For Doctors, Staying Ahead of the Curve is More Straightforward than You Think

The goals of the medical professional―stamping out disease, alleviating pain and suffering, and saving lives―have always been clearly defined. While these goals may be the same today, the challenges faced are often much more complex.

Today’s healthcare provider (HCP) is faced with a growing number of obstacles. Perhaps the greatest is how they’re dealing with increased burden and decreased return. According to a recent nationwide poll by the Physicians Foundation, a nonprofit organization supporting HCPs, “More regulations and administrative burdens often means less time with patients and more frustration for doctors.” The bottom line is doctors have more hectic schedules and are obligated to see more and more patients, which poses a real problem.

The Physicians Foundation also states, “Doctors will have to figure out how to juggle their increased burdens―decreasing reimbursement, more regulations and administrative tasks―while improving quality of care.” Simply put, for doctors to survive in the changing healthcare landscape, they’re going to need to focus on business and people management.

So what can doctors do to stay ahead of the curve?

Technology is key. Thanks to modern advances and the availability of information on the Web, healthcare professionals have greater access to opinions, theories, clinical information, and more. Through the use of smartphones, HCPs can easily access thousands of pages of medical textbooks. Modern technology makes it easy for physicians to consult colleagues from all over the world via e-mail, video, or Web conferencing.

Technology has made patient care safer than before. Handheld computers and electronic health records (EHRs) help facilitate the exchange of vital medical history for HCPs. They help consolidate information and make patient records more easily accessible. By using EHRs, today’s professional clinicians can help eliminate redundant tests and unnecessary medical treatments. In fact, EHRs can even provide vital information for treating physicians, should a patient be incapacitated or unable to communicate.

With this information at their fingertips, doctors are able to advance in many ways. There are also new, innovative platforms emerging that help doctors stay on top of their game, and they need not look too far. One example is Instinctive Data, a Web-based, HIPAA-compliant platform that uses real-time medical claims data to deliver targeted messages, right near the point of care. Embedded in the doctor’s work flow, this tool provides relevant, actionable information on disease states, new products, industry news, and more.

Physicians, including the 67,000+ who already utilize Instinctive Data, can leverage this tool in a number of ways. They have the ability to perform actions such as “search for patients within my office” to find those at risk for a certain disease or diagnosis. The platform allows HCPs to identify patients due back for treatments. They can flag a patient’s chart and put a note in it as a reminder for future discussions with the patient. Through the use of Instinctive Data, doctors can even send their patients “call back” letters to make an appointment for a specific reason. Instinctive Data helps save physicians time and helps them focus on what’s really needed―treating the patient.

A turning point

Talk to any doctor and you’re likely to hear that one of the biggest challenges they face is limited time. The beauty of Instinctive Data is that it communicates information through a channel embedded in the provider’s HCPs’ work flow, so they don’t have to go anywhere―or do anything differently than they currently do―for the information to be seen.

Providers can order samples, dosing devices, and other marketing materials through Instinctive Data’s Resource Center―yet another effective way to save HCPs time and effort and help them stay ahead of the curve.

As part of the portal, Instinctive Data also offers a Provider Resource Center, which can analyze the billing and revenue for a doctor’s office. The Revenue Center breaks down the practice’s top diagnosis by number of patients, analyzes the billed amount averages for the practice, displays the Medicare allowable, and even informs the provider HCP of other procedures typically associated with a particular diagnosis.

Above all else, physicians want to help others and save lives. Technology and innovative advances, like Instinctive Data, provide valuable information and make it easier for HCPs to stay on top of the latest information and treatments so they can focus on what really matters―their patients―instead of the challenges they’re often facing.

Stacie Coates is the director of business development at MD-Online, a provider of electronic data interchange solutions that facilitate connections between doctors and payers. 

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