regulates healthcare prices and services in the Netherlands, aiming to control costs and protect patient interests. However, there's no direct link between price and performance, and patients often feel disconnected from the financial aspects of their care.

Opportunities for improvement

Despite its complexities, the healthcare system can benefit from adopting some e-commerce practices. For instance, the digital revolution in e-commerce has led to real-time inventory tracking, efficient delivery systems, and a high level of transparency. Applying similar principles to healthcare could streamline operations and enhance patient experiences.

Currently, healthcare often lacks clarity and efficiency. Patients face long waiting times and limited options for immediate care. A more transparent system, where patients can see doctor availability and make informed choices, could significantly reduce waiting lists and improve access to care.

Empowering patients

Modern society demands more patient control and transparency. As noted by Eric Topol in his book "The Patient Will See You Now," shifting more control to patients can lead to better outcomes and satisfaction. E-health needs to evolve towards greater patient empowerment, offering more accessible and understandable information about healthcare options.

Webcamconsult’s Vision

At Webcamconsult, they believe in harnessing the lessons from e-commerce to improve e-health. Their platform aims to provide clear, accessible, and efficient healthcare solutions, emphasizing patient empowerment and transparency. By integrating video consultations and chat functionalities, Webcamconsult strives to offer a seamless and user-friendly experience, bridging the gap between healthcare and technology.

Stay tuned for the follow up to this blog series, where they will explore the potential of video consultations and chat features in revolutionizing healthcare delivery.

You can read their previous blogs here: Part 1, Part 2.

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