Expert Rosemarie Nelson reveals her favorite new tech gizmos.
Afraid of being left behind in the EMR race because you still handwrite your office notes? Think again!
The Logitech io2 Digital Pen (www.logitech.com) converts handwriting into digital text in seconds. The handwriting recognition software and shortcuts built into the small device can quickly and efficiently transform your notes into a Microsoft Word document without you having to touch a keyboard. When the pen is docked, selected notes can appear instantly as both handwritten text and automatically converted typed text with a split-screen interface. Users need only click a single button to insert selected text into a new Word document, or they can first edit the converted text as they compare it on-screen with their handwritten notes. And you can always go back to the images of your original handwritten notes because they are automatically saved. Yes, you can have your traditional cake and the digital icing too.
Another option for electronic documentation for the computer-averse is the Mobile NoteTaker (www.nexconcepts.com), a portable handwriting capture device that requires no special paper or a companion PDA/PC/notebook. Mobile NoteTaker allows you to capture, organize, and share your handwritten notes and even your drawings of patient problem areas. Simply attach the device to a pad or a single sheet of paper and start writing with the digital pen. A built-in LCD confirms that your writing is being saved - up to 50 letter-sized pages of notes. Once you capture your notes digitally, connect the Mobile NoteTaker to a USB port on your PC/notebook, and you can upload and synchronize them. The included software allows you to edit, share, or file your notes.
Now that you’ve got your patient notes saved digitally, wouldn’t it be nice to access them after hours or from home? BeInSync (www.beinsync.com) enables you to seamlessly and securely access and use your data anytime, anywhere - at the hospital, from home, or while traveling. Simply install BeInSync on each of the computers you would like to access and specify which data you’d like to synchronize - your desktop, specific folders, e-mails, contacts, etc. Whenever you create, modify, or delete any of these items, the changes will automatically be reflected on your other PCs as well.
And now you can easily move your files from your PC to your PDA with Documents To Go (www.dataviz.com). With support for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access, Documents To Go gives you the ability to view, edit, and create files and databases or access your business and personal contacts, calendar, tasks, and notes on your very portable PDA. To keep all that data secure, use tools like Trust Digital (www.trustdigital.com). Features including password management, selective data encryption, local password applications, and remote lock and wipe will help you sleep easier at night.
These and other devices are constantly hitting the market, making it easier for even the most technophobic physicians to employ the latest timesaving technologies. Used wisely, they can help you increase your productivity and add more time to your schedule than you ever imagined.
Rosemarie Nelson is a well-known healthcare technology guru and principal with the Medical Group Management Association’s Health Care Consulting Group. She can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared in the October 2006 issue of Physicians Practice.