Technology and your Patient!

Technology is lending a hand in getting patient’s involved in their medical care! Meaningful Use at each stage has really stressed patient involvement as one of the key measures. But how do we achieve this? What are our options? How do we encourage patient’s to get involved? Easier said than done, let’s take a look at some of the tools that are available.

Text messaging and email, most people have access to one or both of these. These can be reminders such as blood pressure check, blood sugar check, upcoming labs, procedures they need to schedule, their next appointment and anything else related to their plan of care. A company called UbiCare is coming out with a product called UbiTru which will do just that. More here.

Another product for sending text messages to patients is MHealthText . There are several others out there, just search around for what will best suit your needs. In this day and age, with hectic lifestyles…a text reminding patients of important information can really benefit everyone!

Telemedicine allows patient care to be given at a distance, using technology such as video conferencing. If a patient is able to have a consultation from their own home, they may be more apt in taking care of themselves and being involved in their care.  This is especially helpful in rural areas, where convenient care is not readily accessible.  Dermatology visits, referrals, pharmaceutical education, remote patient monitoring are among the most popular choices in Telemedicine. For more information on Telemedicine, follow this link. 

Telemedicine has also been known to save lives in very critical situations. A good example of this is a product called TeleStroke, which uses video neurologists to determine the severity of stroke symptoms and helps advise the patient.

Lastly, let’s take a look at Patient Portal. Patient Portal is an online application, that allows patient’s to interact with their healthcare provider. While features differ on each portal…some of the features include; accessing records, filling out forms for future appointments, information on prescriptions and the ability to fill them, order contact lenses, pay medical bills and schedule future appointments. Your tech savvy patient’s will most likely be very interested in this tool, and take full advantage of it. Patient portals are a key tool to help physicians meet “meaningful use” requirements in order to receive federal incentive checks.

Technology is constantly changing the world around us. Keeping up to date is key in keeping your patient’s involved!

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