Hospitals aren’t the only ones under pressure to become more efficient in how they deliver care.
Physician offices, too, are faced with the challenge of improving care outcomes and cost efficiency while keeping up with technological changes under meaningful use. And they’re employing some creative tactics to be able to make better use of their time and spend adequate time with patients — some doctors, for example, are offering shared appointments for people with similar conditions.
Others may be using some of these technologies that companies have developed (or are developing) specifically to make a physician’s work flow smoother and more efficient. In fact, a few of the examples below were actually developed by doctors themselves.
- Rapid point-of-care tests, like this one for pink eye. Rather than sending specimen samples to a lab and waiting for results, doctors with access to point-of-care tests may be able to save time and cut down on unnecessarily prescribed antibiotics. (Rapid Pathogen Systems)
- Software that helps electronically manage waiting lists to simplify the process of filling canceled appointments on short notice. This one also automates the process of following up with patients who cancel to remind them to reschedule their appointments. (SchedFull)
- Solutions that streamline patient referrals and create a more seamless process for sharing diagnostic images and retrieving patient records. (eHealth Technologies, 5 O’Clock Records)
- Automating tasks that don’t require a physician’s expertise such as refilling some prescriptions. (HealthFinch)
- Applications that make medical research more organized, searchable and accessible for physicians at the point of care. (ClinicalKey, Docphin)
- A new answering service that’s designed to replace forwarding services that route after-hours calls directly to doctors’ mobile phones. This company’s product makes it easier for doctors to screen and triage calls that come into the office after hours. (Ringadoc)