Over the past decade, health care systems have switched from pen and paper to supposedly more efficient and immeasurably more legible electronic health records (EHRs) and interoperability. These days doctors consult with a patient then enter their medical information on a computer or mobile app. Many medical professionals bemoan this administrative duty as turning the medical art into a form of populational management/data entry.
With the recent 21st Century Cares Act signed into law, capturing patient data electronically will only become more ubiquitous. But what effect will this have on patient care?
Well, according to a report written by Mary K. Pratt in the ModernMedicine Network, mobile technology will have a significant impact on productivity. Mobile medical EHR apps untether doctors and nurses from cumbersome workstations that could be far away from where the patient is.
Quick prescription write ups and other simple-to-do, but daunting if left to pile up at the end of the day tasks, can now be accomplished with a few taps on a smartphone or tablet while attending to the patient.
Director of the practice management consulting group at MBA HealthGroup Amelia Coleman, M.Ed told MMN:
“[Mobile] can really be a vehicle for making a practice more efficient, if you’re being smart about the applications you’re choosing, whether it’s a mobile version from your EHR vendor or a third-party mobile app that integrates with your EHR,”
However, this comes with a few caveats. While many desktop platforms have mobile app counterparts, not all of them are as good as others. And using tablets like a desktop, for example, doctors sitting at a desk and typing notes, won’t be as efficient as those using mobile EHRs as they’re on the move during visits.
The article even suggests that utilizing secure telemedicine video features, that come with many EHRs, will maximize a doctor’s time.