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Phreesia Makes Going to the Doctor Easier

The other day, we had to visit the doctor after hours. Because of this, we went to the local “instacare.” However, as soon as we realized it wasn’t going to be so “insta,” with an hour and a half wait, my husband and I decided to drive about 10 minutes to another after-hours facility. We ended up at the wrong one, but decided to stay as soon as we discovered they took our insurance.

First off, I was immediately impressed with the office. The staff was extremely friendly and professional. Especially because at the first place we went, the receptionist was eating an egg roll as she tried to get our information. Secondly, I noticed right away that they had some sort of tablets sitting at the front desk, and I was really hoping I would get a chance to use one and check it out. None of the doctor’s my family usually go to have any type of technology like that (I think I’ve mentioned how my OB/GYN is about as ancient as they come,) so I was excited to see this here. As soon as the receptionist scanned my insurance card, she handed me one of the tablets and asked me to fill out the information on the tablet. I readily agreed and went back to my seat.

When I say down, my husband saw what I was holding and said, “I bet you love this. You can totally write a post about it,” so, I thought I would.

The tablets that the office used are called Phreesia, the patient check-in company. They are bright orange, and a series of questions are asked. The questions ranged everywhere from insurance ID numbers, symptoms, past medical history, and allergies. It includes automatic insurance verification, to reduce the instance of denied claims, and the patient can swipe their debit card on the machine and pay their deductible. Here are a few of there other features listed on the site:

  • Simplify your check-in with a selection of expertly-designed specialty-specific interviews
  • Automate the administration, scoring, and reporting of clinical scales before patients enter the exam room
  • Collect sensitive healthy information with proven technology
  • Obtain a legible list of medications and drug allergies
  • Obtain patient consent for managed care initiatives

Phreesia offers different varieties of the product for all kinds of specialties  so any practice could probably find use for it. It’s also secure, so patients and providers alike can be confident about inputting information.

After using the tablet, I was definitely converted. So much, that I was very tempted to switch my family over to this practice. One thing that I always hate doing is having to tell a receptionist all of my personal information, and sometimes the details of why I’m there. I would much rather have my privacy, and be able to provide as much or as little details as I wanted. I felt like I was able to be more thorough in the descriptions of past medical history, as well as about why I was coming in. Overall, I love that some practices are implementing this kind of system, and I hope to see it more often. When I worked at a therapy clinic, I always loved the little PDA’s that we handed out for patients to answer questions — something like Phreesia.

December 17, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.

Five Helpful Mobile Apps for Radiologists

After seeing the popularity of my post about great mobile apps for medical students, I thought I would do a few more posts like that, focusing on different types of medical professions. Today, radiologists.

There are TONS of mobile resources for radiologists. Granted, the best ones are rather expensive, but from what I gather, well-worth the cost. However, there are also some pretty handy free (or really inexpensive) ones as well. After doing some research, here are a few of the apps I think could be helpful for those in radiology. Unfortunately, they are all for iOS devices, though some may be available for Android in the future.

1) Diagnostic Radiology App

iMedicalapps.com made the claim that this app is “possibly the best radiology app for iOS.” This is actually more like an interactive textbook. There is a very comprehensive, searchable database with over 30 different cases. The results from each case can be hidden in order to help the user think up their own solutions. There are excellent image sets included in each case as well. The app is meant for the iPad, but apparently, works rather smoothly on the smaller iPod and iPhone screens. This specific app is geared toward abdominal radiology, though other emphases are in the works. The app does cost quite a bit at $44.99, however, there is a free version which apparently is still very good. One reviewer claimed that “this app is amazing. I . . . expected a freebie with perhaps a bit of useful content. How wrong I was.”

This app is amazing. I downloaded it yesterday and expected a freebie with perhaps a bit of useful content. How wrong I was.

Download the full version here, and the free version here.

2) RSNA Radiology

This app is for Radiology, a top-rated, peer-reviewed journal. It contains tons of great articles that can be easily searched, as well as sent to colleagues. The font size is also adjustable, which accomodates the young and old radiologist. There are also included podcasts which can be listened to through the app. As I mentioned, the articles can be searched, which is definitely useful if someone is looking for a specific part of a certain article. New research with commentary and critiques from different experts in the radiology world is one of the highlights of RSNA Radiology. This app is totally free, which is awesome, considering all the great resources that it includes. It isn’t currently available for Android devices, though it can be accessed from Android phones and tablets at m.radiology.rsna.org.

