Friday, September 16, 2011

How technology is changing doctor-patient relationship in Chandigarh, India!

Today, there was a first in my decade long practice in Chandigarh. I am aware that Chandigarh has a large proportion of tech savvy educated parents. I received a call regarding some readability issues with one of my prescriptions. This is uncommon, not because my hand writing is good. It is terrible, like many male colleagues of mine! But I still get less than my fair share of the stick in this situation because I provide computerized prescriptions. However, occasionally when I write an additional drug with my hand, the chemists/ parents have some difficulty in going through it.

When I asked the parents to come to me (since I could not remember the drug whose name was illegible), the mother instead suggested sending me a scanned copy of the prescription on email!

She actually sent it across, and I am attaching the same here. For those who are interested, the word they could not get was “nostrils” where I had advised the application of Mupirocin (T Bact cream) so as to decrease chances of recurrent skin infection.

It just got me thinking about the increasing time-saving use of technology in the present day and age. I believe that the role of email will slowly increase as a communication tool, and hence doctors need to be up to date with this important means of instant communication. Things like medico-legal implications, charging for these online consultations, medical insurance issues, email storage for long term etc. are all issues that will challenge the physicians of the future in India, especially the metros, over the foreseeable future. In the meanwhile, I will enjoy my first scanned & emailed prescription, sent back to me, containing an illegible entry!

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