sourceaditya: Cool Applications for a Doctor’s Website

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Cool Applications for a Doctor’s Website

A website is many things to many people and organizations that have them. A visiting card on the world wide web, a squatting place on the ever connected information highway, a knowledge source for others to learn, and many more definitions come out of the woodwork after all these net enabled years. Today doctors, just like any other professional or organization are interested in getting their own website, either personally or for their clinic/hospital.

So what are the essentials a doctor’s website should have?
Information about you and your setup, degree and professional details, contact information (with a map preferably), information about the services you provide and finally a query form for the curious ones who want to ask a question. Apart from this basic data some doctors have gone a step further and introduced many innovative tools and content on their website. Interactive patient forms, videos and animations, medical calculators that calculate your BMI and what not, forums, blogs, news feeds, etc. These are some of the things you will usually find on a doctor’s website.

So what else is there?
Well the tools and applications need not stop there. More can be achieved on your website by applications and widgets. They can make your website more interactive for the user and offer patients a lot more opportunity to learn, get serviced and interact with you! Some neat ideas can be implemented which can make a world of difference to your site; which from being a lost in the crowd visiting card on the Internet becomes a beacon of light in the chaos.

So tell me more about them?
A very basic need is appointment management, nothing which an Online Scheduler cannot handle. It comes equipped with an interface to fill in your timings as per your availability on a daily basis. It allows patients to take an appointment; which comes to you as an SMS alert. Go online or through your phone accept the appointment or reject it, triggering the appropriate SMS to the patient. It can be interfaced with Plus91 Practice Management Solutions.

Online EMR and e-Bills offers the patient the added benefit of viewing his/her record remotely along with the bill. This allows the patient to travel and still access the records. It also allows them access to download and print bills for insurance reasons at any time. Lastly, it saves the clinic time and the patient the added effort of collecting certain reports which do not need doctor interaction. Create Patient profiles on the website and allows access via a username and password. Upload report documents to the patient profile, SMS alert goes to the patient who can now access them with ease.

E-Prescriptions are the rage in the USA, companies like surescripts have made it into a completely new business model. Travelling patients will indeed be thankful the day you can start this service. There are multiple ideas in at work here.
a. A patient can send a query about a prescription to you via the website interface, which comes to you as a SMS and you can reply from the phone.
b. You can have a small gadget where patient fill in their prescription schedules or you upload from your software, and the website sends SMS reminders to the patient to take the tablet.
c. Lastly and this is big in the USA but not here, is actually sending across prescriptions from your software or the website to your local or requisite pharmacist, eliminating paper and making the prescription tablets harder to get. Now the patient simply goes to the pharmacy and his prescriptions are waiting.

Content Management Systems are present behind websites allowing the user to change the web content over time. A good content management system allows you to add, update, delete and modify various pages and files on the website from a single simple graphical interface. Making your website cool and up to date needs you to have a strong content management system behind it so you don’t waste your time updating information.

Doctor Connect is a simple concept; there are times in the day or in the week where you are relatively free. So why don’t you allow patients or people to interact with you real time without meeting you. You can consider this a stripped down version of telemedicine via your website. Allow users to come to the site and chat with you on a G-talk or other chat engines embedded in your website. They only see you when you are free and can sign in. Take it one step further by allowing them to SMS queries to you from the website.

News Aggregator, start a news aggregator for your field of medicine. This automatically picks up topics related to your field of medicine and shows it one a scrolling news bar, with links to the articles. These are sourced from across the internet from various health and news sites. Now become a single source of news not only for patients but also for your fellow colleagues, at no extra effort or cost from your side.

Map my Clinic, allows you to use the progress technology has made in navigation. Allow the patient or client to send an SMS of his location to a number which in turn comes to your website, here it computes the best case directions to your clinic using external service providers and sends SMS of direction back.

Allow your WAP/GPRS/3G enabled phone to capture and image and send it straight to your website where you can access it for further study or show it in a public gallery for others to see. These may be patient X-ray or chart images, surgery images, images of patient conditions, or just some cool thing you saw and want to share with your patients.

There is much more we can do with a website! I am sure if given an opportunity we can make it much more than just a visiting card on the internet. Coming soon, by Plus91

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