Tag: mobile apps

Custom Mobile Apps for Urgent Care: Pros and Cons

By Darya Danikovich, IT journalist, Softvelopers.

Darya Danikovich
Darya Danikovich

As the healthcare industry is strongly focused on efficient workflow, mobile apps are what can help doctors and patients interact on the go. According to a survey, 90 percent of medical institutions already use or plan to use mobile apps for patient treatment and/or internal management. With the growing number of hospitals that start to launch mobile apps, there has increased a need to shift away from the one-app-fits-all model to systems that serve to accomplish specific tasks. Urgent care clinics are the first in line to try enhance the efficiency of their work by turning to mobile applications.

To provide preventive care to more patients, most healthcare systems have created retail and urgent care clinics for people to visit and arrange an appointment on the same day. While retail centers provide mostly basic services, for instance, chronic conditions treatment, urgent care clinics deal with more serious cases. Also, such clinics typically have labs and offer X-Ray services. That’s why it is very important to provide these medical centers with appropriate software that will serve the overarching goal – effective patient treatment. So why not use a mobile app to improve the entire workflow? Let’s weigh up all the pros and cons.

Benefits and drawbacks of custom mobile apps for urgent care

If you plan to get a custom mobile app for an urgent care center, thoroughly consider finances, time and energy that you are going to invest in the project. If an app is developed to serve doctors, then all the risks are worth taking. Apps for smartphones and tablets speed up urgent care delivery and help doctors find the fastest solution in code blue situations.

Another matter is getting a mobile app to serve patients. The urgent care market focuses quite narrowly on doctor-on-demand apps for patients. Moreover, most patients turn to urgent care less than 2 times a year. So is the effort justified? Apps may be installed when needed and removed if not needed any more. That’s why it seems reasonable to download an app from the App Store or use a website to get the updated patient information.

What is the best solution for urgent care providers

Though custom mobile apps for urgent care centers may be optional, there is always a strong need in other software. Clinics demand healthcare management information systems (HMIS), custom imaging and visualization apps, patient administration systems, electronic health record (EHR) systems and other medical software to improve patient outcomes and meet the needs of a certain clinic and its staff. Healthcare policy management software can aid the facility in its short- and long-term management goals while considering the stringent regulations and healthcare standards.

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The Island of Misfit EHRs

Guest post by Dr. Tom Giannulli, CMIO, Kareo.

Dr. Tom Giannulli
Dr. Tom Giannulli

As any holiday TV-loving baby boomer can attest, the island of misfit toys is not a happy place. In the 1964 stop-motion animated television show, “unwanted” were destined to live out their toy lives without the joy of playtime with the child they were built to please. Unfortunately, some EHR products share certain misfit qualities which can make their use more difficult for a busy provider.

So how do you know if you are using a misfit EHR? Here are a few signs:

Sound familiar? This is essentially your situation when you have committed to an outdated and under-supported EHR system for your practice. You are land-locked by an older system that is not cloud-based or does not leverage the many cloud resources for communication and interoperability.

So, your technology is old, the code base has been put on the shelf by the EHR vendor and no updates are coming. This is despite the rapid changes surrounding your practice and the healthcare industry in general.

You feel isolated, and when you call for support you get little to no relief, as the vendor has moved on to bigger and better customers. In the TV show, Santa promised to come back to save the misfits, just as your EHR vendor promised customized support, ongoing upgrades and improved efficiency. But the costs are prohibitive and your confidence in the vendor is low.

Maybe it is time to get off the island, and hitch a ride with a new vendor. If a new EHR is on your holiday list, here some criteria you should consider:

Cloud-Based Platform

Leverage the power of the cloud to connect to labs, e-prescribing networks, HIEs and other data hubs such as the Commonwell Health Alliance. With a cloud-based EHR system these connections are built into the application, and any new features or connections to other entities become available to all users, no upgrades, no updates required to your infrastructure.

Don’t buy expensive hardware, servers and IT support staff to manage them. All you need to run a cloud-based EHR is a desktop web browser or mobile device.

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