Most doctors now use mobile devices to access the EMR. But many aren’t using these devices to their full capacity. The latest mobile EMR apps make it possible to do more than just reference charts or add text to clinical notes from your smartphone. Doctors can now enrich the EMR with images and save time with features like automated dictation and mobile templates.
Enrich the EMR with images
One of the biggest benefits of smartphones is the way they have streamlined image capture. Nearly everyone – doctors included – now has a high quality camera in their pocket at all times.
Enriching the EMR with images takes two forms: capturing new images as clinical documentation and ensuring that images like MRIs and X-rays are saved in the patient’s chart.
For doctors who’s speciality is visual in nature, smartphone cameras can be a valuable clinical tool. For example, one orthopedic surgeon in Texas uses his smartphone to photograph patient injuries and alignment. As he puts it, “I know that what I’m using to make a decision – my information set – is better documented in the chart.”
Mobile EMR apps can also help keep medical images attached to patient charts. Medical imaging is often used for screening, surveillance, diagnosis and as part of therapy. But too often images are stored on CDs or locked in picture archiving and communication systems (PACS) like MRIs and X-rays.
Take the example of radiology. As patients get used to accessing their medical records online, radiologists increasingly need to securely share scans with patients and other providers.
But the process of storing and transferring large images like X-rays is complicated. Providers need an IT solution that integrates critical components like file encryption, vendor neutrality, scalability and HIPAA compliance. The latest smartphone and desktop apps offer efficient and intuitive solutions for getting key images into the EMR.
One solution: Mobius Capture
New apps like Mobius Capture provide an elegant solution for populating the EMR with images from any PACS. Mobius Capture allows providers to send X-rays and other images to a patient’s chart with just a couple of clicks.
But the best EMR image solutions also incorporate medical photos taken on a smartphone or tablet. A study from the UK found that nearly half of doctors use picture messaging to send patient-related clinical information to their colleagues. This shows that doctors need an easy way to securely take and share clinical images directly from their smartphone.
“A study from the UK found that nearly half of doctors use picture messaging to send patient-related clinical information to their colleagues.”
Whether from a mobile device or PACS, apps like Mobius Capture quickly send medical images where they need to go. Key features streamline this process. For example, the app automatically recognizes patient names written on an image or lab result.
The value of an EMR with images
Loading the EMR with images can improve care and save time down the road. Instead of sorting through a CD of X-rays each time you review a patient record, just save the key images in the patient chart.
But images are not just important for a single provider or medical team. Sharing images across institutions is also critical to reducing unnecessary, redundant procedures. Enriching the EMR with images is one way of ensuring that other providers have access to the data that enables good patient care.
Providers know that medical images are not ancillary data. Rather, images can be a routine part of comprehensive patient care, and they belong in the EMR. With smart solutions like Mobius Capture, you can ensure that your practice is making the most of medical images.