Freedom Through Technology

Freedom through Technology

Sometimes we go along with a routine because it is the way we’ve always done it. There is reliability, at a minimum, in the outcome of this approach. However, human programming looks for ways around or to avoid frustration, whether it be through reducing stress and effort or looking for ways to better our environment. Many times, we turn toward technology to satisfy our need to make progress, advance and win.

Recognizing the Problem

Many organizations recognize difficult workflows and are trying to change them. Technology certainly has the potential to assist doctors, staff and patients, but either in its current state or due to system dependencies, it ends up increasing or convoluting the workload. For example, think about manual key entry. Handing a clipboard to a new patient in order to obtain their demographic information and medical history is something practices do day in and day out. It takes a considerable amount of time to enter everything over into the PMS or EHR. What if you have another system, one that was employed to make another task ‘simpler’, but the same information needs to be keyed into that system as well? Between the redundancy, time spent, and errors potentially made, it could turn out to cost even more down the road. It could result in a claim denial or delayed payment collection.

Reports show that many EHR systems have a cumbersome user interface design which takes time to navigate. In this, technology, or the move from paper to an electronic system, has had an adverse effect. EHR’s can sometimes require many ‘clicks’ and pagination to enter data during a visit which ends up diverting attention away from patients. Recent studies say that patients report that during appointments, doctors are on the computer all the time. With the focus on patient satisfaction, it is imperative that the systems used help not hinder.

Freedom in Technology

There is freedom to be found in technology. We can be freed from manual and tedious tasks. We can rely on technology to free us to make better, more informed decisions. We can be freed up from wasting time in the waiting room. We can free patients to access their healthcare from their home or devices. This freedom begins with identifying where opportunities lie for your practice or within your organization. Determine the area you wish you had freedom. Pinpoint where your team spends most of their time with manual effort. Decipher the biggest inefficiencies.

In an article written by researcher Andy Miah, he says, “…technology does set us free. More specifically, it replaces the burden of chance with the burden of choice.” This is happening within the health industry, and in so many areas of our daily lives. We can choose to find relief and freedom from burdensome tasks. For example, online and mobile options are convenient, and we value quick access from our devices. This applies to healthcare, too. Paying bills is a tedious task by the time patients receive their bill, get their paycheck, write a check, buy a stamp, and take their payment to a mailbox. But with technology, electronic billing allows patient payments to happen faster than ever. If patients can do this from their phones, they can pay their bills anywhere, at any time. That’s progress. That’s technology at work.

Freedom to Make New Connections

There are still a good number of organizations that are not free from the chains of traditional processes and methods. More and more we search out how to grow and make our lives better. Healthcare providers are the pinnacle of this sentiment. Staff and Practitioners shouldn’t have to search multiple websites or click between multiple screens to enter information while conducting a patient evaluation: time is truly of the essence in healthcare. Seeking out ways to win and successfully manage the day at the practice can be a reality.

Determining what areas to address and seeking solutions is the beginning of the freedom that advancements can offer us. We at Rectangle Health are patient experience designers. We customize solutions to solve pain points and problematic workflows. Practice Management Bridge® by Rectangle Health serves over 60,000 Providers by assisting the practice solve problematic workflows increasing both staff and patient satisfaction.

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