5 Reasons why your Family Doctor is using Medical Tablets

5 Reasons why your Family Doctor is using Medical Tablets

Time was when doctors entered exam rooms carrying a manila folder filled with papers. They would scan the papers, summarize the contents, and go from there. Enormous rooms filled with thousands and thousands of similar files where standard in many doctors offices. Recently many doctors have begun moving away from the paper record system and are using computer tablets.

Here’s why:

Less Clutter

Depending on the size and type of medical office, it takes between 10 and 30 minutes every day to pull patient files to have them ready when the patients arrive. This does not include the time it takes to go and get the files when a patient calls in asking for information about a medication or previous visit.

Despite the best of intentions and the most organized filing systems, paper records inevitably get misplaced or lost. This can be a big problem for a medical office that is supposed to be protecting patient confidentiality. Add to the previously mentioned difficulties, hours and hours were spent by medical transcriptionists to type up the chart notes, print them, and get them in the proper file in a somewhat timely fashion.

Big data helps solve this, since using a tablet allows a doctor to bring up a patient record with the touch of a finger. There are no bulging folders to pull out and put away, and with voice recognition, the doctor can create the visit note and watch it get typed out without the need of a transcriptionist.

Medication Simplification

Doctors work very hard to prevent dangerous medication interactions. Instead of the time-intensive process of consulting an enormous book and looking over all potential interactions of a given drug, the pertinent information can be accessed instantly via a computer tablet. Also, dosages, potential side effects, alternative medications, and much more can be brought up instantly. The amount of data accessible could not be contained in any one book.

Symptom Checker

Not every patient accurately describes the condition the prompted their visit. They can’t remember if this hurt or not, and they don’t know what treatments they may or may not have had. With symptom checker programs on a tablet that accesses medical information from around the world, a doctor can weed through murky information and glean out what diagnosis the sometimes confusing group of symptoms represents.

Outside Record Access

In many cases retrieving patient records from different offices meant contacting the office, getting them to locate the file, and mailing or faxing the information to the requesting office. With a tablet, record access is almost immediate. While record retrieval between unrelated health systems may still take a while, intrasystem records are available with a touch. If a doctor needs to look at an X-ray done offsite, he/she can quickly access the radiology information system and bring up the X-ray film.

Paperless Prescriptions

Receiving that small piece of paper from the doctor written in that illegible script that only pharmacists seem to be able to decipher was once the norm. The patient would then drop it off and the local pharmacy and wait for the prescription to get filled.

While paper prescriptions are still around, electronic prescriptions and refills are now commonly done while the patient is still in the office. Once the doctor has decided on what medication to prescribe, the pharmacy that the patient wants it filled at is notified via the internet. A security protocol ensures that not just any yahoo can send in bogus prescriptions for dangerous drugs. As the prescription information is already being processed by the pharmacy before the patient leaves the office, many times it is ready when the patient arrives at the pharmacy to pick it up.

Speed, accuracy, and efficiency are the goals of any business. Now that doctors are embracing digital records, digital prescriptions, and digitally-assisted diagnoses, the future looks bright for family health care.

Paisley Hansen
She is a freelance writer and expert in fleece fabric, and health and beauty. When she isn't writing she can usually be found reading a good book.
Paisley Hansen

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