The past 15 years can be referred to as a technological tsunami, which of course, has an effect on the healthcare industry. Yet few physicians were prepared for these changes. If we can use technology to our benefit, use it well and efficiently, we can use it to enhance services as clinicians. Included in using technology well means maintaining or increasing quality of care and compassion to the patients.
Cloud computing allows for a network of remote servers to host, manage and process data on the Internet rather than on a local server or computer. With this, it is possible that health care can be conducted continuously and anywhere. The pace at which technology affects our lives is increasing at lightning speeds. 29% of Americans say their phone is both the first and last thing they look at every day. Whether we are happy about it or not, we are becoming dependent on technology. Let’s look at 4 pieces of technology that can be effective in a clinical setting to attract new patients, enhance productivity, communication and patient care.
- A Mobile-friendly website
Wikipedia says there are 327,577,529 mobile phones in the United States. As of July 4, 2014, the US population was 318,881,992, meaning there are more phones than people! Mobile phones are similar to personal assistants. People use them but hold their movie/plane/concert tickets, check the weather, set reminders, send and receive emails, make reservations, check websites and more. A recent report from Pew Research Center claims that almost two-thirds of Americans own a smartphone and 62% of smartphone users have used it to look up information on a health condition. 15% of smartphone users say they have a limited number of ways to access the Internet other than their cell phone.
Mobile is definitely becoming the way. A mobile-friendly website makes the information on your site accessible to all and easy to read! Additionally, if your website is responsive to mobile users, meaning the site can respond and change to be mobile-friendly, Google will actually note that ability and then rank the site higher in Google results. Google is in full support of mobile phone users getting a positive online experience and so it will even lower your site in rankings if the site does not comply with mobile.
If a potential client is searching for health information and comes across your site, the text should be readable and easily navigable. If the site is nonresponsive, it is likely that the visitor will leave. You can check your site’s mobile rating here: www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly. Test your site on multiple devices to see what your users experience.