The Future of Doctor's Office
Your patients are more aware of how illness spreads, and they will want assurances that your practice is taking precautions to keep them safe in your office during and after a pandemic. Because these concerns aren’t going away once the pandemic is over, you’ll need to think about the patient experience and consider implementing some new procedures to keep your office and patients safe.
It would have been difficult to imagine technology like electronic medical records (EMRs) or patient portals catching on quickly a decade ago. However, between 2007 and 2017, physician EMR uses increased from about 30% to over 85%. As a result, we can expect emerging technology to become a common feature in the future doctor’s office, just as it has.
Your patients want to feel safe when they visit your practice, whether using technology to reduce wait times, offering contactless check-in, or embracing technological advances in wearable tech.
Think of your practice’s future with these predictions and ideas to set yourself apart from the competition and ensure that your patients are comfortable calling you, their doctor.
Wearable Tech Will Be Common
Some consumer groups, particularly fitness enthusiasts, are already fans of wearable technology. These high-tech fitness trackers track everything from a person’s heart rate to their activity level and even their sleeping patterns.
Experts predict that as this technology improves and becomes less intrusive in daily life, it will become an essential part of the medical community, providing doctors with real-time health information. One example is using a specific anti-hypertensive drug to treat a large group of high blood pressure patients. With EMR technology the doctor would be able to monitor the medication’s effect on each patient’s heart rate and blood pressure using wearable technology.
Waiting Rooms Will Phase Out
Any patient will tell you that they would prefer to spend less time in the waiting room. But, according to surveys, doctors who do not take steps to reduce wait times risk losing more than half of their patient base in a year.
Although advances such as online check-ins have made the waiting room experience more streamlined, experts predict that waiting rooms will become even more efficient in the future or even disappear entirely. Patients completing pre-visit forms online, combined with data from wearable technology, could provide doctors with the majority, if not all, of the information they require ahead of time.
Patient Will Engage in their Healthcare
During a visit with their doctor, patients often share a lot of information lost in the note-taking process. However, in the future, new technology could include a simple set of questions with drop-down menus and comment boxes that you could upload into the patient’s electronic medical record (EMR).
The results of this survey or intake form could be pre-loaded into the system and emailed to the patient a few days before their appointment. The doctor could then read the form before the appointment, ask pertinent questions during the visit, and add to the narrative.
Introducing new technology can be exciting, but it can also be intimidating. Physicians must push through the learning curve with the latest technology to embrace the coming changes. You must become involved in professional associations, listen to your patients, and embrace new technology to prepare for future developments. You will continue to learn and be better positioned in the future if you keep an open mind.