Tablets for Physicians: Do They Make Sense?
Are you a busy doctor looking for a way to stay on top of your paperwork without cutting into the time you spend with your patients? Nowadays, with most medical records online through the American Electronic Health Records database, many physicians are expected to enter all patient information into a computer. And since taking hand-written notes and then typing them takes too much time, many physicians have switched over to digital.
For some, this means lugging around a laptop to every appointment and taking valuable time to open it up and get started. Other physicians, however, have chosen to use a tablet, like an iPad or a Nexus, for all of their notes and records. Read on to learn more about how to use a tablet for medical records.
Tablets: The Pros
Aside from being light and portable, a tablet helps you in that it keeps all of your patients’ information at your fingertips. You can store as much as your entire caseload in your tablet and have it accessible, without having to run out to reception to ask for a file.
Tablets are also becoming more popular in the medical community. A study conducted by the AmericanEHR found that one third of all EHR users and one quarter of all non-EHR users worked with a tablet at their medical practice. Of those users, 70% used their tablets for accessing medical records. In addition, users also reported that their tablets helped them research medications, conduct work-related correspondence and take pictures of certain presenting conditions to store on file.
The Cons: Lackluster Apps
Unfortunately, the same study found that 49% of those surveyed were dissatisfied with the medical apps available. But as the technology evolves, medical apps will no doubt improve.
Currently, the most popular apps are Epocrates, Medscape and Up to Date, which help with double-checking medical information and managing appointments. MedCalc and Skyscape Medical Resources were also highly ranked.
Therefore, a tablet can help you in just about all aspects of your medical practice. They can also help you in other areas, such as billing, managing financial information and keeping track of news and industry updates. Since they are light and easy to carry around, you can also take your tablet to conferences and fundraisers.
But with that in mind, do not forget that there is no substitute for proper medical training and experience. You are the doctor. The tablet is not.
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