Everyone can agree on the benefits of electronic health records to reduce the administrative burden and the potential for errors — in fact, the digital trend is complemented well by the transition to cloud based infrastructures that prioritises accessibility.
The use of mobile devices in healthcare is a transformative trend set to improve the patient and practitioner relationship. With 24/7 access to patient data from any device in any location, specialists can use empowering technology to provide better patient care and reduce inefficiencies — and that’s only the beginning. We’ve compiled these several benefits to demonstrate how mobile devices are transforming healthcare, for patients and practitioners alike.
The benefits of mobile healthcare for practioners
Access on the go
In practices where patient information is distributed across disjointed paper or digital storage systems, specialists have to spend more time searching for the relevant data, and can only do so onsite. This exacerbates inefficiencies and means specialists won’t always have the information they actually need. Furthermore, it means your team is bound by office computers and office hours.
“18% of medical errors in Australia occur from inadequate information.” — The International Technology Management Review
The core benefit of a streamlined and cloud-based EHR system is the central access of information, from anywhere, anytime. Mobile accessible EMRs enable you to:
- Plan a productive day ahead. On your morning commute to the office, you can scroll through the appointments you’ll have for the day and plan ahead. This ensures you can make the most of your day, the moment you step through the door.
- Check patient records on the go. Whether you’re ducking in between appointments or taking a breather, patient records are always within reach. This ensures you’re always equipped with up to date information on specific patient cases.
- Set up e-tasks for your staff. Delegating is an essential of ensuring your workload doesn’t become overwhelming and burnout doesn’t occur. Setting up e-tasks for your staff while you’re on the move, to help you get a head start on your day and to keep everyone on the same page.
- Access diagnostic documents. You don’t have to wait for snail mail to deliver you the results you need to begin. Flexible access to diagnostic documents allows you to start taking notes on test results straightaway.
Ultimately, effective technology embraces the way practices operate and empowers staff and specialists to work more efficiently. A flexible and accessible EMR software means you’ll never be caught out without the right information at the right time.
A stronger rapport
Research has shown “patients respond favourably to their physician using a tablet during office visits”, compared to the use of computers. Often computers can be intrusive devices that make patients feel the attention is on the screen rather than on their issues.
Something as simple as making consistent eye contact with patients is an effective means of building trust quickly. Tablets, rather than computers, are helpful for encouraging eye contact and therefore establishing a better connection with patients.
Furthermore, the benefits of access to patient information anywhere and anytime means less time working through administrative tasks and more time simply talking with patients.
Stronger financial control
Managing practice financials is a challenge for every specialist, considering the ongoing changes to Medicare and the increasing price of many treatments. Many EMR mobile applications offer a holistic view of your finances — all in the palm of your hand.
Gain greater financial control through features that:
- Give you a broad view of which procedures have been quoted, but not booked in and paid. This gives specialists the chance to send out reminders and follow up where necessary, keeping the sales pipeline healthy.
- Integrate with many financial applications, such as Medicare, Xero and more. There are many changes to the healthcare industry, so it’s crucial to find technology that works with what you’re already using. Whether it’s Xero and MYOB, to Medicare and other health insurance companies, there are several options out there for no stress financial management.
As EMR mobile apps become more prevalent and patient access to these applications increase, clinics will soon have the opportunity to manage payment through geo fencing technology. For example, payment transactions could be automatically triggered by patients leaving a clinic after completing their consultation or treatment.
The benefits of mobile healthcare for patients
Clear communication is an essential, whether you’re trying to reduce the number of patient no shows or evaluating the opportunities for improved care. Ultimately, strong communication encourages greater trust and loyalty between patient and practitioner.
Electronic communication with patients facilitates and speeds nurse and physician responses to patient inquiries.— The Commonwealth Fund
However, getting patients and practitioners on the same page can be a challenge when communications are across so many channels — from email and snail mail to phone calls and messages. On the go access to a centralised information platform delivers transformative differences for practices:
More engaged patients
When patients have EMR access, they’re often:
- More informed of their condition and feel more aware and in control
- More motivated to improve self care and book follow up appointments
- Better prepared for appointments because they can review their records beforehand
Increased autonomy and an empowering educational experience are factors that encourage more engaged patients. Practices can encourage patients to become more engaged through patient accessible EMR solutions, that allow patients to view tests results the moment they’re finished — this can also reduce the anxiety of waiting.
Furthermore patient accessible sections of EMR solutions, such as a useful patient portal, can offer a way for patients to conveniently book, reschedule and cancel appointments. Research demonstrates patients prefer choosing their own appointment time, since it allows them greater control over their own schedule.
Faster information sharing
Filling out paper forms (typically standard for every patient) means time wasted at the clinic on the part of the patient and additional data re-entry time required by the staff member. Not to mention requesting redundant forms and tests that have already been completed, which are a common frustration for patients.
The use of mobile devices in healthcare allows patients to provide all the relevant information to staff through electronic forms prior to their clinic visit. Electronic forms often feature auto populated fields for information already provided minimising double ups and helping patients to help practices. Uploading relevant medical documents for staff prior to procedures will further reduce waiting periods and remove inefficient administrative hurdles.
Seamless record sharing
Clear patient and practitioner communication is the core of a thriving practice, however sharing necessary information with healthcare providers is crucial. Often the administrative inefficiencies can lighten with seamless integrations through mobile EMR.
Over to you
The aim is to deliver the best patient care possible and provide a supportive and positive experience. For many practices, investments in mobile EMR access and infrastructure are the key — for improved quality and efficiency, and reduced costs of healthcare.
At the end of the day, your team needs the numbers and key learnings to make the best decisions moving forward. We’ve pulled together a useful Practice Efficiency Calculator, that’ll help you pinpoint the hours and dollars your practice management systems are costing you. In less than 60 seconds, discover how you can best empower your practice!
Clinic to Cloud does not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for independent professional advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction. See the Clinic to Cloud Disclaimer for further information.