Yesterday was a busy, busy day. I had several scheduled home visits and a couple of same day add ons with some favorite patients. It was nice to reconnect with the families that I haven’t seen in a while. Near the end of the day I met with Tim Smith the president of Skidmore Inc, a creative marketing firm in Royal Oak http://www.skidmorestudio.com/we/index.html. I have been searching for a web designer who can listen to what I am interested in doing and not try to pigeon hole me into a template whether it be a medical website or a lifestyle website. I have met with a freelancer, a medium sized local firm, and a big national firm that specializes in medical sites and didn’t feel that any of them were the right fit. I was about to choose the medical site builder just to have something that would be good up and running when Tim emailed me. Tim and Colleen’s boys have been patients of mine for 15 years and typical of me I had no idea what either parent did for a living. When Tim heard the news of my new venture, he read my blogs and had someone else in his firm read them too and suggested that we meet and talk about what we could do together. Before Tim had any idea of the scope of the site I wanted (with interactive areas, community features, databases with rotating content, surveys, medical and health info, and on and on) he offered to do the work for free for me. I knew that was a gift too big to accept given the huge vision I have for the site and told him that we could talk first and if it seemed a good pairing discuss the details of payment.
What a joy it was to meet with him and Christopher at their offices. Their office is great….just above Palazzolo in Royal Oak with exposed ceilings and open spaces divided into two sections–the creative side and the marketing side. What makes this firm different though from all the others I have talked to is that they wanted to talk not about the site I wanted to build but about my vision for the practice, my patients, the focus on wellness and got to know ME. I feel that this new venture is a strong personal statement in many ways and is different from other pediatric practices in ways that are both tangible and intangible. I talked about the fact that I wanted the site to meet the needs of the families visiting it, that the whole concept of the care I want to provide in the office is patient centered, that I am doing home visits to help facilitate that and that I want an emphasis on whole person health–mental, physical, and emotional. We discussed the process the site production will go through as well as the logo production and I could tell that the organic process of getting to know me, my clients, my business and my dreams will make the site just what I am looking for. I am thrilled! It seems that Tim and Christopher operate in a way similar to mine….they get to know the people they will be working with and in doing so will create a great product. I believe strongly that getting to know my patients and their families in a variety of ways ends up enhancing care. Anyone can look in ears and do a strep test or even diagnose and treat more serious illnesses but if you feel disconnected from that person, feel that person isn’t invested in your child I believe strongly that the outcome is different and less complete. By knowing you and your children, I can listen better, hear subtleties and nuances, see the ‘different’ look of a child and perhaps these little things can add up to making a more precise diagnosis or managing a problem that is challenging more effectively. Of course, just like getting to know my patients and helping them through a big issue, a project the size of my website can’t be done in two weeks so we are shooting for early August. I will keep you posted as we make decisions. Let me know though what you are looking for in my site in particular please!
I also had a conference call with Audra from e-MDs my EMR company to talk about the schedule for implementation and we are on track. This week I have some real homework to do though to get the data she needs to upload into my system…stuff like the pharmacies, insurance companies, referring physicians, etc. so that when I open on August 4th all will be ready to go. I made the plane reservations for Austin for the training for Pat, my mom and me and feel like things are really starting to move at a fast clip. Over the next two weeks I will be spending a lot of time in front of my computer screen so if I look a little bug-eyed you will know why!
At the very end of the day, I wrote a gigantic check to my computer guy, Mike, for the hardware and phone system. The phone system will be great. Day or night, you will be able to leave a message for an appointment, prescription refill, or a referral. If you wake up at 2 am with a sick child and know you want him/her to be seen the next morning, you can just call and leave a message and my staff will call you back before the office opens and get you in that morning (or at the time of your choice). NICE!
I am so excited about the fact that I will be building a website I will be happy with I want you to check out Skidmore’s site http://www.skidmorestudio.com/we/index.html and click on ‘know’ in the banner to find the ‘interactive’ portfolio and you will see why they will be a great firm for me. There is a ton of variety in the clients they serve and the look of the finished products which tells me that they are interested in the vision of the business. Woo Hoo!
Eat, love and play and each day will be your best!
Molly O’Shea, MD Birmingham Pediatrics + Wellness Center