10 Cool, Amazing Gadgets and Trends to Help Your Practice

Paul Cerrato, MA

Disclosures

June 18, 2014

In This Article

Changes That Save Time and Effort

3. Time to Install a Patient Kiosk in the Waiting Room?

If your front desk staff spends too much time typing data from patient intake forms into your computer system, you might buy electronic tablets to give to arriving patients. PatientPad®, for example, lets patients check in for their appointment, read health information, apply for financing, and fill out a patient satisfaction review.[3]

Or, if you already have an EHR system, you might install an add-on that lets patients fill in their personal medical details. Among the options is NoMoreClipboard.com, a personal health record that patients can use to send that information to you electronically before they even reach the office.[4]

A third option is the patient kiosk, which lets patients check in using a computer workstation, many of which are compatible with commonly used EHR systems. The CTS system, for instance, not only lets patients check in, but it can also collect copays, print out future appointments, and capture patient signatures.[5]

4. Voice Recognition Gets Better

It's estimated that voice recognition software will allow you to dictate your clinical notes about 3 times faster than typing them into a computer. So instead of spending time peering into a computer screen, such programs as Dragon Medical by Nuance may save you considerable time and money, while letting you send your notes directly into your EHR. Vendors claim up to 99% accuracy out of the box. Nuance also offers medical vocabularies for about 80 specialties.

And if you're still using a paper system to record your notes, the switch to this kind of automation will be even more cost-effective. At one hospital in Valencia, California, for instance, the physician who directs the risk management program found that the switch from paper to voice recognition took a big slice off the top of its $1.5 million transcription costs in the emergency department alone.[6]

5. Smartphone Diagnosis Replaces Some Current Technology

You may one day add an attachment to your smartphone to monitor patients' EKG readings. The AliveCor™ Heart Monitor, an iPhone® case, is already capable of doing just that. It has withstood the same rigorous clearance process of any other US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved medical device. Similarly, the CellScope Oto™ can be attached to a smartphone and serve as a digital otoscope.

This new emphasis on smartphone diagnosis requires a new approach: "We have to think about patient care in a different way," says Michael Fleming, MD, former President of the American Academy of Family Physicians and current Chief Medical Officer of Amedisys Home Health & Hospice. It needs to be more patient-centric, and tools such as these can help make it so by more fully engaging patients, says Fleming.

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