Becoming tech-savvy

As patients ‘Google’ for information and feedback, it has become vital for practitioners to be on top of the game. The only way to do it is by being tech-savvy, finds out Sukriti Shahi.

Healthcare services getting online has made functioning easier for clinics and quicker for patients. But what goes behind tech-savvy clinics which operate through a customer tracking software and applications? How many professionals depend on these platforms and how many still believe in traditional ways? Ease of tracking customer appointments and queries, which was a possibility a decade ago is now a way of life. Neither clinics nor patients can imagine an interface without a technology-based platform.

 

A study by Bain & Company found that ‘over 80% of the under-40 literate metro population in India had used online means to either consume or research a health care service’. There is another term that has been given to this scenario called mHealth and World Health Organisation approves of this term. As per Wikipedia mHealth ‘is an abbreviation for mobile health, a term used for the practice of medicine and public health supported by mobile devices.’ The

term and the idea is getting popular and is well received in the market

 

Importance of Customer Tracking Software

How well you remember calling a doctor on his clinic’s landline number and waiting on call to fix an appointment; adjusting your schedule according to doctor’s availability; travelling to your nearest pathology lab to get your tests done or going to a pharmacy to get your medicines?

 

Let’s take into consideration the example of one of the most successful online platforms—Practo. The platform, which is available in both formats—as a website and an app, has several facilities available for seeking patients and that too just a click away. The categories range from booking an appointment with a doctor, booking tests and checkups, order medicine online and even chat with doctors for its prime customers. The platform also divides the doctors among different categories of their specialisation making it simpler for patients to find what they want without losing time and energy. Not only this, the website is well-updated with health articles, doctors’ medical records and medicine information. It also provides the facility of saving patients’ record, which makes it easy for both doctor and the patient. It also lets the patient choose the most suitable time slot and decide on the doctor by reading his reviews that too in and around the area of his residence or office. To illustrate the opinion of a clinic owner, we spoke to Dr Shuba Dharmana, Founder, Lejeune Medspa, Bangalore. She says, “Software and apps are embraced by doctors inspite of hardships because they allow us to stay up to date with technology and innovation and allow a better client doctor communication and follow up. It makes it easy for the clinic to manage appointments, track bills etc. Electronic medical records make it easy for doctors to file and is the way forward.”

 

“Traditional marketing methods via television, news papers and radio seldom work these days. This is the time of Search Engine Optimisation, ad words and hashtags. Also, clients today prefer to receive their prescription and bills through apps, messages and emails so they can be tracked in case the paper form is lost,” she adds.

 

Accepting the benefits of these softwares, Dr Rinky Kapoor, Cosmetic Dermatologist, The Esthetic Clinics, believes that this also helps patients play an active role in healthcare by having better access to their personal medical data. “For example if a patient has moved to another city then instead of carrying all his reports from the station he can easily download the data on their mobile and the new doctor can have access to all the information,” she explains.

Professionalism and Profit Margins

Today, when everyone is running around to meet the basic needs of life and 24 hours in a day seem less, imagine being supported by an app or a software that promises to take half of your workload. Working stress-free is directly proportional to productivity and eliminating the scope of manmade errors definitely enhances professionalism. “Data is saved in an easy format in the apps and any problem that the patient has had previously is stored. This increases the accurate of the diagnoses and reduces confusions about the procedures and after care treatment,” says Dr Kapoor.

While these apps help save records like patient history, payment details, number of sittings, next appointment and follow-ups, doctors take it a but easy by concentrating only on treating his customers. “These software systems can make clinic management easier with record maintenance, appointment systems and billing systems. It can save paper, energy, resources and time for the doctor and practice staff,” adds Dr Shubha.

Dr Rinky focuses about the proactiveness of doctors to respond to their patients as the

these app provide an ease of contact. “A patient can contact the doctor about the symptoms and the doctor can see the track of the health records and previous treatments thus increasing the chances of an earlier intervention. This also helps in cases when patients are in a remote location and but can’t go to the doctor,” she explains.

Adding to the comfort of doctors and patients, medical experts also believe that these apps and software provide a huge platform to practitioners to discuss the advancement in treatments in the medical world. These discussions are now not limited to a close group but open a world of opportunities to learn and grasp knowledge.

On the flip side

Practitioners are often concerned about data security. Having softwares and apps are a boon but unless they are adequately safeguarded, the data is liable to theft, hacking or simply getting lost. There is a chance to manipulate, steal and share the data of one doctor with another doctor or with other third parties for a commission.

Clinics and private practitioners alike need appropriate software protection while storing customer data.

In spite of its benefits, technology is helpful only when it is in the right hands. It is, therefore, extremely important for data security. Having softwares and apps are a boon but unless they are adequately safeguarded, the data is liable to theft, hacking or simply getting lost. There is a chance to manipulate, steal and share the data of one doctor with another doctor or with other third parties for a commission.

Clinics and private practitioners alike need appropriate software protection while storing customer data.

In spite of its benefits, technology is helpful only when it is in the right hands. It is, therefore, extremely important for practitioners to employ the right front end staff to operate their customer interface systems.

How to select the right platform
It is important for doctors to select the right app for their practice. Choose a platform that:

  • Has a dedicated profile page
  • Has time tracking feature
  • Has strong security options
  • Has patient tracking system
  • Has symptom checker
  • Has a wide data base of medicines
  • Has the facility to upload pictures for procedures
  • Has payment tracking facility
  • Is available across various software and devices

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