How Mobile Apps Are Changing the Way Doctors Assess and Manage Pain

By brian blend on March 17, 2015

Paper medical forms are becoming part of the past: Doctors are embracing technology for improved medical records and pain management. Fifty-nine percent of physicians said they were integrating tablets into their operations. Of those who don't use tablets, one-third plan to buy one in the near future.

This is happening for a few reasons. As of the beginning of 2014, medical professionals are required to digitize their medical records. Instead of writing assessments by hand and then typing or scanning these documents, mobile apps create a digital record from the beginning. Switching to a mobile app makes it easier for physicians to maintain health records. Available for most tablets and smartphones, these apps are revolutionizing how medical practitioners track their patients’ status.

How do these apps work?

Mobile and tablet based phone apps are based on existing medical forms. Checkboxes, drop down fields, and text boxes all allow professionals to collect the information they used to collect on paper. Not only is information easier to read on a mobile device but is also more accurate. Because pain management requires detailed tracking for effective care, it’s even more important. Required fields ensure that pain management assessments are properly filled out.

In addition, medical professionals can collect new types of information easily: photographs, drawings, signatures, and more. Additional information can expand understanding of a patient's condition and treatment. If multiple professionals are working with a patient, additional information aids their understanding of a patient's treatment. For instance, photographs of a patient's knee can help show where the patient feels pain. Thus, mobile pain management apps can reduce confusion, ensuring better overall care.  

Mobile apps can record pain intensity assessments, evaluations the effects of intervention, and side effects. Each submission is sent in real-time to the cloud. Nearly instantaneously, hospitals can track patients’ adherence to medication, obstacles to pain control, and overall pain and condition.

Pain management assessments are most common when dealing with:

  • Knee replacement surgery
  • Joint replacement
  • Chronic pain
  • Neck pain
  • Non-terminal pain
  • Maternal-infant health neonatal pain

In these cases, pain management apps give patients functional and accurate assessments of their therapies.

Faster Reporting, Less Hassle

Pain management apps don’t just make collecting information faster. Expanded and improved data collection makes it easier for medical institutions to compare performance on pain management outcomes with patients and other organizations. It also makes it easier to comply with data demands of external sources such as government regulators and internal management.

More accurate data also improves medical practitioners’ ability to validate and refine standards of care and make recommendations for improvement. This all comes at a time when data collection and evaluation assessment instruments are becoming imperative to evidence-based practices.

The hope for physicians is that mobile pain management can make it easier to record and assess patients. On a systemic level, adopting mobile apps will lead to increased medical efficiency as well as significant improvements in patient outcomes. 

Physicians are naturally skeptical, so the simplest way to determine whether mobile pain management works for your practice is to give it a try for free. Also take a moment to look at the ready-made Health Care & Social Services apps found in the GoCanvas Application Store. You’ll quickly see how access to patient data through a mobile app will help you manage your patients more safely and effectively. 

Photo credit: Drug via photopin (license)