Technology: Blessing or curse? It depends, doesn’t it? On whether you can do without it, what it’s used for, and whether you enjoy using it in the first place. And you’ve probably discovered many examples when technology can be both a blessing and a curse. Take physician technology, for example.
According to a recent survey conducted by Merck, 4 of 5 doctors felt that mobile physician technology is changing the office visit. The study also found that 81 percent of those surveyed reported that using medical devices to access medical information caused a shift in the standard dynamic associated with the doctor’s office.
No doubt that technology has helped streamline communications, both between doctor and between doctors and their patients. Medical document record keeping has been made more orderly and medical technology in general has permitted a more effective and efficient delivery of health care.
So how do you know which technology to choose? Which app or program or even device is best suited for you when you are outside your office? The following, will hopefully provide you with some new insight into how to become a better doctor when you’re away from the office.
Social Media/Patient Communication
Smartphones, tablets and laptops provide physicians ever-improving methods of communicating to and with their patients. The advent of higher resolution and larger screens, faster data speeds and proliferation of websites formatted for portable devices make portable devices perhaps the most effective form of physician technology that can be used outside of the office, even if it they are often taken for granted.
Today’s devices, when combined with new apps released daily, make it easy for you to send and receive communication, treatment notes, file info imaging and consultation discussions. Make sure to pay particularly close attention to your HIPAA requirements.
Developed to improve communication, enhance patient education and increase efficiencies, Patient Portals provide both you and your patients access to their medical files.
If you are a primary care provider this form of physician technology permits you to, among other things:
• Communicate with your office or to other parties (sending prescriptions to a pharmacy, for example)
• Post lab and diagnostic exam results
• Post patient consent forms
• Access billing information
With the necessary software patients will have the ability to things such as:
• View and update medical history, medication lists, contacts and other demographic information
• Provide consent
• Complete registration forms
• Request, confirm and reschedule appointments
• View and pay bills
Other Communication Apps
If demands on your time seem to be increasing so that you find it difficult to stay on top of your practice, there is physician technology available that will increase your efficiency. One example is an app called Critical Pager which allows you to reduce the number of devices on which you rely to communicate. In short, the app permits you to manage all of your paging and phones calls using just one device. We are not endorsing this particular product but are simply providing an example of physician technology that can make your day more efficient.
There are, of course, many other types of physician technology and resources which provide information about that tech. For example, Physicians Practice provides information for you to, as the site claims, have “your practice your way.” If you are interested in learning about other tech, you may also want to spend some time at medgadget.com.
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