Two-thirds of Americans own a smartphone. Most people use mobile devices every day to communicate with friends, make purchases, or find a restaurant. Your mobile device offers more than just convenience and entertainment. It can make your work flow life easier and more rewarding.
In physician’s offices, smartphones have become almost as common as stethoscopes. According to the Physician’s Practice 2015 Tech Survey, sponsored by Kareo, 51.2% of practices use applications on their smartphones for everything from looking up drug information to accessing patient records. Another 36.2% of practices incorporate the use of an iPad or other tablet into their daily routines.
Putting mobile applications to work in your practice can make patient care intuitive and efficient. In fact, the iPad app puts all facets of patient care at your fingertips, letting you:
- View patient charts with your own personalized layout
- Prescribe medications with drug references and interaction checking
- Review existing patient notes from previous visits
- Use keyboard, voice recognition, and templates to document visit notes
- Quickly note medications, labs, and following instructions
Physicians can sit with patients and engage them in their visit as they quickly tap and swipe through a template or dictate on an IPad. Not only does this end the age of swivel chair fatigue, it allows providers to look patients in the eye. You can easily show the patient a trending graph for blood pressure or BMI or watch a short video on a procedure. Mobile devices also allow physicians to manage tasks on the go. You can check things of your to-do list while moving between visits. No wonder physicians who use mobile EHRs report high satisfaction.
And, the benefits of going mobile don’t stop with the physicians. For practice managers and billers, mobile allows anytime, anywhere access that enables them to work from virtually any location. In the same way a physician sometimes needs to access a chart when away from the office, administrative staff sometimes need to access financial information. Mobile allows them to do just that.
There are many ways to be mobile in your practice. Top tips include:
- Provide iPads to patients in the waiting room. According to a 2013 Software Advice survey of 5,000 patients in the US, 90% of patients are aggravated by doctors' office delays. These unhappy patients may not return or refer or they may even post negative reviews on physician review sites. The same survey showed that 60% said free WiFi would improve the quality of their wait time. Taking that a step further and providing iPads to pass the time or even provide health and wellness tips and videos can turn unhappy patients into your biggest fans.
- Use mobile devices to educate patients. Smartphones and iPads give you the ability to access information at the touch of a fingertip. Take advantage of this to show patients videos, animation, diagrams, and charts to teach them about specific diseases and conditions.
- Use iPad or other tablet for note-taking. Mobile devices allow you to take the notes you need while actually remaining engaged with your patients. This lets you make eye contact with your patients, instead of having your back turned to them while you plug notes into that old desktop. You may be surprised how much happier your patients are.
- Take a survey. Mobile devices make taking a brief patient survey at the end of each visit easy and quick. According to Survey Monkey, physicians are using surveys to see how patients feel about the quality of care, the level of information they receive, and the performance of doctors and staff. Healthcare surveys can even help you identify safety issues and meet accreditation requirements.
For more tips to independent practice success, download 8 Ways to Keep Your Name on the Door.