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  Medical Office Management - Going Forward  
 
Continued ...

Gone are the days when you could place a few personal computers on the desks, connect them with some wires and call it a business network.  Sooner or later, the demands on that system will reach a point where no amount of tinkering will help.  You cannot add an engine to an ox cart and call it a Buick.  By the same token, when advancements in technology reach a certain stage, you just have to scrap the old and build everything on a fresh new foundation. This is partly the reason for the demise of Mac Os 9. 

Going forward, we need to keep this lesson in mind.  Medical office applications, whether for business management or for computerizing medical records, are absolutely and totally dependent on data, data that identifies and describes the patient and patient's illness, its progress towards recovery or lack thereof, the opinions of people caring for the patient, the results of tests and x-rays, the documentation of what worked and what was ineffective or even harmful. All of this information needs to be not only filed away but analyzed and presented as needed.  And since a medical office or a clinic is a business there is a need to manage the data related to business operations.  In other words, data is the king in these applications, everything else revolves around the issues of acquisition, validation, storage, analysis, presentation and sharing of this data. 

Therefore, for those of us who are in the business of creating solutions for the medical industry, the only acceptable platform for application development is the one that is at the cutting edge of data management and data sharing.  When it comes to sharing the data, the new demands are not merely for sharing it from one room in the office to the next, but providing access from across town, or across country or even across continents.  How about being able to look up a patient's information from your laptop in the bedroom when you get that 3:00 AM phone call from the ER?

As any observer of technology will attest, the fastest and the most exciting innovation at the time is taking place in the web based technologies.  It is true that as of this moment there are challenges and some hurdles.  But this is no different from the challenges we faced when working with the little Macintosh Classic of two decades ago.  Just as the potential of the Graphical User Interface was so immediately compelling over the black screen world of DOS at that time, the advances in the Internet technology today present a compelling and promising potential in this arena.  Even so, we have to recognize that for some institutions, web may not be ready for prime time.   For this reason we also have a client server solution where everything resides within the premises of your own clinic.  This may not provide the universal accessibility of a web based solution but it does provide some benefits that the web based solutions cannot.  The good news is that we are seeing the potential on the horizon of a time when we may be able to merge the two technologies and thereby offer the benefits of both, but like everything else we have to wait for technology to catch up with our dreams.

 
     
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