Embracing mobile technology in their everyday working life seems to be second nature for the new generation of physicians – especially the ones who have graduated post 2000. It has provided them with the privilege of staying connected with their work outside the medical premises. It has given them the flexibility to access patient charts through their Electronic Health Records (EHRs), use clinical decision support systems, refer online drug information, take relevant notes, check references and do many more things on the move. The biggest benefit has been in terms of the improvement which has happened in terms of provider-patient communication.
With the healthcare norms incentivizing the push towards use of EHRs, mobiles have enabled the young generation of physicians to have a better work-life balance than their older peers. One cannot gainsay the obvious benefit this generation has over the older ones – for having been born in an era in which the use of technology in medicine has been the most pervasive. However, this does not mean that all young physicians are upbeat about their nature of work or life. It is common to hear about the medical school debt being quite a burden for the first few years of their lives. Seems like they have a few more points added to the list. Feedback received from surveys indicates a certain percentage wish they had not taken up this profession. Their concerns include:
- Unhappiness with third-party interference
- Lack of adequate insurance coverage for patients
- Lack of time to adequately educate patients on better health strategies
- Inability to provide quality care to patients amid the demands of a convoluted billing and coding system
Although the ease of adoption is higher, their overall analysis of the healthcare reforms and the push for EHR use also has had mixed feedback. The positives cited are as follows:
- Ability to remotely access patient information
- Improvements in quality of care
- Improvement in their ability to provide guideline-based care and track patients’ markers of disease control over time.
- Better provider communication as a result of having everyone on the same EHR system
The main concern however is that EHRs are more expensive than expected, threatening the financial sustainability of their practices. Other negatives shared are :
- Poor usability
- Time-consuming data entry process
- Less time availability for face-to-face patient care
- Degradation of clinical documentation by trying to force it into structured fields
- Information overload, as having more EHR functions–such as reminders, alerts, and messaging capabilities leads to lower professional satisfaction
Amidst all this, one area which has seen a lot of enthusiasm amongst the young generation of physicians in the use of smartphones and apps. Although the debate for how much real value apps bring to the table continues, its use has been on the rise. From using them to attend medical education training online to prescribing them to patients as an alternative to a face-to-face meeting, most of them do not seem to have any hesitation is trying out various available possibilities. Infact there is a strong belief that judicious use of smartphones and apps will result in saving millions of dollars otherwise spent in unnecessary hospital visits and surgery.
As Healthcare industry undergoes major changes, for the better, physicians are also required to develop new skills and acquire new competencies so as to not fall behind expectations. With the push of healthcare financing more towards value-based payments rather than volume based, clinicians will have 3 major objectives.
- Improve quality of care
- Promote greater efficiency in care delivery
- Improve Patient safety
In order to achieve the above, they will be required to better utilize evidence-based practices, work in inter-professional teams and coordinate care across settings which would also include other providers. Hence moving forward, the need of the hour is to have physicians who are excellent in interpersonal and communications skills and an penchant towards collaborating with others to provide cost effective care. On the part of the hospitals, it has become imperative now to invest in the training of their existing staff in order to address the gaps and avoid the risk of becoming redundant. To leverage maximum benefits of healthcare software development, it is highly essential to spend proportionate amount of budget and efforts in training.
We provide healthcare software maintenance services. With a large team of certified programmers & healthcare software testers, working with us with ensure near-zero training costs. To speak to one of our developers, please get in touch with us at Mindfire Solutions.