For quite some time now I have had a pet peeve. It seems like every time I go into a medical facility I am handed a clipboard with lots and lots of forms to be filled out. I know that it’s very important to have up to date information in order to provide the best possible medical care but filling out forms gets to be a real pain.
Many times I have told the staff that I have dealt with that everyone would be better served if they just handed patients a tablet computer and gathered the required information that way. Usually I get total agreement from the people who have to enter all of the information from the paper forms into their computer system.
Well this week I finally had my prayers answered. I had to go to my eye doctor for an annual checkup and was pleasantly surprised to be handed an iPad to check in with. The office has gone virtually paperless and they use touch screen tablets and computers for everything! Filling out the forms on a tablet allowed all of my information to be uploaded into their system instantly and no one had to re-enter anything. The doctor had all of my latest information and medications at her fingertips (literally) and we saved lots of time and effort.
The doctor told me that the switch to tablets had gone very well and was actually required by federal law. They had a financial incentive to get the transition done early so it was beneficial on several levels.
One of the arguments I’ve heard in the past was the lack of technology
experience that many people, especially the elderly, have. Handing a tablet to someone who has never used one can be intimidating to be sure. But times change and people need to change with them.
Kudos to Dr. Ely and her staff, they are trail blazers. I am happy to be part of the change and I look forward to the day when every facility I go to is linked digitally and I never have to fill out a paper form again.