Last week I was at a family event to celebrate Father’s Day. Aside from the fact that some relatives looked a little older and some a little plumper, I noticed a change when compared to last year’s Fathers Day celebration – no traditional cameras. This is the first time in years we had a celebration without a single device solely dedicated to taking pictures. There were of course many cameras – too many to count, since most everyone now has a camera and photo feature built-in to their smart phone. I posed for pictures taken with Blackberry’s®, Android® devices, iPads®, and of course iPhones®. Everyone was taking pictures, and at the end of the event my email inbox was full of memories.

Let’s face it – there is nothing more convenient than taking a picture with a smart phone or an iPad2®. In fact, the iPhone® alone has become the most common source of uploaded pictures at the commonly used picture-viewing site, Flickr®.

iPhone Camera Popularity

For years plastic surgeons have been using photographs of patients, or their clinical findings, to show patients “before and after” results. In addition, a small number of physicians have used cameras to document clinical findings for comparison upon future visits, to document complex findings, or for medical-legal purposes. Having a picture of clinical findings is always helpful, and patients love to see visual evidence of their improvement.

The problem has always been, taking pictures of a patient’s clinical findings is time consuming – it required many extra steps. Even with adoption of Electronic Medical Record technologies – most EMR vendors make the upload process of photos time consuming and complex – too complex for providers to perform in the exam room or at the bedside.

With MediTouch® Advanced Document Management it is simple to get a picture of your patient into the appropriate patient chart – it takes 30 seconds, and this set of screen shots shows you how simple it is. No EHR vendor can rival the simplicity and speed of our patient, image documentation process.

We will use the iPad2® as our image-capturing device, and I have taken a picture that documents a patient’s acne. (Simulation)

iPad2 Image of Acne

 

The Simple MediTouch® Process

  1. I have been assigned my practice’s unique MediTouch EHR® email address and saved it as a favorite contact – so when I send an email my MediTouch EHR® email address “pops up” like any other favorite contact.
  2. I have placed the patient’s unique chart number in the subject field (no name or date of birth required). Note: there was no use of any PHI – so we can feel comfortable that our process is HIPAA compliant.
  3. I have attached the picture.
  4. When I click “Send” – this image is sent to the patient’s chart and can be filed – Simple!

iPhone Image Attachment

iPhone Image Encounter Note

To the right is a view of the patient’s image as it appears in the patient’s MediTouch® document file. The image can be easily incorporated into any encounter note.

iPad Image Before and After

Later, after treatment, I can instantly create before-and after photos; contrasting the previous picture with a new picture of the same patient, now with a much-improved complexion.

When I speak with doctors who are not accustomed to documenting encounters using images, many of them are skeptical of the value of making a patient image part of the encounter record. We at HealthFusion® believe that using images, and sharing them with your patients, is a real practice builder. There is nothing better or more powerful then reinforcing your successful care with pictures that document the positive results of your treatment; plastic surgeons have been doing it for years. Now with MediTouch® Advanced Document Management, in just seconds any practice can document using patient images, making their documentation more precise and improving the overall patient experience.