Mobile Medication Management: Holding Your Practice’s Future in Your Fingertips – Literally

December 19, 2017

Tom Sullivan, M.D.

Mobile Medication Management: Holding Your Practice’s Future in Your Fingertips – Literally

Think about the last time you logged into your computer just to check the weather or determine what movie you want to see on the weekend. You can probably measure the time in weeks or months.
The reality for most of us is that mobile devices are rapidly supplementing or replacing desktop computers and laptops as our go-to devices for information during what we call in healthcare the “ADLs” – Activities of Daily Living”. Smartphones and connected tablets or “Phablets” are incredibly powerful, in some cases even more powerful than our old PCs – especially if those PCs have been around for a while. They are also far more portable and convenient, which means the information we want to access is always available at our fingertips, no matter where we are.
The exception, of course, is in most healthcare offices, where PCs still rule the day. That is beginning to change, however, as clinicians look for ways to obtain a consolidated view of critical information in a timely basis while also ensuring the technology enhances the provider-patient relationship rather than getting in its way.
Nowhere is this more evident than with mobile medication management and also with critical, clinical alerts. Let’s deal with this blog with medication management. Rather than having to go to a PC and work through many time-consuming and tedious steps to log in to multiple systems, mobile medication management makes the full suite of solutions for e-prescribing, electronic prescribing of controlled substances (EPCS), prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs), medication history, clinical trial adjudication, secure collaboration, price transparency, financial assistance, medication adherence monitoring and patient-validated medication history available with a few finger swipes or pokes. The result is fast access to needed information while delivering a single, streamlined workflow for physicians conducting patient rounds or those on-call after hours and on weekends.
Here are five reasons why you should be making mobile medication management a key part of your practice’s future:

  1. Increases patient safety – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one million individuals come to the emergency department (ED) as a result of adverse drug events (ADEs) each year. When ADEs occur, physicians need answers fast. Mobile medication management ensures physicians can address ADEs anytime – even after office hours – and that ED personnel has fast access to the latest, most accurate information. As a bonus, mobile medication management also enables physicians to submit prescription orders during the patient visit, reducing transcription errors while encouraging clinician-patient discussions about drug interactions and medication histories.
  2. Drives patient loyalty –By making it easier for clinicians and patients to discuss prescription information, mobile medication management improves the patient experience and his/her overall satisfaction, both critical factors in driving loyalty. When you consider that the cost of motivating current patients to return for care is 90 percent lower than the costs associated with attracting new patients, it’s easy to see the financial as well as clinical incentive to go mobile and promote practice loyalty.
  3. Improves physician productivity – The average physician spends at least 20 percent of his/her time on uncompensated tasks – nearly double what it was 10 years ago. Even with value-based care factored in, that still amounts to nearly $60,000 in lost revenue – more for a specialist. Mobile medication management tools improve productivity (and revenue) by retrieving and documenting patient med lists and creating new Rxs and refiles s faster and more conveniently.
  4. Raises practice throughput – Studies suggest a primary care practice that can add just one more patient per day can impact more lives while increasing its bottom line by $25,000; a specialty group can realize twice that amount. Mobile medication management tools can help raise throughput by improving workflows, reducing staffing needs and other overhead, and eliminating downtime searching for information.
  5. Makes records more accessible – As we have seen recently, accessing patient records (including life-sustaining or critically important prescriptions) can be difficult during physical disasters such as hurricanes, fire, flood, earthquakes, etc. Assuming the cellular transmission system is intact, Mobile medication management ensures those records are available and prescriptions can be sent electronically regardless of the prescriber’s physical location, enabling patients to get the help they need even in a crisis – further engendering satisfaction and trust, too.

Mobile technologies have changed the way we work and play significantly over the last few years. Now it’s time to put them to better use in healthcare.
By placing mobile medication management tools in your clinicians’ hands, you can improve practice efficiency and throughput while driving better patient outcomes and greater benefits for all involved.

About Tom Sullivan, M.D.

Thomas E. Sullivan, M.D is a board-certified specialist in cardiology and internal medicine with over 40 years of clinical practice. He currently works for DrFirst and sees patients part-time in Massachusetts. His expertise in the application of information technology to health care has helped to create an international standard (ASTM) for the exchange of medical record information called the Continuity of Care Record (CCR). With AMA, he was founding chair of their e-Medicine Advisory Committee, worked with the Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement, represented the AMA and helped create the Physician EHR Coalition and is past chair of the AMA Council on Medical Service.