Wasting half a day waiting in a doctor’s office before and during diagnosis or treatment is annoying to say the least. With the technology advancements in the last 10 years, it’s actually hard to believe that we even need to wait at all.
It seems like such a 20th century problem. But here we are in 2014, and waiting for a doctor’s visit is still a common complaint among patients.
At Prime, we believe that it’s time to bring healthcare into the 21st century and engage mobile technology to solve some engrained healthcare problems. And thankfully, Prime is not alone. All sorts of mobile healthcare solutions are emerging. Apps can now: tell you the current wait times for all local Emergency Rooms; improve communication between you and your doctor; give you full control of your data; and make it easy to access your health data when you need to fill out forms (aka Prime!).
In this post, we focus on how web and mobile technology are not only reducing wait times, but also increasing the quality of the patient-doctor interaction and generally making your visit to the doctor more productive.
How Much Time Do We Spend Waiting?
In the Vitals.com State of the Wait, the average time spent waiting in a doctor’s waiting room spanned from 16 minutes and 15 seconds in Seattle, WA, to 29 minutes and 20 seconds in El Paso, TX. However, we all know that time spent in the waiting room is just the beginning as there is often more wait time once in the room, after you’ve seen the nurse, and after you’ve seen the doctor.
According to the same report, “10 percent of people said [long wait times] would be enough reason to find a new doctor.”
Why Does It Take So Long?
There are many reasons fueling the wait at the doctor’s office. But a common culprit is the time allotted to fill out a mountain of paperwork and accurately report your health history and medications. Remembering all your past surgeries, family health history, and current conditions can be challenging for patients and caregivers. Throw in your current dosage of all your medications, which for some seniors can be quite lengthy, and you can see why doctor’s offices build in a lot of time to fill out forms.
How is Technology Helping?
Internet: Many doctor’s offices are making their forms available on their websites. Some can even be filled out securely with online forms. Even if you are just accessing and printing the forms at home and bringing them filled out with you to the appointment, you are cutting down on the time you have to spend in the waiting area to do this activity. It also can improve your accuracy because you aren’t trying to do it quickly and have access to all your records at home.
Tablets: For in-office forms, many doctors are migrating to mobile technologies like iPads and other tablets to reduce the paperwork and eliminate reporting the same information like your name and address over and over again.
Mobile Apps: A healthcare mobile app like Prime can capture your past healthcare records and keep a running list of your medications and your dosage amounts at all times. This is important for doctors to have in order to properly diagnosis and treat you. Having this list on hand will ensure you can fill out forms more quickly and communicate with your doctor with all your information. You can reduce human error on your part, such as forgetting to mention one of your medications.
At Prime, we believe that accessing all your health data doesn’t have to be hard or complicated. We make it easier by helping you:
- Put all your healthcare data on your smartphone — access any time, anywhere
- Instantly and automatically link to your healthcare data from most doctors — more than 200 providers.
- Securely view your health data in a handy timeline.
- Automatically get a list of your current medications and dosage.
- Add custom notes to your health info so you never forget anything.
Medical apps and online technologies are the wave of the future. They are clearly a step in the right direction when it comes to streamlining the medical field as a whole. If enough medical professionals and patients utilize these types of technology, we could put a serious dent in wait times and make visits with doctors more productive.
If you’d like to get at all your health data in the palm of your hand, check out Prime’s mobile app in the iPhone App Store (it’s free!).