New technology in healthcare is kind of a weird thing. On one hand we keep coming up with new technology for diagnostic reasons that cost way too much, and on the other hand, we never get rid of old technology. But let’s talk about telecommunication with patients. A Physicians Practice 2018 Mobile Health Survey of 187 total respondents showed:
- 75.9 percent say they use mobile health (mHealth) in their practice on a weekly basis.
- However, half of the respondents who use mHealth say they only use it 0-5 hours per week.
- More than 22 percent of practices use it 6-10 hours
- While only 27.2 percent of practices use it more than 10 hours.
- Those who are still not using mHealth say the main reason why is because of concerns over HIPAA compliance (31.6 percent), although more than 20 percent say they just don’t have the time.
- Other findings from the survey include:
- Staff Communication (69 percent) is the number one use for mHealth among practices. Patient communication (51.1 percent) is the second most common use.
- Nearly half of the practices using mHealth (48.9 percent) are doing so with the iPhone. A much smaller percentage are using Android phones, iPads, and other tablets.
- Only 14.5 percent of practices are accepting patient data from wearable devices.
A few observations that I see is that HIPAA still impedes us terribly. I use AtlasMD and the communication via email and texting is awesome and all captured on the chart. My second thought of the above information is that the doctor-patient communication is so slow and bogged down via portals that it never gets answered in an appropriate time. Also, in a system where doctors are not getting paid for these communications there really is no incentive to do things via email or texting. The Direct Primary Care model takes care of this hurdle.
The biggest joke in healthcare today is that we are the ONLY profession that still uses pagers and faxes. C’mon. Really? We are stuck in the early 90s on this. Getting information, for example, from other hospitals goes from an EMR to paper to fax to paper to a scan and then into another EMR. Are you kidding me?
We can do better.