Monday, February 14, 2011

OSCAR via the iPad - damn! Works GREAT!

I seem to have been able to make the iPad actually useful in clinic with OSCAR.

The trick seems to be to install Printopia on any Mac in the clinic that is able to print on any printer.

Then, install text expander on the iPad & make it sync to my MobileMe account.

Clinic notes are then a breeze to enter into OSCAR with text expander, and longer notes are simply dictated into the ipad using Dragon. All specialist referrals are dictated, then copy/pasted into the consultation.....then faxed directly from the iPad to the specialist with the patient in the room! Yes, occasionally I will type a note directly or via a blu-tooth keyboard....

Prescriptions print seamlessly from the iPad to any printer I select, and I use Dropbox on the iPad to print out patient pamphlets when necessary. I often now also email them to patients from the iPad.

Uninsured services (like sick notes, etc.) are also paid for immediately using the iPad, directly into Paypal, and receipts are emailed to the patient or printed. The IPad's multitasking makes this a breeze!

The iPad with the camera will make it easy to attach photos of things to patient notes. Can't wait to get that in April!


BTW: had to work during superbowl - so used the TiVo app on the iPad to schedule the recording in the USA remotely, then the sling box app to stream the recording later to the ipad while at the office doing my paperwork. Made it bearable.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A cool feature with OSCAR

I just had to state something very cool about OSCAR that you can't get with any other EMR.

I connect to OSCAR using my laptop, which I carry with me from room to room as I move around the office. I also drag my laptop with me down to the pharmacy, to my personal office and the lunch room, etc.

I use a Macbook Air, because it is simply the best portable laptop out there. There are simply no better machines for use with an EMR. Sure, you can cheap out and buy a windows machine. They certainly cost a lot less. Mac's are expensive - but let's face it. If you want OSCAR, chances are that you are an M.D. If the cost difference between a (high end) Mac and a (low end) PC is something that makes you lose sleep - then Medicine as a career is possibly not meeting your financial objectives. That is a huge potential can of worms that is beyond the scope of this blog.

Suffice it to say - if you want the best possible experience with using an EMR with OSCAR - then use Mac's. I chatted with my support guy about this, and he pointed out that >95% of his "support calls" are a result of some strange quirk of windows that is messing something up for one reason or another. He rarely gets a request for support from a Mac user.

Mac's just work. Always. For mission critical operations like the business of a Physician - that should say a lot. back to my story.....

With the Macbook Air, I run OSCAR on Mac's browser: Safari. This works seamlessly and is very smooth. Works also on my ipad and iphone. But even cooler: I can configure safari to display a "ticker tape" at the top of the browser that gives me up to the minute weather/temperature reports in well as the time/date and a rolling RSS feed from the Calgary Herald and any other RSS feed I like.

Yes, I know what you are thinking - I do pay attention to my patients and I do not stare at my computer screen while they are talking. But with the few seconds I have between patients - it is an amazingly cool way of "keeping up" with the world.

I also have "Facetime" on my Macbook Air. This means that my wife and kids can reach me directly and personally with a direct audio/video chat directly on my air instead of me having to pick up my phone. If I'm with my patient - they know that I will answer and then put them on hold.....then I simply walk out of the room and we have our quick chat.

They never call me about anything insignificant - I only get the infrequent call like, "hey Dad, does this wound on my arm look like it needs stitches", or "Hey Honey, I'm at Grandpa's, and his left calf is swollen and red and looks like this....should I bring him in?....".

Something beyond PG-14 video chats from my wife - though MORE than welcome....seem to not have been coming my way. It would seem that she doesn't entirely trust the digital medium all that much. Ah well....time may mend that.

Just in the process of validation of the labs and billing.....should't be long now......