Who Is A Healthcare Professional?

When you view the About section on the Doximity website, you find the following:

“About Doximity, Inc.

Our hope

A timely lab result, the right referral, a quick phone consult — we have all seen that better communication can result in meaningfully better   patient outcomes. In an age of competing health systems and disconnected “data silos,” we hope that Doximity can help connect the people that matter most — the professionals at the point-of-care.”

The fact that a group is taking a stab at this I am greatly excited about.  I’m equally ecstatic that Doximity is serious in their mission to provide exclusivity in regard to whom has access to privileged communication within the platform (meaning direct messaging and expanded contact info beyond phone #’s).  Trust me, I know.  I got denied access.  Don’t mistake the tone I am trying to set for this post.  No sarcasm is intended when I say I am happy that the platform is exclusive.  Yeah, I gave it my best shot to get privileges and got denied.  Though I was not surprised at the denial.   In my pitch to Doximity technical support to allow me access I included the following:

“My interests lie in healthcare innovation, to include my curiosity at how social media networks and EMR will be affected by ever changing technology.   Finding out what physicians are talking about in reference to these topics is where my greatest motivation lies for joining your group.  By knowing what physicians value and need in reference to these topics will allow me to better serve them as I communicate mental health treatment issues of their patients.”

I think that many healthcare professionals work under the same assumption as I do in that Doximity is a start; a beginning.  We are not sure of how long this beta platform will be around, though it is these groups that have the potential at defining the evolution of the concept itself, and that is why we follow closely.   My effort at getting as much “inside the machine” as I could was my way of observing this beast of possibility.  I intend for the aforementioned body of this post to be an introduction to your reading the letter I wrote to Doximity technical support after being denied privileged communication.  My purpose in writing Doximity was not to take a jab at their policy, but to encourage discussion on which healthcare professionals are excluded from privileged communication within the platform, and how this exclusion may affect Doximitys’ optimal level of success at achieving meaningfully better patient outcomes.  The unedited text is as follows.  Thank you for reading my post, and I welcome your comments, as igniting a discussion is my true purpose in writing:

“Doximity,

Thank you for consideration, time, and research involved with my request and for relaying results.  I certainly fully understand why I am denied privileged access to certain functionality within your Doximity platform.  A point of consideration and related discussion for your organization may be in how mental health treatment / related organizations and individuals could play a role in your mission.

A Psychiatrist may be able to achieve privileged status on your platform, while a Geriatric Clinician / Admissions Director for an inpatient psychiatric unit, such as myself (resume attached), would not.  Consider the value of a quick consult between someone doing admission assessments having been referred to do so by physicians, psychiatrists, RN’s, nurse practitioners, etc.

There are thousands of Mental Health Clinicians out there beating the streets in “road warrior” style having to call and interrupt physicians providing treatment throughout the day gathering information, requesting lab results, relaying results of home assessments, etc.  What a service it would be for them to connect with physicians in such a way as you have created.

I see the value of restricting your site to physicians only, and am actually thrilled to see it actively being done (by my own experience in being denied privileged access!).  So in this sense, keep pushing people like me away.  Though, keep in mind, as you will inevitably be challenged by much more pushy people with marketing interests, that there are people out there like me; A Mental Health Clinician with a great knowledge of behavioral medicine, though no doctorate degree to account for my knowledge and expertise in communicating with medical professionals during the process of either accepting or denying patients referred for treatment.

I ask that you review your statement found in the “About” section of your website to decide for yourself if anything I’ve said rings true :

“A timely lab result, the right referral, a quick phone consult — we have all seen that better communication can result in meaningfully better patient outcomes. In an age of competing health systems and disconnected “data silos,” we hope that Doximity can help connect the people that matter most — the professionals at the point-of-care.”

Being that your mission is to serve “the professionals at the point-of-care” …you have got me there.  Though considering my viewpoint may give you a perspective of a role often overlooked.

Thank you,

Jason Young, MS

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