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Chicken Scratch, Mortars, and Health Care

Improving the health care experience

by Chad Cox

If you examine my signature, you might think I was a doctor in health care. I'm not, but my signature might lead you in that direction as my signature looks nothing like my name, it's basically "chicken scratch". My signature looks as it does from working in the arms room when I was in the US Army. I was responsible for a few million dollars worth of sensitive military equipment; from night vision devices to communications equipment to mortars. I had to sign out most of the equipment whenever our company had an exercise. Much like a medical doctor, I become very efficient at signing my name, over and over again. I’m stunned by how often I still have to put my chicken scratch signature on a piece of paper. Here at Appointment Launch, one thing we are trying to do is reduce paper work, reduce chicken scratch signatures, and improve the overall health care experience, both for patient and provider.

If you have ever bought a house, you may have experienced writers cramp and needed a new pen, because your first pen ran out of ink, signing all the loan documents. It seems like, in this day and age, there should be a better way. I'm also surprised how much paper work I have to do when I see a health care provider, especially if I am a new patient. Though there have been some advancements in this area, a few online forms here and there, kiosks; there is still a lot which could be improved.

This leads me to some shameless self promotion of our flagship application, Appointment Launch. We truly are trying to make the patient work flow a lot simpler; both for the patient and the health care provider. This starts with electronic forms with prefilled information. Patients should not have to put their name and contact information on a bunch of paper forms and then sign things over and over and over. This is not the military. These are patients needing care. Why are we still using paper forms? I don't understand. There really is a better way.

Honestly, if all our Appointment Launch application did was get rid of paper forms at health care providers' offices, I would say we have accomplished something grand. Our app does that and so much more. I would love to share more, but I really want to know what you, as a patient or provider, would like to see improved in the overall health care experience? Is it streamlined flow, better education, better communication, or something else? Share in the comments below.