Automate Your Practice: Survival Guide for the Mobile Doctor

Courtney Marie L.
Jun. 25, 2019
10-minute read

At Dr Bill we spend a lot of time obsessing over how to make doctors’ lives better. So we have a lot of respect for other services in the medical space that share a similar mission.

If your time is split between patient care, being on call, and managing your practice, here are 10 useful apps that will help you find quick answers and put your day-to-day tasks on autopilot. Use them to stay organized, while saving time during clinical/work hours.

1. Use crowdsourcing to research rare conditions

Stumped by a rare condition? Figure 1 lets you (and hundreds of thousands of other users) submit, view, share, comment on, and search through images of rare conditions in its huge visual database.

Basically, it’s the go-to app to view and discuss real-world medical cases with your healthcare peers. Best of all? It caters to every specialty, so you can always find the answers you’re looking for.

But wait, is it safe to share patient details and reference cases with strangers on the internet? Don’t worry, Figure 1 ensures patient privacy with face-blocking technology and the removal of identifying information from all images.

The Bottom Line:

This app is a great way to get quick feedback on rare cases from other healthcare professionals.

Compatibility: iOS and Android.

Price: Free

2. Say Goodbye to Billing Headaches, Forever…

Billing isn’t just a complex, time-sucking task. It can be a financial burden on your practice, too. The average physician in Canada fails to bill for at least 5% of the insured services they provide. While this might not sound like a lot now, it can add up quickly over the years.

Don’t believe us? If you look at your annual earnings, and subtract 5%, then times that number by 30, you’ll see what we’re talking about.

So, how can you make sure you’re billing properly without spending all your time checking to see if you’ve done it correctly? That’s where we come in.

Not to toot our own horn, but we’d be remiss to not include Dr Bill on the list— we’re a medical app powered by real humans where you can add a patient within 3 seconds and add a claim under 30 (goodbye daysheets)!

We understand billing is a pain, which is why our billing agents are experts at what they do. You can contact us within the app anytime you have a question. Not only do they offer support, they will manage and resubmit your rejections too.

The Bottom Line:

Billing on your smartphone makes it easy to incorporate into patient care. It allows you to bill for the service right away so that you don’t forget about it later.

Compatibility: iOS and Android.
Available in British Columbia, Ontario, and Alberta.

Price: Free trial (no credit card necessary).
Subscription plan thereafter.

3. Make Better Decisions and get CME Credits

DynaMed is a medical reference app that helps you make better clinical decisions. The content is updated multiple times a day, which means you’ll get the most up-to-date answers each time you search.

Besides just being able to reference drug information, you can also bookmark articles, send emails and access everything offline.

Best of all? You can actually use DynaMed to earn CME credits. You get .5 CFPC Mainpro-M1 Credits for each search submitted.

The Bottom Line:

It’s really easy to navigate through this medical app and you can find quick answers.

Compatibility: iPhone and Android.

$399 per year for physicians.
$199 per year for Licensed Medical Practitioner.
$149 per year for Clinician in Training/Residence.
$99 for medical students.

4. Quickly Search All Canadian Drugs & Therapies

RxTx is a valuable electronic point-of-care tool that you have free access to if you’re a Canadian Medical Association (CMA) member.

You can search for all Canadian drugs and therapies (including natural health products and vaccines), as well as evidence-based information on recommended treatment options.

The Bottom Line:

This is a great tool if you’re looking for Canada-approved drugs and decision-making tools for more than 200 different treatment options.

Compatibility: iOS and Android.

Price: Free for CMA members.

5. Replace PubMed with “the Netflix of Medical Journal Apps”

Looking for an alternative to PubMed? With a simple interface and a design that makes it easy to read journals on your phone, Case is fast becoming a preferred alternative.

The app supports 81 medical specialities and uses machine learning (its algorithm is based on Google Tensorflow) to surface new articles based on what you enjoyed reading in the past. This helps make sure the content you’re seeing is both relevant and useful.

The Bottom Line:

By signing up you’ll have access to over 247,482 topics that you can read, watch or listen to. Their best feature is that they personalize notifications. You’ll get a tailored email with weekly updates on only the things that interest you.

Compatibility: iOS and Android.

Price: Free.

