Electronic Medical Records: The Power of Mobility

Written by on June 26, 2013 in Technology - No comments | Print this page

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A patient’s vital signs used to be attached to a clipboard and hung at the end of the bed. However, iPads, iPhones, Android and Blackberry technology are changing this.

Now, doctors can have instant and up-to-date patient information at their fingertips. A simple swipe on their touch-screen will display a patient’s medical data, from medical allergies to pictures of their latest X-rays.

Already, large medical institutions are investing in mobile medical record technology, but doctors in smaller practices have been slower to embrace it.

According to The New York Times, only 17% of small practice physicians in the US use a tablet or smartphone to access medical records. They cite as the main deterrent, as buying mobile devices and software can be expensive. If you’re a doctor and you’re not sure about investing in mobile applications, here are some reasons why you should.

Information on the go

The main advantage to using mobile electronic medical records is to state the obvious: the mobility. With a mobile app, doctors can access patient records at their bedsides or even in the operating theatre.

Paper shuffling, filing and searching become a thing of the past. Detailed patient medical data is available anytime and anywhere. According to HealthIT.gov, using a mobile medical app enables doctors to make fast and effective decisions, as the information is instantly on-hand (and, literally, in-hand).

Ultimately, its convenience enables a quick diagnosis on the spot.

Intuitive and easy to use

Not all mobile medical apps are created equal, so you need to find one that has a slick user interface.

A superior mobile app will be designed with the doctor in mind, as many physicians simply don’t have the time to sit down and figure out how an application works, especially in a life-or-death situation! According to iMedicalApps.com, a good application will have a simple and clean layout, so it’s easy to glean important information by just a quick glance.

For example, by displaying the patient’s vital signs on a separate screen with abnormal ranges shown in red. Doctors should also be able to easily zoom in and out of data, which is graphically displayed (iMedicalApps.com).

Time saving and life saving

The most important reason to invest in medical mobile technology is that it saves lives.

Mobile apps allow for important medical records, such as demographics, a full medical history and the latest lab results, to be displayed all on one screen.

This enables doctors to make well-informed decisions instantaneously (SAP.com/soultions). Immediate access to this data saves a huge amount of time and, in an emergency situation, it can save a life, too.

Spending that little bit extra on a tablet will make your job easier, as it will assist you in making a fast diagnosis. It will also enable you to have a complete and holistic view of your patient all in one place.

Investing in mobile technology for your practice is definitely worth the cost. Unified medical data is invaluable, as it increases efficiency, allows for quick decision-making and it can even save lives.

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This post was written by Ang Lloyd, a freelance writer based in Cape Town, South Africa. Ang enjoys the challenge of writing on a diverse range of topics, such as using business software to simplify day-to-day management, as well as how to find SAP jobs in the Australia the US and UK.

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