Turn your practice into a Starbucks experience, says GI owner

Rajiv Sharma, MD, owner of Terre Haute, Ind.-based Digestive Health Associates and nutritional supplement company Dr. Gut Happiness, joined "Becker's ASC Review Podcast" to talk about the importance of branding and technology for practice owners.

Note: This is an edited excerpt. Listen to the full podcast episode here.

Question: What does it mean to build the GI practice of the future?

Dr. Rajiv Sharma: Gastroenterologists are pretty smart. We are innovators. Just by virtue of personality, we attract more innovation and we are early adopters of technology and anything new and cool. I've seen the way things have transitioned in the world of GI, and the personality of our GIs, and at the same time the shift in consumer behavior, patient behavior and their yearning and thirst for education and engagement. I want to use technology to the max to engage with the consumers one on one. Long gone are the days when you won't even talk to the patient and just do your thing, do your scope. 

You have to go the extra mile to make sure they're satisfied. They're evaluating you in the waiting area, they're looking at everything, especially the millennials. So my goal is to create a very immersive gastroenterology practice, where I'll be using augmented reality, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and then cloud-based platforms to keep my patients engaged so that they are constantly reminded of our brand. We are no different than McDonald's and Burger King or any other brand out there.

We have to have a face and a personality to the practice. So my goal is to make this a Starbucks experience. You come to my practice, you're going to place your order and you're going to be served like Starbucks. Maybe I'll even put Starbucks in my office. 

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