"What you see is what you get!" For lots of Americans in the early 1970s, it would have been unusual to go through a day without hearing that Flip Wilson catchphrase. It was so good -- and so useful in so many ways -- that it was later used by the PC industry to describe word processors that had a screen display closely matching what would appear on a printed page. But a PACS isn't a PC, so it's unlikely that a pithy, but equally useful, catchphrase used by one consultant when discussing PACS purchasing decisions will become as widespread.
"Money is a headache, and money is the cure." -Everett Mámor
If Dr. Doolittle had put his efforts into designing a medical billing environment, no doubt he would have created one not unlike the one medical practices have to deal with today, a pushmi-pullyu with a labyrinth of innards that are tangled, confusing, often pulling in opposite directions, and, to top it off, ever-changing. In the not-so-distant past, billing and receiving payments from patients and insurance companies was relatively simple, and many individual and small group practices dealt with it that way. "My doctor gave me six months to live," Walter Matthau once quipped, "but when I couldn't pay the bill he gave me six months more." So it went.
Which portable device is right? Only you can say for sure.
Over the past 24 months, physicians' offices have begun investing heavily in automated point-of-care (POC) systems that boost the quality of patient care at the same time that they improve doctor productivity. Although primarily designed to operate on stationary desktop PCs and workstations, these applications increasingly include modules that support portable handheld devices like personal digital assistants (PDAs) and smartphones as well as tablet computers—no surprise, given the rising popularity of these relatively new categories of hardware among healthcare professionals.
The medical business isn’t what it used to be. The pressures on doctors are steadily bearing down, all but crushing the independent practice out of existence and stifling the aspirations of larger firms. “Physicians have a fairly depressing view of medicine,” says Dr. Thomas Handler, a physician himself who is now an analyst at Gartner Research. ”Sixty-percent in a recent poll said that if they could turn back the clock, they wouldn’t be a doctor at all. Thankfully, technology has the potential to relieve some of that pressure and depression.”