Prescribing eHealth for Your Patients

I recently attended the mHealth Summit in Washington D.C. and it was yet another example that physicians are still missing from key conversations. Last week it was New York eHealth Collaborative Conference, previously Connected Health Symposium in Boston … Health 2.0 in San Francisco. Why aren’t physicians attending these conferences?

The techies and start-up health company founders were discussing their plans for pilot programs where physicians become active prescribers of eHealth resources and mobile health applications for their patients. Why is that an important discussion physicians should be part of?

Think about the countless hours patients spend on managing their conditions outside of the doctors’ offices. In diabetes for example, we’re talking about an average of almost 8,000 hours that physicians can’t account for! Can doctors make an impact on what happens during that time? Yes. Some examples:

  • Prescribe your website or blog where you write answers to most common questions that you repeat 20-30 times a day. The time savings alone justify having your own website. How many doctors have their own website?
  • Prescribe online patient communities that you yourself reviewed and approve of. Patients will be spending hundreds if not thousands of hours online looking up their conditions, other patients’ experiences and advice on how to improve their quality of life. Why not become a trusted filter and help your patients find great information … rather than misinformation.
  • Prescribe Mobile Health Applications for your patients. iPhone and Android applications are being created by the hundreds. You’re able to account for every adverse effect, every time a patient might not be feeling their best, and even accurately record ECG in real time via the iPhone that can be seemlessly transferred directly into the EHR. Do you treat migraines? What if you had the opportunity to monitor effects of treatment plans at the patient’s home, something that is never recorded in real time but rather at the next patient visit. Think of all the critical clinical data that is lost when it is not recorded and forgotten.

With so much stress on accountability, treatment compliance, cost-effectiveness and keeping patients healthy, physicians’ voices have never been more important than right now.

Start planning for 2012 to attend conferences and meetings on innovations in the medical practice. There are many conferences being planned that will not only unveil ways to keep your practice successful, but will earn you CME credits, uncover business opportunities, and earn you recognition for being an innovator when you bring your success stories to the panels.

Two upcoming conferences:

I’ll update this list of conferences for physicians as soon as I review what’s coming up. There are also conferences planned in each major specialty. Check in with your specialty’s association for details.