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Top 7 Online Medical Tools for Doctors

Top 7 Online Medical Tools for Doctors

With so many online resources available for doctors these days, more and more doctors are able to access information when they need it and get information that they can pass on to their patients. These resources can be anything from being able to connect with other doctors to being able to offer patients online medical evaluations and a whole lot more.

Let’s take a look at our seven top picks for online medical tools for doctors.

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1. The Medical Network

Here is a tool that lets you stay connected with your colleagues, classmates, and co-residents. You can use it to network with colleagues and employers at the top hospitals and even earn Category 1 credits simply by reading your favorite medical journals. You can also use this tool to send and receive HIPAA-secure faxes from mobile devices. This is a great tool to use when you need to get in contact with someone to discuss cases, get information, and a whole lot more.

2. Medical Reference App

This tool brings you the most up-to-date diagnostic and treatment information, and you get that information quickly. You can save a lot of time by using Epocrates, and it allows you to keep your focus on your patients. Most healthcare providers that use this tool say that they are able to save at least 20 minutes each day. While this may not seem like much to some, it can mean a lot to a busy doctor who doesn’t have a lot of time to search for information.

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3. Clinical Cases, Journals & Quick References for MDs

Here, doctors and other healthcare professionals can share various cases as well as evidence-based treatments. This is a team of doctors who are passionate, along with developers and designers who feel that case-based problem solving is the future of medicine. Not only can this type of approach have a huge impact on the outcomes of patient treatments, it can also make medical education a lot more fun and interesting.

4. The Isabel Differential Diagnosis (DDx) Generator

Doctors and other healthcare providers who are living and working in regions where there are limited resources can greatly benefit from using this tool. Clinicians and hospitals in developing countries can receive large discounts, as well as students and actual medical schools. The Symptom Checker feature has been made available for patients to use free of charge, and it can be accessed worldwide.

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5. Medical Marijuana Card

When patients want to have confidential, online medical marijuana evaluations, this is a good site to recommend. It is fast and convenient and a video appointment takes just 30 minutes or less. The doctors are very approachable and they take all conditions seriously. There are no hidden fees and it is valid across all California dispensaries. Patients receive same-day evaluations and fees are just $100 for new patients and $50 for renewals. Appointments can be easily scheduled online, and patients can get the documents they need to get medical marijuana from dispensaries.

6. U.S. National Library of Medicine

This is the National Institutes of Health website for patients, their families, and their friends. It is created by the National Library of Medicine, which is the largest medical library in the world, and in it you will find information about diseases and other wellness issues. The information is presented in a way that is easy for the layman to understand and the site is always free to use at any time.

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7. Evidence-Based Clinical Decision Support Resource

This is an evidence-based clinical decision support resource that is written by physicians. Over 6,300 world-renowned physician authors contribute to the site, and the evidence-based recommendations have been proven to make patient care, and the quality of that care, better.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via pexels.com

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Jane Hurst

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Last Updated on September 28, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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Con #2: Less Human Interaction

One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

Con #4: Unique Distractions

Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

Final Thoughts

Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

More About Working From Home

Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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