Pity the poor doctor. Not likely you say, but when it comes to technology, I'd like to convince you otherwise.
I'm a tech guy (software developer) and run a business doing that. My wife is a doctor (psychiatrist). I've known her since before she got into med school, so I can say with some confidence that the practical aspects of business and technology were not part of her med school or residency training.
She finished her residency in 2004, and until recently she was working at various hospitals. About six months ago, she opened up a new private practice here in St. Albert (a bedroom community of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada).
Other than getting to pick out furniture (no couch, but several comfy chairs), I'm pretty sure that she would have loved to be able to just snap her fingers and have everything else magically taken care of. Things like finding an office, lease negotiations, insurance, hiring an admin assistant, registering the new clinic with the provincial health bureaucracy, change of addresses, office supplies, stationary. Oh yeah, and technology.
I offered to help her get things set up (this gave me the leverage to ensure she got a good coffee machine). While I'll spare you the details about assembling furniture and hauling garbage, I do want to say a fair bit about the technology that is available, what we picked (and why). Hence, this blog.
Off the top of my head, some of the things worth discussing are phone systems, faxes (what century is this?), scheduling, dictation, patient records, contact management, billing, social media, privacy, computers, peripherals, and networking. Among other things.
The reason I want to talk about it is because most of this stuff is a real mess, an expensive and more importantly, time-consuming, mess. My wife is like most doctors we know who just want to be able to take care of their patients, and the last thing they want is crap like technology (or bureaucracy, or politics, or...) slowing them down when they're trying to do that.
So if some of what I have to say helps save some doctors some time, frustration, or poor choices, that's fantastic (especially for their patients). If I can learn a bit more about what else is out there, and perhaps how to make it a bit better, or fill in some of the gaps, that would be great for me too.