More and more, health care providers are turning to mobile solutions to help with patient care. In fact, according to a recent Research2Guidance report, 80 percent of physicians use smartphones and medical apps within their practices. Further research by Wolters Kluwer Health states that physicians access drug information (72 percent) and communicate with nurses and other staff (44 percent) via their smartphones and look at medical research (63 percent) using tablets.
Given the enthusiasm surrounding mobile technology, it is no surprise that cloud-based electronic health records (EHRs) and practice management (PM) solutions are a valuable asset for providers, particularly those specialty physicians who are constantly on-the-go. There are several advantages to using these kinds of tools.
Keeps your practice moving while you are too.
Specialty providers have full plates as they juggle patient appointments, conduct research and consult with colleagues on challenging cases. As a result, they are constantly moving throughout the workday, running between patient exam rooms, stopping in laboratories and traveling to other clinical locations. A mobile EHR lets specialty physicians access charts on the go, so no matter where they are they can easily interact with a patient’s information in a secure environment. Similarly, a cloud-based PM system helps providers facilitate key business tasks from any location, such as checking on upcoming appointments, verifying referrals and monitoring supplies.
Facilitates scalability for multiple practice locations.
To stay afloat in today’s marketplace, specialty physicians are joining forces to take advantage of technology, gain negotiating power and expand market share. This era of mergers and acquisitions has resulted in specialty practices that have multiple sites, sometimes spread across wide geographic areas. Mobile EHR and PM solutions allow providers to move seamlessly between locations and always have access to patient records and other vital practice information through their laptops and tablets. Not only does this portability foster continuity between practice locations, the organization does not have to purchase, maintain and update separate hardware and software for each location, as such technology can be expensive and time consuming to keep current.
Improves physician quality of life and satisfaction.
According to the Medscape Physician Lifestyle Report, nearly half of all physicians indicate they feel burnout, and this statistic has grown significantly in recent years. A mobile EHR/PM can combat physician frustration by letting doctors leave the office and access patient records and practice data from other locations, like from home. This allows them to update patient charts, keep up with email, prescribe medications, check on referrals, view their schedules for the upcoming day and map out their weeks—all while they are out of the office. A primary advantage of this flexibility is it gives providers more control over their work hours and free time. For example, they can leave the office early to get to a child’s baseball game and come home to finish up whatever remains in their inboxes, completing required tasks in comfort. By giving physicians control over their time, and how they spend that time, organizations can improve satisfaction and prevent burnout.
Preserves patient safety.
Patient emergencies don’t always fall neatly within regular business hours. When specialty providers have access to patient records from anywhere, they can rapidly respond to a patient emergency or health crisis, mitigating patient safety risks and promoting more responsive, high-quality care. When a technology solution is interoperable, these benefits extend to the greater health system. Information can be shared within a patient’s health care network, allowing other providers—including hospital and emergency care physicians—to quickly access the full patient picture before administering treatment. This can not only prevent duplicative or unnecessary therapies, but also offer greater context for the provider treating the patient.
For many specialists, the day-to-day practice of medicine is getting increasingly convoluted. By leveraging mobile EHR and PM systems, providers can have secure access to critical information when and where they need it, allowing them to improve efficiency while simplifying their day.