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Technology Continues to Make Health Care More Efficient

I have a love-hate relationship with technology. I spend more time with my laptop than any friend and I’ve donated shelves of books in favor or my Kindle. However, the cost and training time it takes to invest into a new phone or iPad is beyond what I’m willing to give.

Just as technology is overtaking our personal lives, it continues to become a source to reckon with in many doctors’ offices. Although training and working all of the bugs out is never a fun process for Medical Assistants, this will certainly aid in improving patient care.

On news-bulletin.com, Julia M. Dendinger writes that, “A recent federal mandate [has] come down, notifying health care providers that if they want to bill their patient’s Medicare, and get paid, it needs to be done electronically. Providers have until 2014 to switch over to a fully-electronic billing and records system.”

This morning I had a doctor’s appointment and I love how everything is technologically interconnected. I went into the exam room (after a 45 minute wait, but that’s another story), the MA logged into the computer, took my blood pressure, asked how tall I was and that was that. I didn’t have any lengthy forms to fill out and I didn’t have to answer to same questions multiple times.

When my appointment was over, the MA at the front desk had already printed out the forms for my blood work and was ready to make my next appointment. No files to sort through, no waiting time, no hassle. It was great!

Valencia Family Medicine in Los Lunas, CA also has a synced in system like my doctor’s office. Co-owners and certified family nurse practitioners Kathy R. Fresquez-Chavez and Leona Herrell mention how effective and efficient their computer system has made their practice. “If someone goes to the express care and is a patient here for primary care, they can access their records,” Fresquez-Chavez said. “And if they aren’t a patient and need to come here for follow-up care, the information is already there. We don’t have to wait to get if from someone else.”

My husband, who works for a county medical facility, also told me that they are adopting a new program to technologically sync all of their cases. While many of his patients are also county hospital clients and inmates, having a unified records system can keep all medical staff in the know.

It seems like students in a medical assisting school need to be armed with both medical skills and computer skills for a successful future.