As a doctor in private practice that has to juggle many things throughout the day, I took a step back to see how my efficiency can be improved, specifically surrounding technology and daily tasks.
With advances in technology, and the advent of Electronic Health Records (EHRs), I now spend more time using a variety of tech devices including a desktop computer, a tablet and a smart phone. While the advances in tech may have the overall effect of improving different aspects of healthcare, there can also be disadvantages of spending too much time using them.
The more time spent using these devices, takes time away from my day. Time that can be spent seeing patients, documenting charts, growing the business, interacting with other providers, as well as furthering education. I ask myself, do these devices help or hurt?
EHRs, telehealth and remote monitoring devices are helpful, offering the ability to remotely communicate with patients and access their information easily – greatly improving the quality of care I can provide. But they are time consuming which lessens my patient interactions, and sometimes does not work the way I expected; which in effect causes more lost time than before.
Several factors can influence doctor efficiency and the amount of time spent using devices:
- The device – is it easy to use?
- The software – is it user friendly?
- Is the user well trained?
- Does the device/software really solve a problem?
Many healthcare providers are faced with these issues every day. User buy-in is key to successful use and adoption, and engaging staff from the beginning provides quick and valuable feedback.
Doctor efficiency in an office can be improved by streamlining tasks and ensuring that the office staff are well equipped and trained to do tasks that free up a provider’s time. Setting specific times for using your tablet during the day or implementing it into a workflow would be specific to the culture of the practice. However, the right technology implemented seamlessly can save time, money and make a world of difference.