Are you ready to friend your doctor on Facebook?

When we talk about the next generation of health care, we tend to focus on the issues being bandied about in Washington right now. Will coverage be universal and deliver good care to the poor, the rich, and those in the middle? Will it be publicly funded, privatized or some combination of the two? Will all our doctors have access to digitized versions of our medical records?

But there’s another aspect of medical care that people don’t talk about too much — how can patients get their doctors to be better communicators?

I’m lucky. I don’t have that problem. My internist is an old friend, which means that I have his email address, his cell phone and even his home number. I don’t abuse these things, but I do use them. And it has completely transformed the way I manage my health. I often email him with a quick question that doesn’t require a face-to-face visit.  I don’t use his receptionist for appointments because we usually just make them by email. I save time. And I feel spoiled.

Jay Parkinson, a doctor-turned-health care entrepreneur, wants to deliver the kind of relationship I have with my doctor to anyone who wants it. And he wants to take it a step further, giving patients access to an entire team of doctors all available for online visits and chats, specialist referrals, second opinions. {Read the rest at Yahoo!}

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