Saturday, February 4, 2012

Firefox for Android

Since my recent Xoom upgrade to Android 4 Ice Cream Sandwich, I can now run Allscripts Eprescribe on Firefox. It previously only worked with the Opera browser. Firefox runs faster than Opera and doesn't have the annoying zooming feature. Maybe I can make more use of my Android tablet in the exam room.

Medication Reconcilation

Figuring out what medications a patient is actually taking can be very challenging. Patients often don't know what medications they take and often what you write in the chart often doesn't reflect reality. Patients may run out of a drug and neglect to refill or they may decide to stop the drug on their own.

One solution is to have patients maintain their own medication lists which they update at their office visits or if they are seen in the emergency department or in the hospital. One of my patients uses MyMedSchedule. He had a renal transplant which requires him to take antirejection medications which interact with other commonly prescribed medications. This program was recommended by the transplant clinic. It produces nice lists with pictures of the pills. He brings a printout to every office visit for me to review.

I tried the iphone app. It has medication reminders which are a bit annoying. The pill pictures work well for branded drugs like Myfortic, a drug taken by the transplant patient, but generic drugs, which most patients take, have no pictures. Still having the list on your phone saves having to print out a list for an office visit. Also in an emergency a patient could take out his phone and show the list to the hospital staff.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Organizing a Paper Avalanche. Camscanner and Evernote

Mountains of paper accumulate around me every week. Part of my work as an Internist requires me to attend meetings or CME classes. I make hand written notes on the handouts and agendas. Writing the notes helps me remember important ideas. The problem is what to do with the notes and handouts. I recently got an iPhone 4S which is equipped with a very nice camera. The camera is good enough to not only record clinical images as I noted in an earlier post but also to produce easy to read images of notes and handouts from meetings.

Now that I had digital copies of notes, I needed to organize them. I settled on Evernote which is a free form data base. It can hold images, text and even sound. I have organized my meetings and classes into note books. I can access them on a PC at work, a Mac at home, my Xoom tablet, and my iPhone.

The best part is the process. I attend the meeting and take notes. When the meeting is over I take out the iPhone and CamScan my notes. The even light in the typical conference room is perfect for image capture. Evernote can capture images directly but I prefer the image processing tools in CamScanner. I import them into Evernote and then I'm done. I can toss the paper and refer to the digital images whenever I want wherever I am.