Download for iOS devices here.

3) Radiology Toolbox

According to the description on iTunes, Radiology Toolbox is “the radiologist’s ectopic brain.” This app was created to anyone involved in radioloy, from the student just starting their studies, to the seasoned radiologist. There are two versions, the lite and the pro, and each include useful tools such as a GFR calculator, gastric emptying times, and a radiographic contrast premedication. The pro version has a lot more tools like a adrenal adenoma calculator and charts of AFI, pediatric spleen, and kidney size. The apps are still in their beginning stages, so expect updates to come regularly, but this is definitely an app that anyone in the radiology field should have.

Download the pro version for 4.99 here, and the free version here. This app is only available for iOS devices at this time.

4) SeeMyRadiology Mobile

This app allows users to view medical images and reports, right on their mobile device! Not only that, but photos can be taken directly with the mobile device and saved directly to the app or shared with others. It is HIPAA compliant, a secure cloud-computing platform, and approved by Accelarad for medical image review. Images can be searched for very easily, using either a patient’s name, time-frame, or medical record number. There’s a bunch of other neat features, and the app creators have gone to great lengths to ensure the security of the app (such as requiring a pin after a period of inactivity, and making sure no PHI is stored on the device upon closure of a case.) The app goes hand-in-hand with SeeMyRadiology.com. Best of all, it’s free.

Download for iOS here.

5) Radiology 2.0: One Night in the ED

For those that can’t afford Diagnostic Radiology, or simply would like another reference guide, this is another great option with tons of features. It has different cases that can be viewed, and the user is able to act as if they are actually reading and interpreting the CT scan from a PACS workstation. There are over 7,000 images included in the app and hundreds of pages of information, all of which can be viewed offline. It’s an excellent way to improve one’s ability to interpret images. Important information is highlighted and explained, and images are shown in a very realistic way.

Download for iOS here (the complete version, for free!)

Although I only highlighted five apps here, there are many more worthy to be on this list. Feel free to let me know what your favorite radiology app is!

Is there a specific field of medicine you’d like me to find good apps for? Leave a comment, and I’ll put in on my list! 

November 27, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.

My First (Actual) Experience With A Patient Portal

During my time of writing about mHealth, I have had the opportunity to discover many apps, patient portals, and PHRs that have been created. However, I haven’t been able to use them beyond my initial review, for the most part. Why? Because most of the physicians my family aren’t really into the whole mHealth trend. I mean, my OB/GYN doesn’t even have a website (granted, he’s about 70 years old, and very much set in his ways). I’ve been kind of disappointed by the lack of technology that my son’s pediatrician’s office has, however. Until recently. A few weeks ago, when we were visiting with one of the PAs in the office, I was absolutely thrilled to see him using a tablet as he talked with us. He quickly pulled up information about our past appointments, and it was neat to actually see this new “era” of medicine in work. Well, besides this, I hadn’t seen much else available.

However, today I heard that the office had launched a patient portal feature to their website. Well, you’d better believe I called the office right away and got set up on it. I wasn’t expecting much, especially because it is still very new, but I have to admit, I’m impressed so far.

It has all the features I look for — the ability to message staff, set up appointments, refill prescriptions, and view information from past appointments. The format of the website is also very impressive. Here are a few screenshots I took (note, I did take out some of the identifying details, so that’s why there are some big blank spaces at times):

This is the main page for the patient portal. As you can see, it’s powered by eClinicalWorks. The front page has some essentials, such a appointment reminders and a quick link to a PHR. On the left, there is an easy to use menu.

I really liked the clinical information section. Because we’ve forgotten to bring my son’s immunization card with us a few times, it isn’t totally updated. Instead of going through the hassle of going to the office to get it figured out, all of the information can be found easily, and I also can find out the names of different problems that had been identified in the past. This did cause me to worry a bit, as there were some issues cited that the doctor never told us concerning our son

And finally, here is the last section I wanted to highlight. I’m someone who loves to keep records, and it’s nice to be able to see the history of the our appointments in the past, and who they were with. There are about 6 or 7 different physicians at this practice, and it sometimes is hard to keep track of who we’ve seen. We were wanting to switch my son’s PCP to one that we saw when he was first born, and I found out who that was easily just by looking at this chart.

