The Doctor Online -Are Doctors Online Really Being Effective At Patient Management?
How much time do your family and friends spend on the Internet on any given day? According to Nielsen, as of 2011, the average American spent a staggering 8 hours a month on just Facebook alone. Over half of the U.S. population has created social media profile as of 2012. The amount of unique users that WebMD gets in a given month usually tops 15 Million. Do you think that there is a market for adding an online component to your practice with these statistics?
For the Doctor Online, There's An App For That
With half of Americans owning smartphones these days, not only are they going online daily but they are staying connected throughout the day. Smart businesses are building applications for download to a customer's smartphone for them to create a greater interaction with their product or service, be able to get instant feedback on what is interesting their clients and readily communicate marketing information to them. The results of smartphone use in the marketplace is well documented. This palm-sized marketing tool is here to stay. What about for medical use?
There are diagnostic, and patient-monitoring tools being developed that the modern doctor can make use of via the patient's smartphone. These add-on apps will monitor your new heart patient's blood pressure, EKG and/or pulse and upload them to a website for you to print out reports. This lets you, the doctor, monitor your patients condition in real-time instead of waiting until the scheduled follow-up appointments. Seeing even minor changes in vital signs can alert the medical professional with the trained eye to any forthcoming complications before your patient presents him or herself at the Emergency Room or your office with acute symptoms.
Meet With Your Patient, The Specialist And You All In One Place
How many times have you said to your patient, "I spoke with Dr. X, who is a specialist and we discussed......" Through clumsy regurgitation you explain to your patient why they are seeing a specialist and what transpired during your phone time with them. Today you can take advantage of online video conferencing so that you all can be in the same "room" together discussing your patient's condition and what you and the specialist have decided that you are going to do to treat it. Making use of this technology gets the meeting to the point, cuts down dramatically on extra time having conversations individually that can be made with you all conversing at the same time and make way for valuable exam room time by not having a patient that doesn't need to be in your office sitting there waiting for you to come in and talk to them.
It used to be that test results and courses of action with them required an appointment in your office either with you or the nursing staff. Today these conversations can be done via video. Questions can still be asked and answered and the added bedside manor of a smiling face is still experienced, just from the comforts of the patient's home from behind a computer. Many patients feel better when they can see someone in person if they are not feeling well, this modern communication makes it possible.
Your Records Are In The Cloud
Online patient record storage has been ever migrating from the office filing cabinets and database to off-location storage for you to access from your computer. A "cloud" is a virtual database. Having records online eliminates the need for square footage in your office being taken up by a non-billable footprint known as patient records. With today's HIPPA laws, this is a much more effective way to protect patient data as these patient record storage technologies are typically uploaded to clouds that have specifically designed and secured with patient record information in mind. Extra perimeters are in place to ensure that information is safe from hackers. This is just another cost-effective reason to use technology in your office. What square footage you are not occupying with medical records can now be used by your practice to do something you can bill for. Wouldn't you rather be making more money per square foot than you are now? The money spent on monthly fees are dwarfed by income opportunities.
The New Frontier Is Doctors Online
The wave of the future is technology and the doctor will be able to take advantage of all that it has to offer. Embracing what is available to use today will train you, your staff and your patients to go to the Internet for the things you can serve up for them there. Adding new things in the future will be easier to implement since your practice will be used to taking advantage of your online ways to take care of them and communicate information. Start by offering online information on your website and a way for your patients to communicate with your office through online tools. You can post healthy Tips and Tricks, let them know that flu shots are in, remind them of why exercise is important and so on. Getting them to come to your website allows them to feel more connected to your practice and makes way for them to forward information they enjoy to friends and family to also read, possibly resulting in new patients through the sharing of information. Online tools can be very valuable marketing avenues if they are used consistently.
WARNING: Limitations of Online Doctor/Medical Consultations and Online Prescriptions, QuickRxRefills Cannot and Will NOT Prescribe, Dispense, or Resell any and all medications Narcotics/Controlled Substances (this policy is fully enforced by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)) for Anti-depressants, Pain, Anxiety, Weightloss, Sleep, ADHD/ADD, Anabolic Steroids, Testosterone Replacement Therapy and any and all Medications that contain GabaPentin or Pseudroephedrine including non-controlled substances or any medications that are considered controversial, Off Labeled (Growth Hormone aka HGH) or recalled in nature such (i.e. Retin-A, Accutane). Furthermore, QuickRxRefills is not a substitute for an office based physician in your location nor is it a substitute for Emergency Medical Care or 911. If you do experience a "true" medical emergency your are encouraged to pick up the phone and dial 911 as soon as possible.