3 Digital Health Trends Coming Soon To A Doctor’s Office Near You

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Digital healthcare is revolutionizing how we seek and receive medical treatment in ways we couldn’t have imagined just a generation ago. From new diagnostic and surgical techniques to the way patient information is stored and shared, digital health technologies are transforming every aspect of the healthcare field.

While some of the most cutting-edge technologies currently being explored may not reach patients for many years, a number of digital health advances are being implemented by hospitals and medical practices right now. We look at three trends coming soon to a doctor’s office near you.

Health tracker data

We love our FitBits, Garmins, other wearables and health tracker apps on our phones. They help us keep track of physical activity, report on the quality of our sleep, can analyze our diets and some programs even claim to monitor baseline health indicators such as resting heart rate, body fat percentage, and oxygen saturation.

The data captured by these gadgets and apps can be very valuable to healthcare professionals who traditionally rely on patients to self-report on issues such as activity and diet. Unfortunately, self-reporting is seldom accurate.

Having access to accurate, real-time data can help medical professionals offer better, more personalized care, and monitor long-term results to identify significant changes of areas of concern. In the not-too-distant future, except these apps to automatically send data straight to your personal digital health file at your doctor’s office.

Electronic Health Records & Digital Patient Registration

All that data we gather from our trackers needs somewhere to go. Increasingly hospitals, medical practices and provincial health authorities are implementing Electronic Health Records (EHRs). In an ideal system, your complete medical records, test results, diagnostic images, prescription history and more would be accessible to any doctor and hospital in the province (or even the country), helping reduce errors and allowing for more efficient and effective provision of service and treatment.

Many medical practices are taking electronic records keeping a step further by eliminating paperwork and digitizing forms. Any paper form can be handled electronically using a simple all-in-one system such as Ambir Technology’s nForm.

From patient registration information to test requisitions, the forms can be completed on the tablet device which also doubles as an e-signature pad, and delivered or stored electronically. No more lost paperwork, no need for patients to manually fill in the same information on multiple forms.

Virtual appointments

Imagine waiting for your appointment in the comfort and privacy of your own home instead of in an office surrounded by sick people, or being able to consult with a specialist hundreds of miles away, without any travel required.

With medical records, test results and diagnostic images now accessible remotely from anywhere, the need to meet with a doctor face to face is diminishing too.

Virtual appointments via live video chat can provide those in remote locations access to much needed medical services and can reduce the backlog and wait times for care, particularly in areas with doctor shortages.

 

 

 

Use of EHRs in Healthcare Still Small, but Benefits are Big

Despite the benefits of electronic healthcare records (EHRs), many facilities aren’t incorporating them into their establishment’s procedures. This is leading to medical facilities being much less efficient than they could be. The popularity of electronic healthcare records isn’t as popular as one may expect. Less than one-quarter of medical establishments utilize this technology. It assumed that the cost of converting records to electronic deters, and sometimes prevents, facilities from converting. However, once switched to electronic record keeping, it saves facilities money and has numerous other benefits.

1. Reduced Amount of Medical Errors 

EHRs reduce the number of medical errors. They have the ability to store a high quantity of information and are easy to read. They force the person to switch to the another page of information with each patient, which prevents some errors. The overabundance of writing with traditional records leads to people getting sloppy with their handwriting. People end up just getting guessing what orders say, which leads to medical errors. Sometimes, people just don’t write neatly, and the same problem occurs. Spelling errors, abbreviations and difficult-to-read writing be confusing and cause errors with medications and dosages. This leads to medical errors. Having to call the doctor or track down another staff member is time-consuming. All of these scenarios are prevented with electronic record keeping.

2. Saves Money  

The paper and several other aspects of the administrative duties cost a significant amount of money for people to sign documents in a traditional manner. And it’s forever costing the facility since supplies must be reordered on a regular basis, usually monthly for many facilities and products. It’s much cheaper to use EHRs regularly.

3. Less Time Consuming  

It’s much less time consuming to type and scan, then it is to write. Plus, not having to track down people to figure out information saves time, so employees have more time with patients and other responsibilities. Employees have the ability to be much more efficient.

4. Less Storage Issues  

All the paper files start to accumulate. Because issues may occur far in the future, facilities must keep records for many, many years. All of the files and documents take up space. The facility might not have the space to store it all and, therefore, requires a storage facility or an entirely separate building. This leads to a person needing to travel to the storage area to get the necessary files. Oftentimes, they hire a company to retrieve the files. This is an extra expense that’s costly, especially if the records need to be retrieved on a rush delivery. If the records remain on-site, it takes away space that can be used for a different purpose.

