A Doctor’s Life with Technology

Healthcare professionals Technology have a difficult time balancing life and work.  Because I grew up around doctors I have seen it firsthand.  The demands of the job are intense and the requirement to be all things to everyone has led to unhealthy habits.  Just like everyone, doctors have personal goals that take a back seat to their passion for work which can lead to untimely burnout.

Recently with the advent of federal policies and bureaucracy, doctors are struggling with paperwork and administrative chores that compels them to digress form their primary job of providing healthcare to their patients.  Because many are perfectionists, these tasks reduce their efficiency and quality of work.  They can lose focus easily and put a strain on personal and professional relationships.
What follows are some suggestions on how physicians may save time on these subordinate activities by using technological tools that will enable them to complete their work quickly and efficiently.  This should leave more time to focus on their personal activities and strike a healthy balance.

Electronic Medical Record (EMR)
EMRs like Mckesson Medisoft Clinical collect and consolidate all patient information into a single integrated system that can be accessed at the click of a mouse.  These systems eliminate paper files and allows for quick and convenient access to the patient’s medical history, list of medications, drug allergies, test results and other information to allow physicians to make informed medical decisions, diagnoses and treatments.

Smartphones/Tablet PCs
Already a large part of many people’s lives, smartphones will become even a larger factor in Healthcare IT.  This tool lends physicians greater autonomy and flexibility.  Smartphones and tablets can be synchronized with your office and home computers.  They can also be used to access medical information from anywhere in the world.  Doctors can use them to complete pending documentation wherever they are.  You can use them to schedule your day, store patient contacts and access other medical information.  This information can include drug databases, treatment information and research.  A portable database like this is indispensible for providers today.

Medical Website
Having a web presence is more important today than ever.  People turn to the internet for almost everything.  To be able to provide clinic information, directions and details about your staff helps patients find out what kind of business you run.  Answering some frequently asked questions and being viewed as an expert in your field goes a long way to establishing credibility.  Once a website is active you will be reaching a global audience which can help grow your practice and make it easier for other providers to find you and give referrals.

Videoconferencing and Tele-Consultations Patient Portal
Telehealth is the fastest growing segment of healthcare.  Physicians can use videoconferencing tools like Skype to provide consultations to patients unable to come to their office or that may be in remote locations.  They can be used for pre-appointment screenings, follow ups and patient monitoring.  For elderly patients, this technology is welcomed with open arms.  Many are unable to drive and just need the doctor or nurse practioner to ask them a few questions and know that they are there if needed.

Patient portals can help you get updated patient demographic information and new insurance details as well as coordinate appointment scheduling.  Most patient portal features include requesting refills, exchanging messages, reminding patients about treatment plan items, and accessing patient exam notes.  They can also collect patient family/social history and history of present illness as well as monitor patient wellness on a periodic basis.  Clinical information may be accepted directly into the patient note for editing by the doctor or staff.

Mckesson Medisoft Clinical, our flagship EMR has taken great care to encrypt the portal with several layers of security.  This is important for HIPPA purposes.  The portals are a convenience under Meaningful Use Stage 1, and a necessity under Meaningful Use Stage 2.  Stage 1 includes a core measure to provide clinical summaries for office visits. There are a number of delivery options including paper summaries, CD, and secure email as well as patient portal.  Obviously a patient portal provides the most cost effective and patient service oriented strategy to fulfill this MU measure.  Stage 2 includes patient messaging which is standard in Medisoft Clinical.

Iron Comet Consulting is a certified Platinum Reseller for McKesson and is located in Stockbridge Georgia.  We are a full service medical IT and billing company.

http://www.ironcomet.com/
Phone (770) 506-4383

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