Wednesday, January 27, 2010

iPhone Increases Patient Satisfaction

Ok, this isn't by any stretch a scientific study. But let's think about it for a moment: when was the last time you were happy while waiting to see your doctor?

When I was a kid of course we were doomed to the eternal germ infested copy of Southern Living or Car & Driver that had been donated by the local physician (identified by the Sharpie covered mailing label). Residency brought the AA battery driven casino game. But now we have the iPhone!

Today, not to say that this is typical (some of my staff might argue), but I ran a little behind in my schedule. A little....might be 40 minutes. But before I get labeled as one of those doctors who think "my time is more important" than my patients, I really do try to stay on schedule...but that's a topic for another blog entry.

I noticed today in an informal observation that patients who had an iPhone were consistently more happy and patient while sitting in a paper gown than those with other kinds of phones, particularly the non-smart phone crowed.

iPhone users were busily sliding their finger through apps ranging from Bejeweled to TweetDeck. Blackberry users were a close second, but most of them seemed to be preoccupied with being away from the office...that is, they were working while sitting in the paper gown.

I was quite proud of my observation and would recommend to any prospective patient that there is no better way to wait than using the mindless energy consuming bandwidth of AT&T with your iPhone.

I did mention this to a patient at the end of the day, and he smartly remarked that I might need to be careful. The next app might just be a waiting room timer. Not what I wanted to hear.

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