A severe laceration can be seen, examined and sutured or stapled as needed. If a patient with a sore throat appears on physical examination to be red, raw and inflamed the throat can be swabbed and if positive for the Group A Streptococcus bacteria, an appropriate antibiotic can be prescribed. But what of the person who walks into your office looking to you for help.
Seeing The Unseeable
Everybody understands that when a physical examination shows signs of a potentially fractured bone, an X-ray can provide the “eyes” to see what is wrong. Similarly, a CT scan can confirm a suspected concussion. However, when a compressed nerve (a common problem for a patient after an MVA) or a condition like fibromyalgia is suspected, things can get a little trickier.
One option available for today’s medical practitioner is an Electromyography and Nerve Conduction Velocity (EMG/NCV) test. Time was you either had to send the patient to an outside facility or wheel an ungainly cart full of equipment through the office. But much the same way nearly everybody carries a camera, web browser and communication device upon their bodies in the guise of a Smartphone, medical diagnostic equipment has become much smaller. Now, we’re not talking the medical tricorders used by Dr. McCoy or Dr. Crusher (depending on your generation) on “Star Trek.” However, there is new equipment available like this EMG machine.
Why Go In-house?
Patient convenience — Between work, family and playtime, today’s adults are extremely pressed for time. If a patient gets a referral for the EMG/NCV they must first find a facility approved by their insurance carrier. Next, they must schedule another appointment with the new provider for the test and the provider likely has limited spots available. Referencing back to the busy schedules, this may or may not be a convenient time for said patient. If experience is any teacher, most likely not.
Time savings — The outsourced company will quite likely have their specialist read and interpret the results and write a report. That can take time. Then the report has to make its way back to your offices. More time. As noted earlier, patients today are pressed for time and have little patience for delays in getting information.
A Happy Customer and All That…
It bears repeating that people can become very agitated when they feel like someone is wasting their time and/or perceive (whether a valid perception or not) short shrift from any sort of service provider. Let’s face facts on something we see every day in the world we live in…social media is a double-edged sword.
People today have absolutely no compunction about Tweeting, posting, Snapchatting a rant over any real or imagined slight. We see it day in and day out, the anonymity of these programs allows a person to say things they would never have come out with in a more polite, bygone era.
Another fact to face that we also see repeatedly every single day? Accusation and innuendo become rock solid “fact” to a large segment of our online society, never mind the truth. The old joke “it was on the internet so it must be true” has become reality for millions upon millions of people in this day and age.
No one who has invested time and money to build a business that is the source of livelihood for them and their families wants to see it destroyed because Mr. Jones or Ms. Smith felt they didn’t get their answers fast enough. Be you an appraiser, a builder, a caterer…or a doctor who put so much blood, sweat and tears into building your practice, don’t you owe it to yourself, your family and your employees to investigate any tool that can help you?
Article by Jennifer Smith