EHRs store a large quantity of information about the patient for diagnosing and providing treatment. It makes it easy to access and input information, even during admissions and discharges. The process saves money and prevents medical errors. They can be accessed from various locations, even at the same time. Turning to EHRs has many perks for a facility and not just for having less of an environmental impact.

5. Integrate with nForm and Go Paperless

Simply put, Ambir’s nForm converts any paper form into an electronic form.

It uses forms or documents generated by your application, or existing forms in PDF, Microsoft Word, JPG, TIF, BMP, PNG formats. There is no need to convert, modify or redesign these forms. Forms are sent to nForm 410x, Android or iOS tablets using a virtual print driver. Any application that can print a form or document, can easily send the form or document to nForm. Forms can also be sent to tablets directly from the 410x user interface.

Completed forms are input to the patient registration system, EHR or document management system using a TWAIN interface just like a document scanner, eliminating the need for complicated integrations. Completed forms can also be automatically saved as: PDF, JPG, TIF or BMP by nForm. If the document management or EHR system supports printing and TWAIN scanners or automatic import from a watched folder, it supports nForm.

Check out Ambir nForm here

How to Make Patient Registration Paperless with Electronic Forms

electronic consent forms

An average patient visit will generate 13 pieces of paper (source: Institute of Medicine).

As well, of the organizations that have Electronic Health Records or are implementing them, nearly 80% still use paper records in their processing workflows (Source: InformationWeek).

In other words, there’s still a lot of paper waste in the healthcare industry.

And not only paper waste, but time spent filing, scanning, entering data into a computer, shredding – not to mention the security and privacy risks of misplaced paper forms.

But electronic patient registration and electronic consent forms are changing the way healthcare providers collect and store patient information.

Today, paperless systems are in place with the large hospital groups, medical clinics and lifestyle centers, each acknowledging the benefits expediting documented information in several health care aspects related to the patients’ quality of care and physician’s satisfaction with going paperless.

As health information technology becomes a central part of health care management and its policy’s, electronic patient registration and electronic consent forms are serving hospitals, physician groups and care giving organizations.

The purpose of the paperless system is to manage patient records, maintain demographic data and laboratory test information, prescriptions details on warnings, and interactions within a shared document management system.

The biggest concern has been the retention of privacy, especially with multiple levels of security when using tablets and mobile devices. As these devices become more common with the use of technology advancements, patients have adapted to a paperless world.

Technology has also developed the ability to integrate systems, converting any type of healthcare form capable of being sent to a printer to a paperless configuration without loss of data or information contained on the form.

Our nForm solution is designed specifically for this function eliminating hard paper filing, editing and the loss of information or documents as a result of human intervention.

With nForm, the electronic patient registration and electronic consent forms are completed by the patients using a tablet and electronic pen rather than the physical document form.

The electronic form is uploaded directly into the electronic medical record (EMR) or customer relationship management system (CRM). Once the uploading is complete the system automatically secures the information with the signature and clears all data from the device for a seamless integration.

As the patient updates the records on each visit the electronic forms are uploaded for review of previous and current information, request prescription, scheduled appointments, and referrals. Physicians and staff can share information within minutes, streamlining the office processes so workers can concentrate on patient and physician’s necessities.

As well, nForm ensures the accurate data transfer to existing medical and patient records which improves communication between multiple providers. Paperless features reduce errors for medical orders delivered directly from the system, enhancing aspects of long term and preventive care, especially for patient records noting allergic reactions or drug interactions.

The physician’s office forms are uploaded by using either the scanning application or a PDF format for entry. The physician’s and office forms become available immediately, ensuring updates, revisions or additional electronic forms are captured and filed for use as needed.

Electronic patient registration and electronic consent forms help streamline workflows and reduce paper waste for healthcare providers, while also enabling a more private and secure patient experience.

To request more information about nForm click here

10 Digital Health Innovators & Technologies

Given that diseases are constantly evolving, innovation is crucial to success in the healthcare industry. Each year, hundreds of companies develop new devices to improve human health. The most promising recent innovations include:

1. Edible Sensors from Proteus Digital Health

The human body is coursing with energy, so why not use that energy to power a medical device? Proteus‘s new sensor is made of edible materials that the patient consumes in pill form. The sensor uses bodily energy to measure heart activity, heart rate, and other important health metrics. It then sends real-time health updates to the patient’s phone.

2. Ginger.io Apps

This new line of apps measures patients’ activities on their smartphones. If the patient does something irrational, unusual, or otherwise indicating that he or she is unwell, it contacts the patient’s caregivers and requests swift medical attention.

