Using Technology to Prepare for a New Doctor’s Appointment

In the past, patients used to contact their local doctor and make an appointment over the telephone. Every other communication between the patient and doctor occurred at the appointment time itself. With the advent of technology, however, there’s more communication than ever with a healthcare provider. Patients can prepare for their appointment before it arrives so that the process is as streamlined as possible. Take a close look at how technology helps new patients as they search for quality Healthcare in Bend Oregon.

Doctor Schedule AppointmentImage from planodr.com

Doctors and Insurance Acceptance

Before new patients even select a doctor, they need to know if the professional takes their specific insurance. Although you can contact your insurance company for a list, you’ll often receive a huge booklet in response. Research your chosen doctors, and check their particular websites for their acceptable insurance types. Most doctors will take most of the common insurances available in the marketplace. When you match your insurance with the doctor’s type, you know that every billed item will give you the best coverage based on your policy’s details.

Make an Online Appointment

Pinpointing the right doctor takes some effort, but the appointment process is much easier with online scheduling. Take a look at your doctor’s website. Most sites have an online appointment section. Fill in the required information, and submit the form. You should be able to select from several appointment times listed on the website. If a date and time isn’t available, it’s probably taken already. You’ll normally receive an email confirmation of the appointment afterward. If any issues arise as the appointment date approaches, the doctor’s office will contact you directly.

Fill Out the Paperwork Now

Traditionally, you’re supposed to arrive 15 to 20 minutes early to your first appointment in order to fill out the new-patient paperwork. However, the doctor’s website usually gives you a chance to fill out the paperwork at home. Simply download the documents on the website. You may need to print, sign and bring the paperwork to the appointment. Alternatively, you might sign the paperwork digitally and submit it online. Regardless of the submission type, filling out the paperwork prior to the appointment saves you and the office staff considerable time. You can arrive at the appointment as if you’re an established patient without any extra waiting time.

Sign Up For Patient Access

Go a step further with your healthcare, and sign up for patient access through the doctor’s website. By setting up a secure user account, you can immediately access all of your medical history. Send a secure message to the doctor, or refill a prescription too. There’s no need to call an administrator and wait on hold for them to research any questions that you might have. When you can access your medical chart at any time, you can be more involved in your healthcare. If you can’t sign up for the access as you fill in the new-patient forms, ask your doctor about the process during the appointment. The online platform saves the doctor’s time too.

If patients don’t feel comfortable with the online platform, doctors’ offices still encourage phone calls to their administrators. Using the Internet for new patients is always an option and not a rule. In the end, each patient should feel comfortable with their doctor and the communication pathways within the facility.

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4 Best Practices for Dealing with Pharmaceutical Waste

When you work in a pharmaceutical setting, whether it be a retail store, or a medical center, such as a hospital, there are incredibly stringent regulations pertaining to not just how you dispense medications, but also how they’re disposed of.

This initially started back in the 1970s when the EPA backed the Clean Water Act. In the early 2000s,a
number of research studies showed pharmaceutical compounds were in the majority of the sampled streams.

The Disposal Act was put into place more recently, in 2014, and it dictates how long health care facilities have to store and dispose of various types of pharmaceutical waste items.

Pharmaceutical waste isn’t the same as products that could still have value if they were sent back to a manufacturer. Waste means those items that can’t be used and can’t be sent back, so they have to be discarded.

Below are 4 best practices to ensure pharmaceutical facilities of all kinds remain vigilant and proactive in their waste management procedures.

Know What Kind of Waste You’re Dealing With

There are different types of pharmaceutical waste. Some kinds are classified as hazardous, which means they have to be disposed of in a different way from non-hazardous determinations.

Working with a waste management provider can help you not only determine how specific waste should be dealt with, but also how to categorize the sub-areas of hazardous waste determination.

Provide Refresher Training to Employees Each Year

Training pharmacy employees on compliance and waste regulatory issues when they’re hired isn’t enough to keep up with changes that happen so frequently.

It’s important to make sure all staff members are trained on a regular basis to account for any changes that may have occurred. Bi-annually is ideal but annually will work as well.

Cultivate a Culture of Compliance

Pharmacy settings often don’t have the rigid focus on compliance found in other medical settings, because the focus tends to be acting as a customer liaison and providing the utmost in care and guidance to patients.

While this is, of course, imperative, so is creating a culture of compliance.

This can be achieved not only through thorough training, but also, regular assessments to make sure everyone is up-to-date on their knowledge of regulations. Put in place systems and procedures where the focus is on regulatory compliance.

Keep Everything Clearly Labeled

Labeling is so simple, yet is such an overlooked component of waste management compliance in medical and pharmaceutical settings.

Properly labeling disposal containers, and also having signs throughout your organization that let personnel know how they should handle different kinds of waste, can go a long way in improving compliance.

An Overlooked Issue

Statistics show only about 20% of pharmacists learned about proper medication disposal in pharmacy school. This is truly startling. As an employer it’s important to take the necessary steps to make sure every employee knows the ins and outs of proper disposal, to prevent not only safety hazards but also potential fines from government and regulatory agencies.

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New #PinoyMD Twitter ID is “@Pinoy_MD”

For almost 6 years, the twitter handle for this blog is @GagayMedStudent, even if you’ll check it in the profile of this twitter account. So for now, I’ve decided to change it to @Pinoy_MD.

New #PinoyMD Twitter ID is

As the account name implies, @Pinoy_MD simply means a Filipino Medical Doctor.

I so hope guys that you all will follow @Pinoy_MD in twitter.

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