Computers In The Office [ view all articles ]
Computer usage in the United States is at a record high as is also the case in other parts of the world. Research conducted shows that people in a broad group of age ranges have begun using the Internet at a much more rapid pace. Many doctors are showing this trend by bringing computers and their management tools into the office.
Understanding this, TheRightContact.com has developed a useful application that can be accessed from any computer with an internet connection, but this is obviously just one of the many tools available to the eye care professional. In recent years, manufacturers have dedicated large budgets to obtain their piece of the online community. Whether it’s advertising, interactive websites, mobile applications, online meetings, tutorials, or order forms, these companies have made it a priority to have a very large presence on the internet.
Another tool that has found its way to the doctor’s office is the electronic medical record. Electronic medical records (EMR) are computerized medical records. Current software offers many features that assist in office efficiency. Management software can perform things such as medical billing, inventory, appointment scheduling, E-prescriptions, plus much more.
While many doctors are implementing some type of software to help their offices run more efficiently, recent federal legislation will soon require compliance by 2014. Legislators have made the argument that electronic medical records provide a combined benefit of securing patient data as well as cutting down healthcare cost. In light of this, Congress has created a formula of both rewards and penalties for EMR implementation versus continued use of paper records as part of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, enacted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
The days of filing medical records are soon a thing of the past. New initiatives, whether desired or mandated, will now force our offices to embrace computers. While there is an obvious financial responsibility, it will be helpful to reflect on the positive long-term aspects of these changes. Information will be more accessible than ever before, allowing us to provide optimal care for our patients.