3. Zest Health Apps

Administrative costs account for a huge portion of modern healthcare spending, so Zest Health seeks to simplify hospital administration. It offers Registered Nurse concierge support, health benefit updates, quick communication with employers and caregivers, and other services to quickly resolve medical and insurance issues.

4. Sproxil’s Drug Codes

Thousands of patients receive the wrong drugs each year, and many die as a result. Sproxil, however, has developed a system of codes to authenticate medications. Patients need only scratch off the label, read the code underneath, and text it to Sproxil. The company will then let them know if it’s the right product.

5. IBM’s Watson Computer

Modern cancer treatment is largely a matter of timing. The sooner the doctor catches it and finds the right treatment, the more likely the patient is to recover. The Watson computer has access to oncology data and experts throughout the world, and quickly giving physicians the information they need to diagnose and treat cancer.

6. Nanobiosym’s Diagnostic Machines

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Treatments for HIV/AIDS are more effective than ever, but many patients don’t learn they have the disease until it’s too late. With Nonobiosym‘s handheld diagnostic machines, patients can perform their own HIV tests in a matter of hours.

7. AdhereTech Pill Bottles

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AdhereTech has developed new pill bottles that measure how often patients take their medications. If a patient misses a dose, it promptly reminds them.

8. The LiftLabs Spoon

Those with neurodegenerative diseases often struggle to feed themselves, so LiftLabs has developed a spoon that counters that mitigates the disease’s tremors.

9. Doximity

Modeled off business networking sites like LinkedIn and Monster,  Doximity helps doctors to collaborate with each other. Over 400,000 doctors have already joined, and use the site regularly to share information and obtain second opinions. Each doctor is thus less likely to make a mistake.

10. The Ambir nForm

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To ensure prompt, paperless, and effective data collection, the Ambir nForm contains a wide range of digitized documents. Patients and caregivers can sign the forms electronically, ensuring that all necessary paperwork will be filled out. All documents are then stored in an easily recoverable format.

Going Mobile With Apologies to “The Who”

Going-Mobile-graphic

By Ambir Technology 

When the British rock band The Who released Pete Townshend’s song “Going Mobile” in 1971, few of us could have envisioned how digital and mobile technologies would impact our lives today.

Fast forwarding to 2015, we will take a look at how introducing mobile scanning into your business or practice will make positive impacts to your productivity and efficiency.

What’s a Mobile Scanner?

Mobile scanners are quite sexy little beasts, taking up very little desk space so you can easily store it on your workspace or in a desk drawer. Did we mention that they are portable?

The unique design of a mobile scanner makes it ideal for scanning anything from small cash register or taxi receipts up to legal size documents without worrying about jams or damaging your documents.

You can easily use your Ambir mobile scanner with any document or content management system, electronic healthcare records or practice management system or virtually any system that can use a scanner thanks to the included TWAIN drivers. Bundled AmbirScan scanning software is easy to use and can save PDFs, TIFS, JPGs to any folder on your network or popular cloud storage solutions such as Google Drive, Box, Evernote, and Dropbox.

Because mobile scanners are USB powered, they require only one cable and you don’t have to worry about using another AC power outlet. To boot, some mobile scanners such as our award winning MobileScan Pro500i are completely wireless.

Ambile Mobile Scanners

The following examples show how mobile scanning can favorably impact your business or practice.

Mobile Office—Businesses/Finance/Insurance/Legal

When visiting customers and clients how many times have you asked for hardcopies of agreements, contracts, tax information, you name it?

After receiving your copies, you trudge around with all that stuff until returning to the office. Don’t drop or lose anything…you will need to ask for more copies. Ask and carry no more! With a mobile scanner, you quickly scan documents at customer sites or homes. Light weight, compact size and USB power make it easy to transport and use a mobile scanner anywhere you use your laptop.

Not only is mobile scanning a better solution, it will help you categorize information correctly via digital files and, importantly, not lose anything. Information management just got easier.

Transportation—On the Road

Every delivery has information associated with it. Having a mobile scanner ride shotgun enables you to scan delivery documents, waybills, bills of lading and more right in the truck cab. Doing so improves payment cycle time and reduces data entry errors.

Healthcare—More Time for Care Delivery

For office visit patient registration, mobile scanners are great for scanning registration documents and ID cards. They use less desktop space than a scanner with an Automatic Document Feeder.

For bedside patient registration and nurses carts, mobile scanners can reduce the time patients need to wait for registration and eases registration for non-ambulatory patients. And, you don’t need an AC power source, as mobile scanners are USB powered.

Mobile scanning provides added efficiency for medical transport and ambulance crews. You can pre-register patients before arrival at care facilities and, importantly, scan trailing documents relevant to past treatment.

