I went to the Alta Bates Medical Center in Berkeley on Friday to talk to someone knowledgeable about medical directives. After being turned down/ redirected by three different people, I finally found someone at the hospital who was willing to talk. Keiisha Norman is the supervisor for the Patient Access department where she has experience talking to patients when they first arrive at the hospital and before they the leave. She asks every patient who comes in to fill out a medical directive and has a physician consult with them through the process. In her opinion, having a medical directive is very important and most people do not have one because they are unaware of the problem.
Being in the medical industry, she understands this problem first hand and tried searching for online resources to plan her medical directives. Unfortunately, the information was scattered and there really wasn’t a place that had organized all of the important documents into one location. She mentioned that LegalZoom is in the document creation business but they do not provide a comprehensive solution for some to complete their medical directive or other end of life wishes. She would be interested in using this service for her mother who is in her 60s. She believes that there should be a choice between a subscription model and a fixed price for the premium feature, because depending on a person’s age, they may expect to live for a certain number of years. If they are too young, then a high annual subscription might turn them off.
She thinks that if we can create a very reliable and easy to use system, the hospital may use our website to extract important information on medical directives and may refer their patients to our resources. They currently refer their patients to State provided guidelines and service. Before the hospital can officially endorse us, we need present our case to their compliance department to make sure that the wording is appropriate to be handed out on behalf of the hospital (there is a lot of liability involve for the hospital). Although this may be a fairly difficult process, it could be a potential strategy for the future if we want to use the hospital as a channel to reach new customers.
When doing a cold approach at a hospital, expect to get turn down about 3 times before someone is willing to speak with you.
The hospital and physician may be a channel to reach new customers.