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In a recent column on Health Data Management, Greg Gillespie  talks about the over-use of the world “empowerment” in health records technologies and online services in general. He rightly points out that the word is often used to describe something that is not exactly empowering, just convenient, either for the consumer or for the company with the product.

He makes a very good point. Quite often, internet banking services will describe their services as “empowering” when what their services really are is just convenient. What is often not included in their ìempowermentî offers is increased customer service.

Here at MedeFile, we often talk about the empowering nature of our product. After all, it allows patients to own, control, and use their personal health records any way they choose with any of a number of tools we provide. But, we also pride ourselves on having industry-leading customer service to go with all of that.

Despite being the “big wig” here at the company, the guy in charge, the head honcho, or any of a number of things I get chided with here in the office, I often speak with customers personally, or with their family or loved ones. A few days ago, actually, I talked with Bill about his parents who have MedeFile accounts. Bill is an authorized user for his parents’ accounts and had some questions about how he could share pertinent things with their new oncologist.

When Bill found out who I was, he wondered aloud why the CEO of the company would be answering his questions instead of “some customer service rep.” I told him that everyone who works at MedeFile is a customer service rep. It’s our top priority. When the phones are busy or someone needs some time off, the rest of us work to fill in for them. Even me, the head honcho.

Our goal here is to provide the best service possible through and around the best product on the market. That is how we define “empowerment” for our customers.



  • By Kevin Hauser Submitted on February 27th, 2012

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