It is not surprising to be handed an iPad or tablet to fill in your personal information these days when you visit your doctor. In a world where space is short and available easily as megabytes rather than square feet, tablets have revolutionized the way healthcare setups now operate. These nifty devices have multiple functions and applications which are available at the tip of the fingers and extremely easy to use. There are plenty other reasons why having a tablet at your setup is better than rows upon rows of patient medical records:

Ease of storage

The best part about using tablets is that storing data is accomplished within seconds and there is no need to lug around the huge bulk of case papers. Ample precious space can be saved by storing data in tablets than having tedious files and folders where one has to employ further manpower to assemble, arrange and generally manage the reams of papers. Lengthy medical records and patient histories can be stored in a very systematic way and recovered by just a few swishes of the finger. One can store blood test reports and images of other procedures chronologically in well-defined segregated folders. Since most diagnostic centers provide electronic records of all tests, they can be easily accessed via email or on the center’s website via a tablet.  This portable device can be accessed by many people in a department easily because of its compact nature and portability. A tablet not only saves space but also reduces the time and energy taken in storing and retrieving records in large healthcare institutions like hospitals.

Information at fingertips

Tablets provide access to information about various diseases, their symptoms, causes, treatment available etc. They have various apps like WebMD and Medscape which update constantly about the new tests and latest diagnostic procedures available in order to get an accurate diagnosis. This is a boon for a physician with a beeline of patients waiting outside his OPD. This eliminates the need of stocking hefty volumes of medical textbooks that can be stored in a few MBs in a tablet and accessed far more easily. Not just physicians but patients too can use tablets to access information regarding their condition with a few taps on a tablet while they await their turn for consultation.

Technology vs. tradition

Tablets provide applications for scheduling appointments, thus reducing chaos and crowd at a hospital or clinic and saving precious minutes. Various queries can be answered quickly through emails with the use of tablets that would otherwise take a dedicated person over the phone. Reminders for taking medications and follow up visits are an added advantage that tablets offer for patients as well as doctors. Planners and dairies can all be done away with when you consider the efficiency provided by the use of tablets.

Gone are the days when doctor’s clinics had bulky medical books for reference as all of these and the peer-reviewed journals and magazines are available for reading on tablets. It is extremely convenient to choose books and save them in the bookshelf in applications provided by the tablet.

Keeping at the heels of rapidly changing times, healthcare is also ensuring that it stays abreast of these tools that help doctors focus on delivering optimal healthcare instead of laboring over phone calls and filling out prescription pads.

Contributed by Dr. Rachita Narsaria MD