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Technology, to many healthcare professionals can be a dirty word. As our healthcare workforce ages like the rest of Australia we sometimes feel out of touch with the rest of the world, especially when it comes to technology advancement.

Many practitioners, myself included when I was actively practicing, are too busy to learn every new ‘fad’ and participate in every new social media site that arises. Most healthcare practitioners feel that the healthcare industry is about personal relationships, the rapport between practitioner and patient is paramount. How then does technology fit into the equation? Technology often removes the ‘human’ element so how can it help make healthcare better?

Technology in healthcare is advancing rapidly,

…the world (of healthcare IT) is going to change faster in the next 2 years than it has done in the last 20 years…”

Healthcare is only now encountering the beginnings of the digital tsunami headed its way, it is an industry that has time to adapt. Other industries have not been so lucky, without the strong shield of ‘rapport and relationship’ that healthcare has other industries such as retail have had to adapt or become extinct. In business the saying “the customer is always right’ is synonymous with service. And service has to adapt with the way the customer wants to be served. Companies like Kodak, a 100 year old company that failed to change, have been engulfed in the digital tsunami. Just this week Fairfax and News Ltd have announced massive structural changes in their company structures to become more online.

1stAvailable is a technology company that takes its relationship with the healthcare industry seriously. Involving and consulting with healthcare practitioners involved in the development of the system is a critical part of the company’s strategy, introducing our service must never violate the fundamentals of best practice, serious issues such as continuity of care and misuse of services by doctor shoppers are just some of the topics we have consulted about.

At 1stAvailable we do not claim to ‘fix’ the healthcare industry but we are listening and what we hear is people saying they want to access healthcare appointments online. That’s why we are not just another ‘advertising and listing’ site, we provide actual available appointments with healthcare providers that bests suit a persons needs. We help to connect healthcare professionals with their patients, be they new or existing patients. What we healthcare providers often forget or deny is that our patients are also our customers, we don’t own the relationship alone. They choose to see us, they choose to be loyal and they can as easily choose not to be. One argument that is hard to refute is that people always choose to make things easier.

Dr Rick Luu, Non-Executive Director and Founder

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