Patient Portals – Pain Relief for Chronic Paperwork Sufferers
A Plea from Patient to Doctor about Managing the Pain of Paperwork
Anyone who knows me well knows that I am a chronic pain sufferer. I rolled my first car into a 6 foot ditch when I was 17 years old and ended up with a stress fracture in my low back that has gotten progressively worse over the last 10 years. I’m currently seeing a physiatrist, an orthopedic surgeon, a pain management specialist, a rheumatologist, and a physical therapist, trying everything from Eastern healing techniques to Western pharmaceuticals, and everything in between for pain management.
Suffice it to say that I spend a lot of time at the doctor’s office. Ergo, I spend a lot of time filling out paperwork. And if you’ve ever experienced any type of chronic condition, you know that this means answering the same questions over and over again, literally adding insult to injury each time you see a new specialist. What’s worse is when you spend 30 minutes of your own time, ink, and paper filling out and printing all these documents at home, and then bring it into the office only to have the nurse repeat all the same questions verbally. I really, really hate when they do that.
So this is my plea to health care professionals who really care about their patients… stop making this so painful! Secure file sharing apps (from SmartVault and many others) make it easy and affordable to set up a secure patient portal, where your patients can securely and privately upload their medical records and intake forms. Then spring for an iPad for each member of your staff, so doctors, nurses, and patients can access the same information, anytime and anywhere… at home, in the office, or in the exam room.
The SmartVault client portal is a great option for this, especially when paired with our super cool SmartVault for iPad app. But there are other tools out there, too. My objective advice from patient to doctor is try out a few different apps, and see what works best for your practice. I promise your patients will really appreciate any effort to make the paperwork process less painful and redundant.
Tomorrow I’m seeing a specialist about a new alternative treatment called neural prolotherapy, so I’m certain that more paperwork awaits me. But no matter how much pain I’m in, and no matter how many papers I fill out, I’m always optimistic about new treatments… and new technologies. Here’s hoping that someday soon I’ll be pain-free, and my doctors will be paper-free!