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10 Reasons why should doctors consider going digital?

  • Highlights

  • 77% patients find doctors and book appointments online

  • Increased popularity of digital platforms like Practo and Lybrate

  • Doctors can use digital platforms for e-prescriptions, consultation

  • Going digital betters productivity and patient management

With the healthcare sector experiencing a paradigm shift with increasing transparency and empowered healthcare consumers, healthcare providers are adapting to newer forms of high outcome-driven services. According to the ‘Think With Google-Digital Journey to Wellness’ survey, 77% patients use search engines to look for doctors and book appointments, and 44% of patients who research hospitals on a mobile device, schedule an appointment.
In the past couple of years, few of the digital platforms such as Practo, WelcomeCure, Lybrate, Portea, MeraDoctor, etc. have gained immense popularity. These digital platforms have been launched with the promise of delivering efficient healthcare services to the patients while enabling the doctors to manage their practice workload. The significant achievements due to the adoption of these new-age technologies has given a boost to the practice by revenue generation and patient retention, thereby proving to be a revolution in healthcare services.

Uses & Benefits of digital platforms

1) E-prescriptions: The risk of misinterpretation and reputation damage is minimized by e-prescription, thereby improving accuracy. E-prescriptions save the time taken in prescription writing and eliminate the errors caused by illegible writing. Easy access to patient’s medical history and current records are helpful in changing prescriptions.

2) Appointment Scheduling: Appointments are easier to schedule and generate using digital apps. Date, hours, and time-frames are easier to

monitor, revise, and switch for necessary customization. The automatic notification for appointments, follow-ups, and any other changes, keeps patients notified, reducing the number of no-shows that may affect the practice.
3) Consultation and Communication: Mobile devices serve as a means of improved communication using messaging, e-mails, and telephonic conversations. Texting or chatting has shown to be beneficial in saving critical time during emergencies. Various digital platforms enable online consulting and discussions, thus helping long-distance patients gain quicker access to medical help.
4) Enhanced Productivity: Use of digital platforms have shown a significant increase in the average rate of electronic prescribing from 52% to 64%. At the same time, pharmacist productivity has also gained immense fillip as access to important drug information has improved. As a result, the processing rate of prescriptions has increased and documentation has become more thorough. Maintaining patient records electronically are becoming popular as they are easier and better than that in paper.

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5) Increased Efficiency: Enhanced work efficiency such as fewer errors, more complete records, quicker access to records and improved workflow have been demonstrated by physicians who have adopted to digital platforms. Lesser time spent on accessing, retrieving and recording patient data, frees up more time for direct patient care.
6) Information and Better Time-Management: Digital platforms enable users to make or dictate notes, record audio, store pictures, and organize material within a searchable electronic database. Cloud-based information storage enables users to store, access, and share information conveniently. Various medical calculators are also offered by service providers that offer an array of medical solutions.
7) Improved Accuracy and Better Clinical Decision-Making: Accurate diagnostic coding, more frequent documentation of side effects and reduced errors with improved medication safety have been reported by the users. The inclusion of specific intervention rules reduces the prescription error rate. Digital apps have shown to increase the accuracy of diagnosis and treatment decisions.
8) Convenience: Various conveniences associated with using digital platforms are portability, rapid access to information and flexible communications. Updates regarding new books, guidelines, reviews, and medical literature are made easily available, thus making it unnecessary to carry their hard copies.
9) Patient Management: Virtual patient monitoring is gaining popularity. Old, disabled, chronically-ill patients find it easier to access medical help by technology. Better patient management and patient retention are a two-way success for the practitioner.
10) Reference and Information Gathering: Literature search, drug references using applications for indications, dosages, pharmacology, interactions, contraindications, new acquisition and other important medical news are facilitated through the use of digital platforms.

Digital transformation is essential to continually enhance the practice value; and, software applications are becoming inevitable tools for healthcare providers. This metamorphosis dramatically accelerates the workflow as well as patient retention.
One of the many challenges that doctors face is to retain patients due to the existing competition. Therefore, adoption to newer, more efficient and user-friendly technologies is the key to successful practice. Business Loans for Doctors give medical practitioners the needed funds for such adoption and help them ride the digital wave and thus, differentiate their practice.

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