Thursday, December 13, 2012

DocbookMD: Coordinated Patient Care at Your Doctors’ Fingertips

The greatest advancements often are born out of necessity. That’s how DocbookMD took form.

Orthopedic surgeon and DocbookMD cofounder Tim Gueramy, MD, observed that when it came to health information technology, everyone was trying to solve the wrong problem. Instead of forcing technology into medicine, Dr. Gueramy asked, “Why do physicians need this technology, how can it adapt to the way they work, and ultimately how can it help them and their patients?”

DocbookMD is a HIPAA-compliant messaging application for smartphone and tablet devices that allows physicians to communicate with each other securely and easily. Through DocbookMD, physicians can send HIPAA-compliant text messages to other physicians, along with photos of x-rays, electrocardiograms, or other pertinent patient information. The result is fast and thorough patient consultations.

The Joint Commission estimates up to 80 percent of serious preventable patient complications are due to poor communication among health care givers. The need for physicians to have timely and critical information about the patients they treat is more important now than ever: For every 100 Medicare patients a primary care doctor sees, he or she must coordinate care with 99 other physicians across 53 specialties.

To do this, physicians must have a way to communicate effectively. Through DocbookMD, with a simple text message an on-call physician can look at an x-ray from his seat at a baseball game and make an educated decision about his next course of action for a patient.

By allowing physicians to exchange information through texting, DocbookMD prevents delays at the point of care. Austin ophthalmologist Ted Shepler, MD, recently used DocbookMD to help a patient who needed her prescription urgently. The patient had no idea which pharmacy had her prescription on file. “Thanks to DocbookMD, I was able to find the pharmacy quickly for the patient,” says Dr. Shepler.

Austin anesthesiologist and DocbookMD partner Aaron Ali, MD, once used the app’s directory to find a patient’s nephrologist to discuss the patient’s pre-operative lab values. The surgery was rescheduled when it was confirmed the patient was in acute renal failure. “The fact that I could get ahold of that physician or his office that quickly and accurately was awesome,” says Dr. Ali. “It helped out, and I know 100 percent that it helped that patient that day.”

Video: Left at the Table: The Birth of DocbookMD

Watch the video below to learn how a ruined first-anniversary dinner for a husband-wife physician team led to the creation of DocbookMD.

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