2 min read

Why are Alberta doctors not using email?

OpinionSecurity & Privacy

I stumbled across an article the other day in the Calgary Metro news where Jeremy Simes, a local journalist, was sharing feedback from a study by the University of Calgary on the use of email to communicate with patients. The study concluded that doctors are electing not to use email as a method of communication with their patients, but wait, is this a chapter right out of 2004?

In 2004, email was not secure at all, but a lot of changes in technology have occurred that make email communications far more secure than back in the day.  It’s the job of the managed IT services organization to educate their clients and the marketplace on how changes, such as email encryption, allow an organization to communicate and use technology more efficiently.

It all starts with marketing…

Marketing is the first place you need to start. The Calgary Metro news interviewed Calgary Managed Services organization owner Carl Fransen about the issues of doctors or anyone using email in a insecure fashion. True, everything Fransen mentioned was bang on the money, however, where the article fell short was when Dr. Doreen Rabi started talking about doctors encrypting their messages.

She advices that doctors must encrypt their messages, however, she continued by stating “but encryptions could be too secure to be useful — patients might not know how to decrypt emails.” A marketing opportunity exists here to educate the marketplace that email encryption technology is not difficult and can be easily deployed without an onsite visit and little interaction from the managed IT service provider.

My IT services marketing firm, Ulistic, uses email encryption supplied by Roaring Penguin to securely transmit confidential information using email. If I say it took five minutes to set up and another 10 minutes to train my staff, that would be a generous estimate in the time it took.

What is the morale of this story?

The managed IT services organization must be up-to-speed on the solutions that impact businesses. They must be the leader and assist in the education of how organizations, associations, businesses, and corporations can best use technology to improve communication and help with operational efficiencies. This is a marketing opportunity to educate the readers of Calgary Metro on what solutions are available to solve this problem.

What can you do next?

Start by making a list of all the media contacts you’re able to stumble across. This task will never end. Hook up with them on social media (LinkedIn and Twitter).  Start following them and engage with them on story ideas, and if they write a story like the one written in the Calgary Metro newspaper, you can chime in with your observations and potentially help educate the marketplace on what solutions exist.

Stuart Crawford is the CEO and Founder of Ulistic. Ulistic is based in Hamilton, ON and specializes in helping IT service organizations maximize their marketing to receive the best ROI. Stuart was the VP of Business Development for IT Matters from 2001 – 2009 and Bulletproof Information from 2009 – 2010.  Learn more about Ulistic’s services at http://www.ulistic.com.