When it comes to technology, medical offices are a little behind the times, even though patients are anxious for them to recognize it. There are several explanations for this, not least the time, energy, and funds necessary for such changes to be introduced. However, research has shown that, while disruptive in the short term, the effect of introducing emerging technology will bring time-saving benefits to your practice that will quickly outweigh any temporary disadvantages.
Many physicians are unwilling to devote the time required for implementing and mastering new technology. Some have also expressed concern about missing one-on-one interaction with patients if they are pressured during their short patient visits to look at screens.
Their issues may be momentarily true as they learn how to use the new systems, but the abundance of advantages offered by these new solutions would deliver time-saving benefits that are readily visible in the long term. Here are the top five technologies that every physician must ideally have.
- Electronic Health Records (EHR)
EHR eventually allows office and technical workers to spend more one-on-one time with patients, strengthening partnerships, and bringing in more revenue, contrary to what you might expect. A more structured workplace, and one that is likely to be appealing to patients, is eliminated by the traditional front desk clutter, loose documents, and stacks on file racks.
Once a patient’s record is electronic, monitoring, and making improvements to their records is easier. Follow-up visits, drug recalls and test reports can all be sent to the patient immediately via email. EHR enables physicians to access several years of patient medical records and to quickly review and incorporate information from other providers into their processes.
- Patient Portals and Online Scheduling
Studies have found that people are leaning heavily towards digitally-focused practices that provide them with easy access through a smartphone or laptop to control their wellbeing. Patient portals allow patients to access their medical records and test reports, schedule an appointment, request prescription refills, and, in some cases, email for assistance or details from doctors or medical staff.
As patients are more likely to select doctors whose practices make their lives simpler and restrict time spent on the phone, this could lead to more profit. As patients are likely to point out any mistakes they find in their records, having access to their medical records will also assist in eliminating mistakes.
- Practice Management Systems (PMS)
Using a top-notch management system, automating the practice offers several choices that can remove the time-intensive administrative activities of the past. Choosing the right PMS is important and provides not only medical billing software but also a way to optimize productivity by combining clinical, financial, and administrative operations. Most PMS may have characteristics such as:
- Appointment scheduling and reminders to text or call
- The proper incorporation of demographic details from ID cards into the medical record
- Insurance and eligibility check
- Tracking financial commitments of patients to receive copays
- Administrative reports generation
- Card Scanners
By investing in a card scanner that takes copies of both sides of drivers’ licenses and insurance cards in one pass, going digital is made a lot simpler. Card scanners are relatively inexpensive, portable, and power your office computer through a USB connexion. Not only do card scanners save time, but they also cut down on errors or missing data.
- Laptops or tablets for exam rooms
The advantages for physicians of laptops, PDAs, or tablets are plentiful. They give physicians immediate access to the entire medical record of the patient they are treating, providing portability first and foremost. Over time, with knowledge from various services, along with laboratory and imaging observations, the medical record may be strengthened. And perhaps more important medical advantage is that physicians can use the latest internet data for evidence-based recommendations to better influence their care choices.
They may also examine lesser-known diseases, which are particularly beneficial in modern medicine, where clinical research has discovered such a wide variety of illnesses, it is not possible to identify all symptoms for any doctor. It may therefore make it much simpler to diagnose and treat diseases. To keep track of their patients with more chronic conditions, physicians can also access telehealth data and data collected from remote patient monitoring.