When you showed up at the hotel on your last vacation, did you have to fill out any information about yourself? For example, where you live, your phone number, or your credit card information? Probably not. You just said your name and gave them your driver’s license and credit card. In return, they said, “Sign here please,” for paperwork that says, “I will not destroy my room,” and gave you your room key. These steps all occurred while asking you how your trip was, why you were there and was there anything they could do to make your stay more enjoyable.
It has been a long time since hotels had new arrivals filling out all their personal information when they came in the door. We have been filling this all out online or over the phone for years. The hotels have our contact information and our payment information before we ever arrive. In most cases, if you don’t show or cancel in time they use that information to charge you a fee. Why aren’t we doing this in healthcare? It is expected everywhere else. Hotels, car rentals, sometimes even restaurants for large reservations. What makes the doctor’s office so different? What can we do to make it easier for our patients and ourselves?