Tools are available that can help reduce the number of duplicative or otherwise unnecessary diagnostic tests doctors order. And although their main function is not cost containment, these systems can have a profound effect on the bottom line. EHRs, for example, when properly implemented, can keep clinicians informed of recent lab tests and imaging studies--through the magic of HL7.
Costs of Care, a nonprofit 501(c)(3), is a social venture that helps doctors understand how the decisions they make impact what patients pay for care. By harnessing social media, mobile applications, and other information technologies, we give doctors and patients the information they need to deflate medical bills.
The interesting thing is that a new breed of healthcare IT investment is happening. There’s a shift to investing in software and devices that instead of increasing the cost of healthcare strive to actually lower the costs of healthcare. While certainly many would argue on whether EHR software lowers the costs of healthcare, that’s the intent. I think that long term we’ll see the cost savings of EHR software and the software that gets built on the backs of EHR software will lower costs
This past month, a survey revealed that of 1,190 physicians polled, 75 percent still use their desktop for practice management. In fact, despite the onslaught and popularity of mobile apps and usage techniques, just 6 percent of those questioned opt for a smart phone, while 10 percent use an iPad or other tablet for these same tasks.
With the mHealth industry anxiously awaiting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's final draft of guidelines for mobile medical apps (expected by this fall), the talk at that particular panel discussion focused on what should be regulated and what shouldn't. Bakul Patel, a policy adviser for the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health, pointed out that the market is flooded with apps – many of them harmless, but some of them potentially dangerous and in need of regulation.
"It's not just about cool software or making something useful," he said in a video feed to the conference, held at the Collonade Hotel. "You have to understand the risks … and the intentions."
Yes, tablets and styluses are getting better, but there’s nothing like the instant satisfaction of putting pen to paper and seeing the ink spread across the page. Sure, the pen runs out every once in a while, but that’s generally pretty rare. A nice pen just flat out works with an immediate response in the exact location you want something written. There’s no calibration needed. You just pick it up and start using it. It’s beautiful.