How speed dating can help the doctor patient relationship

Not literally, of course.

In an interesting marketing concept, some would call it a gimmick, a Texas hospital is utilizing speed dating concepts to match patients with obstetricians.

I like it.

As chronicled by the American Medical News, here’s what happens:

It involves setting aside a room for two 30-minute sessions over the lunch hour. About five or six physicians sit at tables while a dozen or so potential patients rotate through. Every five minutes, [hospital marketing specialist] Forbus signals patients to move to the next doctor. There is no cost to patients, and doctors do not get paid for their time.

It’s a worthwhile investment for doctors, who can gain 3 to 4 new patients in one hour. That’s not bad.

But it’s also a great opportunity for patients. There are a variety of primary care practice styles — ranging from those who are more terse, yet stay on time, to those who take more time with patients, but tend to run late — and it’s important for patients to find a doctor who’s their ideal match.

Using a speed dating-like setting is a novel way for patients to get a glimpse of their potential doctor’s personality. It’s certainly much easier than scheduling an appointment simply to meet the physician.

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