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EMR Goes Mobile

I recently switched from a Windows Mobile Phone to an iPhone because I like gadgets doc-with-pdaand I also like slick marketing. But as anyone who tries to mix Apple and PC technology will tell you, sometimes you exchange one problem for another. I had just gotten to where I could synchronize my calendar, contacts, and task list on my PC with my PDA phone. Now I would have to start all over again (it’s still worth it – I really like the iPhone).

But, anyway, this is supposed to be about EMR.

Although as an ophthalmologist I try to spend as little time as possible in a real hospital, other medical practitioners do actually spend a lot of time tending to truly sick patients. For those docs, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to document patient visits on a handheld device?

In iPhone Magazine, there is an article on some cool apps for the iPhone for the physician on the go (and yes, I know, he is not holding an iPhone in the picture).

iChart EMR for the iPhone comes bundled with a web application for syncing and, in addition to managing patient care, also handles coding and billing. At $139 it is considered ‘expensive’ for an iPhone app, but that is pretty cheap as EMR systems go.

Some technology writers will debate the merits of convergence, where one device becomes the do-all, end-all: phone, pda, pager, computer, reader, etc. For physicians at least, it would be nice to have a phone which can truly run an EMR solution. I have not personally tested the iChart EMR system but it looks like it might be worth checking out.

Also mentioned in the article is the Epocrates Rx free drug and formulary reference. I downloaded it one morning and ended up using it a couple of times that day. The Premium version, which I passed on,  includes such things as infectious disease treatment, diagnostic and lab tests, and pictures of pills at $149 per year.

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