Tech in healthcare : maximising existing tech tools

Healthcare is changing.

Many patients are now looking for value in the services provided by clinics and hospitals. The digital revolution has made patients more informed leading to some situations which may negate the need for a doctor, apart from prescription medicines or a medical certificate.

Many patients want an intellectual engagement and a greater part in the decision making. A two-way traffic in the doctor-patient relationship is more required. Certainly the expectations of patients have changed. Sadly, the medical fraternity has been slow to adapt.

Embracing technology is part of evolving with the times. The abundance of tools to enable efficiency and reduce redundancy, can improve how a doctor functions and communicates with his patients.

Emails need not be the bane for doctors. New scheduling functions and programs can help a doctor sieve through his email and manage them without much fuss. It is simple and most patients or their family members, have emails these days. The ability to also use mailing lists via emails can help disseminate information and keep the patients well informed.

Social media is often a ‘sinful’ word to many medical professionals. The fear of litigation often keeps doctors away from social media. It is a great way to keep in touch professionally with your peers and also to share and gather information via hashtags. The rules surrounding this is basic common sense and adhering to established ethical codes.

Digital apps are abundant that makes the understanding of complex information digestible via animations. Explaining to a patient about a particular condition might have taken doctors of yesteryear ages to explain can now be done relatively pain free. Patients can also review the information provided at leisure.

This brings us to websites. Creating original content is never easy. However, it is much cheaper than to acquire copyrighted materials. It is also more customisable to your practice if your content is developed by you. Creating a website and maintaining one is relatively easy and pain free these days. Providing educational materials can then be made more readily available. This can help reduce consultation times by referring patients to your website.

Empowering patients to book their own appointments and sending automated reminders can make your practice more attractive. Many services are now available to provide this service. Gone are the days of unanswered or busy phone lines. This also frees up time for the clinic staff.

Using existing technology negates the need to learn new things and therefore speeds up adoption and acceptance, especially amongst patients.  It’s much cheaper, more simple and increases efficiency, productivity and value in a clinical practice.

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