When mobile technology arrived for the domain of healthcare, every physician, every individual associated with healthcare thought that this would be the greatest boon of technology on medical science. They thought that everything will be solved in a jiffy without too much paperwork or instruction. While this is true to an extent, mobile devices have also made the lives of these doctors and healthcare professionals slightly more hectic. Slowly and silently, this technology is revealing its cons as it often feels nightmarish for many doctors when they cannot stop the incessant buzz of the device regarding updates and cases.
However, the strength of human intelligence lies in taking the cons and turning them head on to their advantage. How can a doctor harness the technology so that not just him, but his patients also become smarter than ever? How does the presence of mobile technology and the idea of a 24*7 availability of a doctor do not mean the same thing? Convincing the patients about the human factor about doctors is what may make them understand that swift communication does not always translate into incessant availability.
The many facets of technology
2014 saw the introduction of EMR or Electronic Medical Records as mandatory and its legal implications made doctors run here and there to understand the full extent of it. However, even after three years, only 59 percent doctors are confident of the EMR process being completely rolled out in their clinics while 20 percent are not even sure of how this technology works. However, for the concerned and the confident doctors, the experience of EMR has been nothing short of revolutionary. The EMR brings everything to your fingertip as a physician do not need to check his files every time to investigate patients’ records or remember his appointment.
Even photographs of a particular affection and upload it in the EMR to store the details. EMR provides a unique scenario where the space of the clinic becomes immaterial as your mobile becomes the virtual equivalent of it. However, half the physicians don’t do that and they are still trying to grasp the technology in all its glory. For those who understand the compliance issue well can also grasp the fact that clear communication forms the basis of a great patient-doctor relationship. Hence, the firewall of compliance provided by EMR and other compliant apps ensure that none of your information is leaked outside the concerned circuit.
The surfacing problems
The boons are endless, everyone would agree. But, the problems are starting to surface and if you don’t address them head on, you will be left with an angry crowd that does not care about your high-tech solutions as long as they are getting the proper treatment. Often, patients get angry when the doctor does everything on computer and does not treat it as a matter of personal rapport. However, it is the mobile technology that has come back to haunt the doctors and provide little peace in their daily lives. Patients interact with physicians like their next-door neighbours.
Surely, this was never possible on the first place even ten years ago. True, that it helps them treat life-saving and critical scenarios like no other as they can literally rush to the spot if need be. However, most of these messages are about preliminary diseases and hardly requires instant concern. The illusion of immediate access often makes the patient more anxious and the impatience grows to significant amount at times. These issues need to be quelled before they become unwanted stings and thorns in the domain of technology.
Patients on ascendancy
Patients, all of a sudden, being the prime consumers of this technology, have gained the upper hand. Beyond the obvious advantage of wearable devices as well as advanced testing methods, medical appointments are much more interactive as patients don’t forget bringing certain data or the other and hence, each appointment can help the patient to gain some new information and recommendations. The more personalized the connection is to a physician, the more the patient gains access to detailed analysis of the health data. However, doctors believe that the overburdening nature of information may cast a long shadow upon the doctors and requires a mediation.
The mediator will simply analyse the data and pass the results to the physician for him to comment easily on the conditions of the patient. These mediations nowadays are provided by internet searching. While searching is a good habit and it makes the patients smarter, helping them to catch up with the treatment, it also increases the headache because most patients cannot separate the information from the misinformation. All sorts of things like physician grading and rating mechanisms are coming up that can hardly be recommended. But, to accept the potentials as well as the concerns as part and parcel of being digital is perhaps the way to go in this world.