News / Health

Software Changing the Way Medicine Practiced

A doctor accesses personalized healthcare information for patients on a computer, February 2011
A doctor accesses personalized healthcare information for patients on a computer, February 2011

Multimedia

Carol Pearson

Just as the Internet's social networks have changed the way people communicate - a case in point is how Facebook helped Egyptian protesters to organize their historic demonstrations - social media also are changing the way doctors' offices operate and the way patients communicate with their doctors.  

What if you could use your cell phone to go online and make your medical appointments, request prescription refills or ask your doctor a question? Or, if you could retrieve your medical records wherever you had Internet access? What if an emergency room doctor could instantly see your health records, the medications you are taking and communicate with your doctor? It could save time, and maybe even your life. This is how social media and technology are changing the way medicine is practiced.

Dr. Jeff Livingston's practice, MacArthur Ob/Gyn in Irving, Texas, does all of this. "It has just revolutionized the way we do healthcare," he said.

Livingston and his colleagues use social media and password-protected software to share medical information with their patients. "We provide the patient full access to their medical care. Anything I can see, the patient can see. All of their notes, all of their doctor visits are right there. All of their lab work is right there."

Patients can communicate privately with their doctors on the practice's web site through a secure connection or "portal" - and they can get information or join forums on the practice's social media sites.

"We want to engage our patients in their healthcare," said Livingston. "So our practice has a Facebook page. It has a MySpace page. We have a Twitter feed. We have thousands of people who follow us through all this media. And what we found is that the patients really love that."

Kristi Francisco said she likes being able to log on and get the results of her medical tests. "This way I could get right into the practice portal and see, yes, everything’s fine and I don’t have to worry about things and just go on with my day and get on with my life."

Francisco said the software allows her doctor to electronically send her prescriptions to a pharmacy. That way, her medications are ready for pickup by the time she arrives. "I’m spoiled now."

MacArthur Ob/Gyn uses software developed by Sage Healthcare. The manufacturer said the software is secure and password-protected, and that confidential information stays confidential.

Livingston said the software also has increased office efficiency and cut costs by eliminating time-consuming practices and duplicative testing.

Another benefit of using the software and social media, he said, is that doctor-patient relationships have improved. Patients no longer have to rely solely on Internet searches to get medical information. They can find the answers they need directly from their own trusted doctor.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Christmas Gains Popularity in Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid