Saratoga, N.Y. (Medical News Today) When you need to be hospitalized, doctors have to know if you’re a patient who needs to be admitted or if you need a care plan.
But in recent years, a growing number of doctors have been asking their patients to do the opposite.
“A lot of our patients have said, ‘I need to call the emergency department,'” says Dr. Daniel L. Schwartz, a medical oncologist at the University of New York’s Sternberg Comprehensive Oncology Center.
“And the emergency departments can be really busy, especially if there are multiple patients in one room.”
This shift in care has been driven in part by the rise of Internet-based care and the advent of mobile technology.
“We’re really seeing a shift from the traditional hospital visits to the Internet-enabled hospital visits,” Schwartz says.
Saratoga hospital in Saratago, N: Doctors are now seeing more than 20 patients a day using mobile devices, and they’re sending more of them to the emergency room.
This has created a new breed of emergency room doctor who has to go online to get an accurate diagnosis, and that requires time and a mobile device.
But the shift is already creating an imbalance in the emergency care of patients in the hospital.
If a patient needs a diagnostic test, Schwartz says, he or she will need to make the trip to the ER or a local hospital.
That can take an hour, he says.
If the patient is a family member, it can take a few minutes.
Schwartz says he and other hospital doctors have seen a trend in recent months to shift away from the old way of asking a patient if they need to go to the hospital and then making them wait in the ED.
They’re seeing patients coming into the hospital with a cold, with a cough, or with a fever.
Those are symptoms of other conditions.
“So the traditional way of trying to get to a diagnosis has not worked,” Schwartz said.
“It’s time for us to do it ourselves.”
Schizbauer is now encouraging doctors to be proactive in their care of their patients online.
“I’m starting to see people come in with a new kind of fever,” he says, “and they need a CT scan.
So I’m saying, ‘Well, if you have a fever and you don’t have a CT, we can take care of that.'”
Schwitzer says he is seeing a similar shift in the use of mobile devices for diagnostic testing.
“When you have two or three people in the room, we’re really not able to see them,” he said.
And this has led to more and more cases in the ER, where the patient has a fever, cough, and/or fever.
“These patients are more likely to get into the emergency rooms and die,” he added.
Schwartz says he’s seeing patients with a history of diabetes and high blood pressure who are being sent to the ED, because they can’t get a CT or X-ray.
“Because we have so many patients in our ER, we have to go in and do the scan,” he explained.
When Schwartz sees a patient with a blood clot, he will usually ask them what’s wrong with their kidneys, and if there’s any way to manage the situation.
“They’re asking for help with diabetes and hypertension, but the first thing I do is make sure I’m getting the correct tests and getting the proper treatment.”
If the patient needs urgent care, it’s a different story.
The same is true if a patient has advanced cancer, but Schwartz says a lot of patients with this condition are not getting tested.
What happens when doctors start getting more patients using their phones?
When a hospital or a clinic decides to start using smartphones, doctors must figure out how to handle the data they’re getting.
“The way we’re going about it is we’re using the devices to find a patient, and then we’re looking at what we can do to get that patient better and to keep them safe,” Schwartz explains.
He said he and his colleagues are using Google Maps to help them find the most appropriate route for patients to get medical care.
“If you’re in the middle of a traffic jam, and you see a red light, and there’s a vehicle behind you and the driver is behind the wheel of that vehicle, and the traffic lights are green, you’re going to say, ‘Oh, that’s not the right way to get there,'” Schwartz said, “so you’re probably going to stop and wait for that vehicle.”
There are some patients, Schwartz said the majority of them, who will get a call from a hospital.
But it can be hard to get a patient to come back to the office, so doctors will usually wait for them to come home.
“There’s a lot to consider,” Schwartz added. A