Businesses and Home Offices—Just the Right Size

Just because it’s called a mobile scanner doesn’t mean that it can’t be used in your office! If you scan only a few documents per day, a mobile scanner makes perfect sense to use in an office environment. Plus, you can always take it with you.

To learn more about scanning technology and information management, visit our blog on our website at www.ambir.com and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Strategies for Successful Scanning

Are you considering the purchase of a document scanner or scanners to help your business get its arms around critical information residing on paper?

Converting paper-based information into digital files through document scanning will get your business on the road to true information management. Doing so will reap a host of benefits, including increased operational efficiency, enhanced staff productivity, quick access to information, and reduction in costly storage of paper files—all helping your business drive its bottom line profitability.

First, realize that scanning documents with today’s technically advanced scanners is not a daunting task.

Second, integrating a document scanner or a number of scanners into your workflow requires little or no drama. For example, all of Ambir’s scanner products and solutions have interfaces providing plug-and-play operation with commercially available operating systems and computers. All come with easy-to-use software, enabling you to begin scanning right after installation. All are compact and sit right on desktops for efficient information management.

Sitting on a desktop provides great space utilization but do you need a scanning solution to take on the road? Yes, there are mobile scanners that can work with laptops, tablets and smart phones. Check out the Ambir MobileScan Pro 500i, a wireless-ready portable document scanner providing full-featured functionality, communication smarts and mobility for information management.

Okay, we’ve sold you on getting a scanner or more…so where do you start?

Ask yourself what you need to do: Handle substantial numbers of documents daily? Scan in high resolution? Convert documents to JPEG or PDF formats? Capture both sides simultaneously (duplex)? Have WI-FI or USB connectivity?

There are a lot of scanning solutions on the market today but all pretty much fall into three category types. Workgroup Scanners are desktop devices designed to handle in-office workflow. They can do a lot of information management at high speeds, high resolutions, and handle a large number of documents daily. Mobile Scanners are designed to go with you, with some featuring WI-FI connectivity. ID Card Scanners capture a variety of cards—insurance cards, business cards, checks, credit cards and licenses, routing information management into relevant applications, including healthcare-specific apps.

Strategies for Successful Scanning
After deciding what you need to do and now having ideas about which types of scanners will get the job done (you may need all three scanner types for your business), Ambir recommends the following strategies for successful information management:
Focus on the mission of your organization, not the gee whiz of scanning technology—ask how you use document scanning to drive efficiency, productivity and profits. Sexy technology is great but if it doesn’t support your mission, it has little value.
Match the scanner to the task—personnel in a central location require high-capacity workgroup scanners, while traveling professionals require mobile document and/or card scanners. Determine scanning requirements, identifying the best scanner to meet the needs of each employee.
Create a plan—incorporate scanner needs of each employee into your strategic or marketing plan. If this is not possible or inconvenient, ask a scanner vendor to assist you in creating an analysis and plan to identify scanner deployments.
Identify a hero—you or someone in your organization acts as champion in doing research, assisting in purchasing decisions, and helping train employees. The champion should be an enthusiastic advocate for scanning technology, identifying new opportunities to use it to grow your business.
Keep the technology current—technological evolution provides new opportunities for added efficiency and productivity, but you must balance the cost of updates with return on investment. Maintain healthy balance by working closely with your hardware and software vendors so you will have the best technology to meet current and future needs.
Keep abreast of security and communication–hackers, viruses and phishing sites threaten your business. Be sure your scanning, communication and information storage technologies are up-to-date, and that scanning vendors you choose know how to mitigate security issues in information management.

Download our 6 tips for successful scanning graphic tutorial

To learn more about scanning technology and information management, visit our blog on our website at www.ambir.com and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Ambir Demos New Medical Office Technology at McKesson Insight 365

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More to the point, digital technology is providing healthcare professionals benefits in added efficiency in processing patient intake information, including their insurance information, increased productivity for office staff and more time to spend with their patients!  Ambir’s new products improve patient experience, delivering documents and signatures directly into McKesson Technology Solutions for physician offices.

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We’re here to help you with great scanners for bulk medical scanning. You could say we’re here to help you stay on top of things. So before you scan, be sure you know the proper way to dispose of all that paper once it’s captured.

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Healthcare is going mobile – but where to, exactly?

With the annual mHealth Summit having just wrapped up in Washington, D.C., it seems like a good time to talk about the burgeoning world of mobile technology in medicine. Smartphones are finding their way into more and more hands, and medical records are being digitized and stored in EHR and EMR databases at a significant rate. This leaves us (and a lot of others) with a couple of important questions: Will these things be connected, and who will be driving this digital progress, patients or doctors?

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