 

As you might have noticed on some of these pictures, there is a mobile app in the works for this medical practice, which I’m so excited about. In just the past few months, this doctor’s office has really stepped up their game — first an awesome Facebook page, next the physicians are using tablets, and now the patient portal.

To be honest, I’m not a big fan of calling people and talking on the phone, so the ability to do a lot of that (schedule appointments, request information, refill prescriptions) is very nice. And just as a side note, as I’ve looked through the portal tonight, I discovered a few errors in some of the information that the office had on our family (as in, they listed my son as the emergency contact…for himself. And no phone number was listed for our family,) that I wouldn’t have noticed otherwise.

Anyways, I just wanted to share a little bit of my excitement to see how doctors and physicians are starting to embrace the digital world, and realize that’s what patients want. Now if only I can get my OB to get on board, I’ll be a happy camper.

Does your doctor’s office offer a service like this? What do you like about it?

October 8, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.

Guest Post: Why Traveling Nurses Should Use Tablets (iPad) Instead of Laptops

The following is a guest post by Patricia Walling:

The market for tablet devices is fairly new. While they were originally created as a way for people to read digital books and newspapers, tablets now work as full functioning computers. In fact, nearly every function that can be performed on a laptop can be performed on a tablet. You can watch movies, write documents, play games and even surf the Internet. Thus if you are a nurse who travels a lot, carrying a tablet with you can be far more advantageous than a laptop. Not only are these devices highly mobile, but they also have great battery life, offer a plethora of unique features and serve as excellent medical transcription tools.

As a rule, tablets are much friendlier to travelers than other, bulkier equipment. If you have ever taken a laptop to the airport, you know how much of a pain it is to get through security. You have to take your laptop out of the case, place it in a bin, send it through the machine and repack it all over again at the end; this takes time and is always quite a hassle. However, when you travel with a tablet, you don’t even have to remove the device from your bag. Because the ATA assigns a different definition to tablets than laptops, you can just send the bag containing it through the scanner with little ado. Tablets don’t require you to carry a bulky case either, which makes one less thing for you to carry around. In fact, traveling with a tablet isn’t much more difficult than traveling with your mobile phone. For these and many more reasons, tablets are looking like smarter purchase.

You also won’t have to worry about bothering fellow travelers when using a tablet. Type on a laptop can generate a lot of keyboard noise, and chances are it will annoy the person sitting next to you. Tablets allow you to write almost silently using your finger, stylus or electronic pen, not only making the process of writing whisper quiet, but also letting you take notes in a more natural and off-hand way. In this way, tablets allow you to work even on overnight flights without giving others reason to be perturbed by your zeal.

Another advantage to traveling with a tablet is the ability to use a variety of apps. If you are out of the country there are apps that can help you translate foreign languages as well as find a good place to eat and get quick weather snapshots. While you can use a laptop for this too, a tablet makes these tasks much more streamlined. And unlike a laptop’s relatively clumsy mouse-keyboard interface, a touch of your finger can instantly call up a wealth of information. There is no shortagve of travel apps that you can download no matter what operating system your tablet uses, providing you with a simplified and more pleasurable travel experience.

Finally, patient security is often an issue for traveling nurses. No matter the cause, there are serious legal repercussions to consider should a nurse release medical records. There are strict laws regarding patient information. If you pull up a patient’s chart on a laptop, you run the risk of someone else seeing that information. This can get you in to major trouble. A tablet is much more user friendly. The smaller screen, along with flexibility in where you hold the device, eliminates the threat that someone else will see patient information.

While laptops can perform many of the same functions that a tablet can, they don’t make traveling easy. Traveling nurses are always on the move, and a tablet will provide you with flexibility and ease that a laptop cannot match. Not only will having a tablet save you time and trouble at the terminal, but it will also be less obtrusive on the plane, and make it easier for you to provide patients with confidentiality. Clearly, traveling with a tablet is the smart thing to do.

Patricia Walling is a graduate student working toward her Masters in Conservation Biology. She has both professional and volunteer experience in a hospital environment and currently resides in Washington state.

March 4, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.