Friday, April 18, 2008

Modernising the Medical World.

In the wake of the official Google Health launch (check it out - looks interesting). Got some comment from SA Doc on modernising the medical world...

I used to work in a practise that was - for lack of a better word - archaic. You've heard of paperless offices. Now try a paper-filled practice. Everything was done in the old fashioned method of pen to paper - the invoices, the patient notes, even the list indicating the link between family name and file number.

Email? Email who? The only computer visible (under the masses of paper) is an old 486 running Windows 3.1. I actually had to relearn how to use that OS.

No matter how I tried to convince the partners to modernise they could not see the advantage. The idea that you could access any information from complete, LEGIBLE patient notes with a CTRL F was beyond them. The idea that billing and ICD10 coding could be done with a couple of drop down choices didn't compute either (pardon the pun).

I love the idea of systemising patient records and details. It makes things simple. It correlates data very well (no more missing lipograms when a page from the file goes missing). Yikes.

More doctors should organise their patients details and medical information. It makes it easier when you practice, it makes it easier for locums, it makes it easier to recall patient illness details when you need to discuss them with another doctor, it makes it easier to correlate lab results and it makes it easier to bill.

From the other side of the fence now (my crossover into the dark side of managed health), I immediately can notice when a doctor is using a system. They can give me detailed information, email me motivations / lab results. They also tend to bill more appropriately and thus (big tip here!)... have their claims approved faster!

It's a pleasure to work with them! Catch a wake up Docs. It's the 21st Century.

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