In a few short months it will be 2017, and a new year of amazing innovation in ORs across the nation. Yet despite the advancement of modern surgical technology, many practice back offices remain stuck in the pre-internet age of carbon paper forms, wall calendars, and fax machines.
|When Dr. Divya Dhar finished medical school in 2009, she was given the same pager her uncle received when he became a doctor 30 years earlier. Bemused at the lack of progress, Dr. Dhar was inspired to create Seratis, an app for doctors to communicate better with their teams, reduce medical errors and improve patient care. According to her research, poor communication is the culprit in 50% of errors, in some cases even leading to patient deaths.|
Fast forward several years, and the app market offers a range of professional tools your team can use inside and outside your practice to improve communication and deliver better care.
6 Apps for surgeons that enhance communication
1. Doctella – Keep your patients in the loop throughout the entire surgical scheduling process with customizable smartlists. Instead of receiving ad-hoc, partial information on paper, patients get all the relevant information at the right time, in one organized application. These interactive smartlists allow surgeons to customize and update content, and oversee patient care on the go. It can be integrated with any EHR/EMR and is available on iOS and Android.
|2. IM Your Doc – Remembering a surgeon’s instructions post-op is not always easy. With IM Your Doc, a HIPAA compliant texting app, patients can text their doctors for pre or post-op instructions, request a prescription refill, or ask other questions. No more long lists of emails and phone calls to return at the end of the day. Surgeons can also use the app to respond to staff inquiries. IM Your Doc does not require EHR/EMR integration, but data can be easily transferred. The app is available on iOS and Android.|
|3. MedXCom – For years, surgeons have been using standard after-hours answering services, that often provide them with the wrong information, or send the right information to the wrong surgeon. MedXCom offers doctors an intelligent answering service that combines a live operator with automated answering. The HIPAA compliant app filters non-urgent calls while routing urgent calls to the on-call surgeon. Doctors can choose to receive calls directly, via text message, or through a live operator. MedXCom is available on iOS and Android.|
|4. EASE – Having a loved one undergo major surgery can be stressful. EASE is a HIPAA compliant messaging app that lets families receive live updates throughout the procedure. Surgeons can send them text, photo, and video from the OR in real time, reducing their anxiety and putting them at *EASE*. The app is available on iOS and Android and also offers an app for the families to receive messages.|
|5. SurgiApp – It’s never been easier for surgeons to communicate with schedulers and billing staff. Fully HIPAA compliant, SurgiApp works with the Surgimate platform to give surgeons instant access to their surgery schedule. Surgeons can update their team when a surgery is completed, cancelled, or postponed, and lets billing know if additional procedures were performed. There is no need for post-op cards, lost surgical notes, or waiting on paperwork to be brought back to the office. SurgiApp is available on iOS and Android.|
|6. Doximity – The largest healthcare provider network, Doximity enables verified healthcare professionals to connect with their colleagues. Surgeons can use the app to send and receive HIPAA compliant messages and faxes, and sign digital documents. Physicians can discuss medical issues in a secure environment, such as confirming patient test results with their referring physicians to receive clearance for surgery. Doctors can earn CMEs, read medical news, and learn about career opportunities. Doximity is available on iOS and Android.|
Apps for Surgeons for the 21st Century
So there you have it. Six top, industry-proven apps you can start using today to improve communication between surgeons and staff, and with your patients – reducing errors, confusion, and ultimately offering better care throughout the whole surgical process.
Technological innovation need not be limited to the OR; everyone can benefit from these effective, low-cost tools. Make 2017 the year you bring the rest of your practice into the 21st century.