6. Use Real Photos for an Accurate Diagnosis

Visual DX helps you with diagnostic visual decision support using real patient images.

Search a diagnosis to access clinical information and 90,000 medical images―reviewed and confirmed by leading physician experts―including skin infectious, immunologic, metabolic, nutritional, psychiatric and genetic diseases.

The Bottom Line:

It’s as easy as searching a diagnosis to access images and clinical information, helpful both for diagnosing patients as well as for choosing the best course of treatment.

Compatibility: iOS and Android.

Price: $39.99 USD/month (or annually $399).

7. Access the King of Medical Databases From your Phone

With millions of downloads under its belt, Epocrates is the leading medical reference app on the market.

The free version can help you find other providers for consults and referrals, search drug information and interaction, identify a pill based on its imprint code, and access a database of clinical practice guidelines.

If you upgrade to premium you’ll get all of Epocrates’ features which include disease information, alternative medicine, ICD-10 and CPT codes, lab and diagnostic treatment, and infectious disease treatment.

The Bottom Line:

Doctors have reported saving at least 20 minutes a day by using this reference app!

Compatibility: iOS and Android.

Price: Free for basic use.
$174.99 USD per year for the premium version.

8. Digitize Your Calendar

Keep track of daily obligations and optimize your schedule with an online scheduling app like Evernote. Being able to look at your schedule visually will help make it obvious when you need to delegate tasks or reprioritize.

You can also use it to store your EMR passwords and logins, which is especially useful if you’re a locum. Or, you can take a picture of a graph or presentation during a meeting for easy searching later (photographed words are searchable)!

The Bottom Line:

Whether it’s Evernote or not, you should use a calendar app to help organize your day with notes and reminders. This will help you give priority to what’s important and re-plan the things that aren’t.

Compatibility: iOS and Android

Price: Free for the basic account.
$7.99 (CAD) monthly for Premium.
$14.99 (CAD) monthly for Business (good for teams).

9. MDCalc

MDCalc is a great place to search for evidence-based medicine to help you learn and apply decision-making tools for specific patient care scenarios.

Content is written by doctors for doctors and it supports over 35 specialties and covers 200 patient conditions.

The Bottom Line:

Memorizing esoteric criteria, scores, and equationsis time-consuming and a waste of energy. Instead, use MDCalc in your daily workflow to provide more efficient, evidence-based care to your patients.

Compatibility: iOS and Android apps.

Pricing: Free

10. Get a Cheap Business Line on your Personal Phone

It’s important to try and keep your work and personal life separate. An easy way to do this is to have a business line on your personal phone. This way you don’t have to have two separate phones, but you will have two separate ways of handling personal and business calls.

You can even change the ringtones so you know when it’s business and when it’s personal.

Line2 lets you set up a cheap, business line on your personal mobile. In addition to making and receiving calls, you can use Line2 to send texts, forward or block calls, and make conference calls.

The Bottom Line:

This is a great option if you’d like to give out your number to patients, or have a team/office use the same 1-800 number. It’s also great if you’d like to have a work phone but don’t want to lug around two cell phones.

Compatibility: iOS and Android.

Price: From $8.30 USD/per month (you can get a Canadian number).

Bonus: Sleep Better when you’re On Call or working Nights

Although Relaxing Melodies was initially developed to help insomniacs, we know a few on-call doctors who could use a bit of help catching some Zs. This app lets you pick and choose your own combination of relaxing nature sounds, songs, and melodies—whatever you need to help you doze off.

And for those in-between moments when a nap isn’t feasible, Relaxing Melodies also has a collection mindfulness meditations that can put your mind to rest.

The Bottom Line:

If you’re having trouble turning your brain off, this app will help you slow down your breathing and relax.

Compatibility: iOS and Android.

Price: $19.99 USD for lifetime access; $9.99 USD per month.

Working in Ontario?

Check out the Ultimate OHIP Billing Guide that outlines every aspect of Ontario Billing, from registration and how to get started, to maximizing your earnings.

This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by RBC Ventures Inc. or its affiliates.

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Courtney Marie L
Writer and editor with a demonstrated history of working in the Canadian healthcare sector and the publishing industry. Skilled in writing, editing, proofreading, Spanish to English translation, and teaching English as a second language. Strong communications professional with a Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Political Science from the University of Manitoba.
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