An Apple iPad application from MacPractice allows patients to register in a doctor's office and then transfers the data into practice-management software and EHRs.
, a developer of practice-management
and clinical software for Apple devices, has released an application for the
iPad, called Clipboard, to streamline patient registration.
Based in Lincoln, Neb., MacPractice
offers practice-management applications for the Mac, iPhone and iPad in four
separate versions: MD for physicians, DDS for dentists, DC for chiropractors
and 20/20 for eye doctors.
By having patients electronically enter
their information themselves, physician practices will be able to cut down on
data-entry errors, MacPractice reports.
Clipboard also allows patients to read
and sign HIPAA privacy forms on the iPad.
"This particular app is aptly
described by the name: It's the clipboard," Mark Hollis, president of
MacPractice, told eWEEK. "You've been handed the clipboard ... and that's
exactly what this product is intended to do-is to allow you to be able to fill
those forms out on the iPad."
When a patient enters information, it
flows automatically into a doctor's practice-management applications and EHRs
(electronic health records).
"It's shared data-there's an
intersection of the data that's used in the practice management that's also
used in the EMR [electronic medical record]," Hollis said.
With EHR applications built into a
practice-management suite, patients need only enter their name, address, date
of birth and sex once, Hollis explained. Once the data is in a practice's
database, the information can be used for tasks such as booking appointments,
printing insurance forms or filing claims electronically.
With doctors able to carry around iPads
running practice-management applications, they can replace the 3-by-5-inch
cards they've often brought back and forth between offices and hospitals to keep
track of patient visits, Hollis said.
The software also includes a reminder
feature for staff in a doctor's office to communicate what might need to be
done for a patient.
Currently, 3,600 practices use the Mac
version of MacPractice's software. The company announced the Clipboard iPad
version on May 11 and has rolled out a beta release on iTunes for about 100
customers, Hollis said.
In October, MacPractice introduced an
iPad version of its practice-management software that includes e-prescribing.
Doctors can also upload photos of patients.
Although an iPad and its touch screen
may not be able to replace all features of a PC in a doctor's office, patient
interest calls for its use, Hollis said.
"The iPad is still not the best
device for doing everything in a medical office," Hollis said, while
noting that its main purpose is to serve as more of a viewer than a data-entry
unit. "You can't see as much data on an iPad as you can see on the
But for the small amount of information
patients enter when they register at a doctor's office, iPads are sufficient,
Still, 30 percent of physicians are using iPads
data into EHRs, view X-rays and stay in touch with patients, according to a
recent report by Manhattan Research. Of the doctors the firm surveyed, 28
percent planned to purchase an iPad in the next six months.
In addition, 79 percent of doctors
preferred the iPad compared with competing tablets, a March survey by research
firm Aptilon revealed.