With an increased use of high tech equipment as well as advanced software programs, medical offices and hospitals are becoming more automated, and thus more efficient. In many medical professions, entire offices have converted from paper file folders containing patient information to files that are scanned into a central database. This technology increasingly has done away with old-fashioned filing cabinets and in some cases, even rooms that were filled entirely with patient records. Some of the technology advances that have helped medical professions become streamlined include:
- Imaging software that lets doctors pull up patient information as well as test results, X-rays and MRI's quickly.
- Scanning software that scans patient files into a central database, eliminating paper files and bulky folders.
- Computerized billing and claims processing so that insurance claims are submitted electronically, thereby shortening turnaround time for payment.
- A centralized computer system within branches of hospitals so that, regardless of where a patient is located, the most up-to-date information about a patient's condition is readily available.
Other Technology Advances: Faster Prescriptions
Other technology advances in the medical profession include electronic prescriptions and automatic refills. Once they've seen a patient and diagnosed a problem, many health care providers are able to send a prescription electronically to the patient's pharmacy by using their phone or other hand-held electronic device. This eliminates the use of paper as well as the additional wait time at the pharmacy. A pharmacist no longer has to take the written prescription, verify patient information and then process the prescription. With the new method, the prescription has already been sent remotely to a pharmacist's computer screen to be filled, and the patient simply has to pick up the prescription.
This works ideally in a hospital situation, too. If a patient needs to have a certain type of pill or dosage, medical personnel can electronically alert the hospital pharmacy, so that it can be prepared quickly and accurately.
The amount of time and paperwork this saves for health care providers, the patient and the pharmacist is immense. Often, prescriptions are refilled automatically which adds an immense comfort level to any patient that is dependent on a certain medication. The stress level is much lower if a patient never has to worry about running low on pills. Additionally, recorded phone messages are sent to advise a patient when a prescription is ready.