7 ways to improve patient care through pharma
Despite all the innovations in the healthcare industry, the sad truth is that errors with wrongly prescribed medication are happening more than ever. Not only can this be costly for healthcare organizations, it can also have tragic consequences.
Drug errors occur for any number of reasons but one thing that could help reduce them and improve patient care in general is communication between doctors and pharmaceutical companies.
"Physicians and pharma need to come together and communicate. There needs to be more information and education on drug safety issues, more samples, more integration with EHR," said Donato Tramuto, CEO and vice chairman of Physicians Interactive, a provider of mobile and web-based clinical resources and solutions for healthcare professionals. Tramuto was recently recognized as one of The Boston Globe's 12 most innovative people in Massachusetts for 2012 for founding the nonprofit organization Health eVillages.
Tramuto spoke with Healthcare Finance News about the seven ways physicians can engage with pharma to improve overall patient care.
1. Use of mHealth.
"If you were contagious or too sick to go into the doctor, how great would it be to just snap a photo of your malady with your phone and send it?" Tramuto asked. Integrating pictures and videos can help doctors make diagnoses for cases that aren't as significant as a heart attack. Pharma can also help doctors by creating platforms like e-prescribing, that directly fit into a physician's workflow. And mobile health is extremely beneficial in developing countries, Tramuto noted. Instead of guesstimating dosages – a reality in these regions of the world – there are programs and technologies that help educate medical students via mobile options in makeshift ERs.
2. Altered reimbursement systems.
Whether it's mobile, mail or web, pharma needs to meet the demand and expectations of developing a communication workflow regarding the reimbursement system that physicians actually want.
3. Create an online buzz.
Physicians have been hesitant to jump online to conduct more of their healthcare business. "This reluctancy is confusing to me. Is it about confidentiality?" asked Tramuto. Physicians' archaic thinking about conducting business online contradicts the current world where people bank online and buy goods from websites. Online activity can do so much for physicians at the point of care, Tramuto noted. Informed decisions can literally be made at the click of button.
4. Develop medical apps.