sourceaditya: 10 reasons to get a PC for your clinic or practice

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

10 reasons to get a PC for your clinic or practice

A computer is standard machinery in most offices today. Invariably some of the better run businesses boast a computer setup. A medical practice is like any other business with a few special characteristics, the most notable ones being: it’s a very personal service being provided and knowledge of this complex service is exclusively with a special few who “operate” the service so to speak. So how does something so impersonal and mundane like a PC find a place in this business? Well we have 10 good reasons why it should find a place in your practice.

1. Medico-Legal Protection

The government makes it mandatory for Doctors to maintain medical records for indoor patients’ period of 3 years. Similarly new bills are being introduced almost each day to ascertain the type and duration of medical record storage. Article 1.3.1 of the Indian Medical Council Regulations actually states “Efforts shall be made to computerize medical records for quick retrieval”.

The data in the electronic format is more secure from theft, destruction and loss if the right precautions are taken. Medical records and accounting information is much more stable and well formatted in electronic form. Hence it is advisable to start moving your data onto the PC. It may just protect you from a legal wrangle sometime down the future.

2. Data Security

As mentioned above data is more secure in electronic formats if the correct precautions are taken. It can be easily backed up in secure locations and also electronic formats present today are a lot sturdier than paper!

Medical records, accounting information, medical notes are valuable information for you, your practice and the clinic. It is a pretty simple choice in moving your data into electronic format; in fact a lot of my clients at Plus91 scan and store their old forms and records in our softwares so that they are secure.

A PC gives you an added resource to be secure about the information you generate and posses at your clinic. Even presentations, lectures and medical notes are better off on a PC.

3. Easy Access to Data

Imagine a patient walks in without her case paper, what do you do? Search your paper records for a copy; that is if you even have one! I know doctors who throw a fit when this happens, but I guess a patient cannot be blamed. What about the times when important decisions need data from old visits or external test reports. Don’t you wish you had them at your finger tips?

A computer in your practice gives you the opportunity to achieve this nirvana. With the right tools and a little training you can have medical records, patient history and even access to online resources to help to make better and quicker decisions.

4. Customer Service

A computer allows you to improve customer service in a multitude of ways. From being able to take and manage appointments more efficiently to generating reports and records quicker, a computer helps you improve the clinic’s interaction with the patient.

Patients often come asking for old records, medical certificates, or with a query which you are not familiar with. In all these cases a computer would help you solve his queries and problems faster. How? Medical record - > search and print, medical certificate -> enter patient information in pre-filled format and print, query -> search for information online or a PC resource to make better decisions or find a relevant doctor to refer to quickly on the internet. Now a days with newer technology better customer service can be provided via SMS and email alerts, online patient interaction, easy record transfers, online appointment etc.

5. Communication

A PC is a very effective communication tool. Right from helping you generate notes and records which communicate medical information to tools on the Internet to let you communicate in general. A PC is a friend when you are in need. Every query will have an answer of some sort on the Internet.

It also allows you to communicate with your peers and post your insights for other to read. Medicine, more than any other domain requires you to be in touch with the latest developments. Books like MIMs are slow to communicate and limited in their effectiveness. Every nation which threatens peace is the one who shuts itself from the world. Communicate because it helps you treat patients better. A PC is the biggest leap you can make in this direction besides getting a cell phone.

6. Save Space!

All those paper records, excess staff required to manage your clinic, overcrowding due to mismanagement of appointments can be avoided by getting a PC. How? Digitizing your patient records help you get rid of them. Make your office paperless, it leaves a wonderful impression on your patients.

Use appointment schedulers to manage inflow of patients. More importantly, an efficient software solution will help you run your clinic or hospital on lesser number of staff. So, yes save space by getting a PC.

7. Generate useful information

Every service or product is improved through feedback, study and statistics. Why should your clinic or your ability to treat patients be any different? A PC helps you capture this information in a logical and effective manner. More importantly it helps you use this information in a more practical manner.

Know how long your patients have to wait, find out what drugs you prescribe more and their actual feedback, find out which patients or procedures help you generate maximum business. And do this within your normal working process. The PC not only helps you capture these, but helps you by giving a systematic and readable output which you can use. A PC provides you with effective tools to help increase productivity and efficiency. In fact many doctors use data gathered to publish studies and write papers!

8. Avoid loss and pilferage

A PC helps you manage your inventory. Using simple office tools or special softwares you can track the status of your disposables items, drugs and other inventory. Many times staff and other stakeholders might steal or take away inventory. Having an ordered system prevents misuse and makes one think twice of taking advantage.

Today, software solutions allow you to auto debit items via bills and also generate reports for per item of usage. A PC is a definite step towards preventing loss and pilferage in the clinic

9. Smoothen Operations

A PC will increase productivity of staff and give them something to work on, even during the lean periods. Also the excitement that comes with using a organized system is something which cannot be discounted. A PC helps smoothen overall operation in your clinic.

Data will be available freely, generate records and reports instantly, cut down on manual repetitive work. Add a new dimension to the work you and your staff do each day.

10. Contribute

A PC allows you or gives you the opportunity to contribute to the medical and knowledge domain. Through emails, blogs, articles you may write which would have gone unwritten, or data you use to support new findings, the PC allows you to contribute like never before.

Contribute to your patient by improving service and efficiency through the use of a computer in your practice. Contribute to your own growth by doing something new today, by buying a PC for your clinic and using it to do the things you only wanted to do but never could.

Finally, clinic and hospitals have been running over the years with or without a computer. A computer may not be a panacea to all your problems or a life changing event in itself. What is does do, is give you an opportunity to be able to do all the above things. All via a single window solution that is your computer screen.

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