Dr. Brest Rosenblum runs a solo family practice in Aspinwall, Pennsylvania, that hearkens back to the days before healthcare, like law, became a business. When Dr. Rosenblum’s patients arrive at the office, he greets them in the waiting room and takes down their intake information himself. After hours, when Dr. Rosenblum isn’t available, his patients can reach him directly on his personal cell phone and likewise, access their records. Or, they just might run into him at the local coffee shop.
Dr. Rosenblum isn’t a 90 year old anachronism practicing in a modern medical world. Quite the contrary. Dr. Rosenblum is 45 years old, and he’s way ahead of most of his peers in using technology to transform his practice. As the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette describes, Dr. Rosenblum employs 21st century technology to improve his efficiency and make him more accessible to patients. Dr. Rosenblum’s office is entirely paperless, which saves money on physical storage space and obviates the need for a billing clerk. Moreover, by submitting insurance paperwork electronically, Dr. Rosenblum gets paid faster. And with his state-of-the art cloud-based records management system, which features a client portal, Dr. Rosenblum’s patients can access their medical records at any time or anyplace, a significant benefit if they ever suffer a medical emergency while out of town.
Dr. Rosenblum spends about $700 a month to contract with a vendor for the technology systems that he uses to run his office. But the technology gives him a far greater return on his investment: the ability to spend time with, and build a relationship with his patients.
All too often, we lawyers forget that technology carries this promise. Many lawyers run from technology, either distrusting its accuracy or fearing that it will make their work more complicated. Other lawyers are so bullish on technology that they turn themselves into robots, automating processes and churning out forms to make more money with less effort. Yet both of these groups – the luddites and the futurists – overlook the best and highest use of technology for lawyers: the ability to free ourselves up so that we can be more human in our relationships with our clients.