How office technology can move your practice forward

November 1, 2008

We review a sampling of software and hardware for the office-based practice that can improve the way you practice, increase your efficiency, and enhance your communication with patients.

In this article, we will review a sampling of software and hardware for the office-based practice that can improve the way you practice, increase your efficiency, and enhance your communication with patients. Note: We have not tested all of the products mentioned here, we do not receive consulting fees, and we are not members of the boards of any of the companies listed. For a complete list of the products we discuss, see "A guide to tech products/services," .

Electronic prescribing

Voice recognition software

By using Web-based applications that combine voice recognition software (VRS) with the Internet for wireless dictation capabilities, it is now possible to dictate into your laptop or touch-screen computer to supplement your electronic medical record. Programs are now available to allow the program to retrieve dictations, transcribe them, and make them available online in less than 1 hour on a 24/7 basis. Most of the newer programs offer a >95% transcription accuracy.

Integrated dictation and transcription capability is also a standard feature in most electronic medical record suites.

Patient communication

A company called TeleVox calls patients to remind them of their next appointment. That frees the clinic's receptionist from the onerous job of calling 20 to 25 patients a day-sometimes repeatedly-to make sure they get the message. Just as important, TeleVox's ability to nag has drastically lowered the number of patients who miss their appointments; no-shows can be expected to drop from one or two a day to one or two a week.