Physicians are often put into near-impossible situations between rising medical costs, growing patient demands and the need to make a profit. Today, digital technologies are transforming the work environment of physicians to improve their quality of life and job performance. This has a direct, positive impact on patient care and the physical and mental health of physicians themselves.
Job Satisfaction and Patient Care Correlation
According to a study by the University of Heidelberg in Germany, a direct correlation exists between patient satisfaction regarding the quality of care and physician job satisfaction. Essentially, if a physician is happy at work, patients are far more likely to have a positive experience and perception of the physician. It is essential for physicians to enjoy their job or patients suffer. This can lead to patients searching for a new physician or even a new clinic. Digital technologies are an essential component of improving the job satisfaction of physicians. And as a result, such technologies improve patient care and loyalty.
Telemedicine is the Future
It is time to embrace telemedicine if you have not already. Despite a shortage of medical professionals, patients are shopping around for a good doctor-patient fit more frequently today. As such, physicians must compete for patients. One way to attract a larger patient pool is to offer telemedicine. This type of digital healthcare saves patients time and money in many regards. They do not have to leave work for non-urgent medical matters. It prevents patients from having to transport themselves to the doctor’s office, which can be exhausting and expensive for some individuals. And it prevents patients from contracting additional illnesses while they wait with others at the doctor’s office or hospital. According to the UC Davis School of Medicine, telemedicine is also having a positive impact on the environment by reducing greenhouse gases.
It is important to note that telemedicine is not yet ideal for all patient demographics. Baby boomers are the fastest-growing demographics in need of the most medical assistance. However, they are the one generational demographic most resistant to telemedicine. Millennials embrace telemedicine with open arms due to the many benefits, including scheduling flexibility and lower costs. It may take time for baby boomers to warm up to the idea. For now, patients who do prefer telemedicine have far better engagement with physicians and higher levels of patient satisfaction.
Wearable Devices and Apps
Wearable technology in healthcare continues to expand each year. Smart, wearable devices are improving patient care exponentially. You can track and monitor patient status in real-time. Physicians can more easily see trends and receive notifications if a patient is in danger, such as if a heart monitor reveals a patient is likely to experience a heart attack. The software in these devices allows physicians to customize programs regarding each patient’s needs and unique circumstances. They also help with early detection and to ensure patients take medications at the right time and in the right quantities. These devices also save time and money by performing monitoring from afar without going to the doctor.
Wearable devices and the apps they connect to help doctors improve decision making due to the information gathering processes only available through such technological advances. These wearable digital technologies are available in a variety of forms in the healthcare industry. They can be used to automatically administer medications for diabetics and others. You can use them to monitor various body parts and organs, including the heart, knees and lower back. Many wearables are used to track vitals throughout the day, from resting to exercising. They can even be used to help people stop smoking. These are only a few examples of wearables available to assist physicians.
Reduce Operating Expenses
Just like any business, physicians must streamline operational expenditures to save money as often as possible. Many physicians begin by automating administrative duties. AI and software for medical practices have come a long way. These technologies allow physicians to spend more time with patients and less time on paperwork and data entry. In-the-know physicians now use scheduling apps rather than to rely upon staffing to make appointments. Do not underestimate the power of digital marketing. Your return on investment is often significantly higher when digital marketing is implemented correctly over traditional marketing methodologies. It is also a good idea to automate insurance claims processing and dispute management systems. This will save you and your team countless hours and relieve stress. And be sure to incorporate supply chain management software to lower inventory levels and reduce ordering errors.
Work Smarter Not Harder
To improve job satisfaction and mental health, today’s physicians work smarter rather than harder. You can accomplish this by creating efficiency in the work environment with specific digital technologies. Many physicians start by offering medical records and test results online. This can only occur with digital patient records and the use of a medical records app. Such processes also create easy access for patients and medical referrals. The basic service of offering medical records online saves countless hours for the entire medical staff. It can be far easier to see trends in patient histories with digital versions of medical records. Physicians can also analyze symptoms over time from different patient visits to more easily determine patterns. You can even see potential trends of repeat disease and illness from within your entire patient pool.
The Simple Act of Providing Wifi
If you offer wifi in your waiting room, many patients will be more comfortable and at ease before they begin an exam. Going to the doctor is highly stressful for most people. When they are able to connect to devices while they wait, they have a more pleasant experience. Wifi also allows people to continue to work while they wait. This, too, reduces stress before an exam and eases the financial burden of taking time off from work. You can also analyze the use of wifi to determine the times of the day and times of the year when patients are visiting more frequently. This will allow you to prepare for these patient influxes in the future to improve patient care.
Do Not Forget About Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity continues to damage the healthcare industry at a dangerous rate. Cybercriminals target healthcare organizations because most do not have the proper protections in place. And many medical facilities still use outdated technologies and do not update software regularly. It is essential that the work environment of physicians incorporates cybersecurity training, best practices and protocols. This is for the protection of all employees, the organization and patient information.
Physicians can improve their efficiency, job satisfaction and patient satisfaction by selecting various digital technologies. You can do so by incorporating telemedicine, utilizing wearable devices, offering a medical records app and reducing operating expenses. At the end of the day, the easier the life of a physician the happier the patient.