Health care has driven advancements in new technology that allows us to better treat and monitor our patients, share patient records, and improve communication between colleagues and partners. And with laptops, notebooks and smart phones now a part of our daily lives, the opportunities to find efficiencies and work remotely are greater than ever. The North East CCAC is capitalizing on this advantage, tethering smart phones to laptops to securely access patient records from cars, patient homes or remote locations throughout northeastern Ontario.
Anthony Naccarato is a Physiotherapist in Sault Ste. Marie who has seen immediate benefits to his practice and patients.
"Simply put, increasing the efficiency with which I'm able to do administrative work means more of my time can be dedicated to providing hands on care to my patients," Anthony says. "I'm not worrying about when I am going to chart, or travelling back to the office so I can enter my notes."
Anthony adds that making use of remote technology also means smoother transitions of care for patients because colleagues can communicate more effectively and in a timely manner. "Sharing up-to-date patient information really facilitates a team approach and brings everyone involved in a patient's circle of care – including the patient – into the conversation at the right moment."
Other time-saving benefits of utilizing technology include:
- Quickly picking up new patients from waiting lists.
- Being informed of cancelled visits and being able to reschedule.
- Accessing multidisciplinary reports from any location, at any time.
- Answering patient questions about their care immediately without having to return to the office to call back.
- Faxing reports remotely to physicians, care coordinators, vendors, schools, and Long-Term Care Homes.
- Conferencing with other care providers about issues that require immediate attention.
- Providing a teaching tool for patients – sharing photos and videos of injuries, medical procedures, exercise programs, etc.
The modest investment of purchasing enhanced data plans for smart phones is expected to be offset by reduced travel costs and increased efficiency. Frontline employees are already reporting increased job satisfaction, which ultimately leads to better retention. Enhanced care for patients and happy staff –innovative technology at work!