In what ways is technology utilized by doctors?
Hey Lera - this is a really good question. Doctors (and others working in healthcare) are increasingly using technology in their jobs! Many types of doctors use electronic health records to document and store information about the care they provide. They may also use these systems to communicate with other doctors, communicate with patients, or analyze data.
Some specialties of medicine use technology more than others. For example, radiologists specialize in diagnosing patients using medical imaging technology (like xrays or MRIs), and some types of surgeons use very advanced computer and imaging systems to provide care.
Doctors who are very interested in technology and computer systems may choose to take more of a leadership role in defining the way their practice or health care system will use technology. For example, a Chief Medical Informatics Officer (or CMIO) is a physician who specializes in how other doctors use technology.
Technology is being integrated into mainstream medicine, whether it is telemedicine, increasing patient access, or even using technology to gain a holistic view of the patient. Doctors are able to view a radiology report from from 20K miles apart and share their medical opinion on next steps using technology for images, in real-time. The ability for a doctor to connect with a patient whether it is text, chat, video call is now not only possible, also integrated into many healthcare systems. The time the doctor takes to input patient info into electronic record, enables for example, an on-call doctor to to gather the necessary info about the patients' health history to make an accurate diagnosis and health plan. In addition, there is wearable technology today that helps monitor your vitals such as heart rate, blood pressure sleep patterns etc to help identify several underlying causes. The biggest issue then become privacy and availability of personal information, which is a topic for another time.
Great question. There's no way around it, technology is here to stay. My wife is the medical field. She tells me about the struggles they have. I have some accounts that I manage are medical office. Doctors use laptops, tablets, and thin clients or zero clients. The biggest concern for doctors or any professionals are securities issues. With doctors, patient information has to keep secured. As for classes related to technology, I would suggest who to use anything end user computing. make sure you know how to use office. understand the internet work. know the software you are going to be running. Currently, EPIC is being used at my wife's hospital. Good luck with your studies.
Great question! My doctors use tablets or PCs during visits, and it makes it SO much easier for the doctor to stay organized and remember all of my history! As a patient, I really appreciate that. Also, there are opportunities in tech with the new technology like HoloLens, where doctors may someday be able to practice and learn difficult operations.
Other examples of using technology:
- file management
- communicating with patients (using a portal online)
- schedule appointments, get reminders (including mobile devices)
Best of luck in your path to becoming a doctor! We need more great docs that embrace technology :)