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Among docs, mobility is global

I’m thinking that the m0bile physician is a global phenomenon.

I get on a lot of ridiculously misguided mailing lists (I’ll post an example right after this). One I just received while up writing at 1:30 a.m. was an invitation to take part in a physician survey about mobile technology. Once again, I am not a physician. But before I click the unsubscribe link, I decided to take a look at the survey itself.

The survey, from a custom publishing house in the United Arab Emirates (yeah, I am on a lot of weird mailing lists), asks doctors about tablets, smartphones and their use of social media. I include the link only because I am interested in seeing the results. Are doctors in other parts of the world adopting mobile devices as quickly as U.S. physicians? Is this trend limited to industrialized countries, or do physicians in somewhat wealthy, non-Western lands such as the UAE and other oil-rich states also love tablets and smartphones?

If anyone else has any insight from outside North America, Western Europe and other rich countries like Japan and Australia, please share in the comment section.

December 12, 2011 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

EMRs for mental health?

I’ve been wondering, has anyone in mental health truly had success with an EMR? I can’t imagine any psychotherapist sitting at a computer typing notes while there’s a patient on the couch. That would be particularly bad for a patient with self-esteem issues.

I imagine that tablets like the iPad may make this a little easier, but what psychotherapists really need is something like a pen tablet (with a stylus rather than touch-screen) or digital ink to mimic taking notes on a pad of paper.

The other issue related to EMRs in mental health is the exchange of notes with other physicians. Will an electronic note from therapist back to the primary care physician wind up in the electronic chart that might get sent, say, to an orthopedist or gastroenterologist? The only thing other specialists really would need to know is the patient’s medication list, not a psychiatric diagnosis or treatment history, right? Segmenting out sensitive parts of an EMR like treatment for mental health and sexually transmitted diseases is something vendors and CIOs have struggled with for years, and I believe continue to struggle with.

In both cases, I’d love to hear your anecdotes here.

April 22, 2011 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.