Today’s healthcare professional is expected to have a level of computer skills than is more advanced than ever before. Whether you are managing the day to day activities of a doctor’s office, scheduling meetings or keeping track of sensitive patient information, understanding how to use computer programs quickly and efficiently will only help you be more productive and successful.
In order to make the most of the new opportunities that come with integrated technology in healthcare, industry leaders are making computer training a priority. Computer-based learning and the basics of information technology are being taught to medical students while practicing nurses and physicians find it necessary to increase and their computer skills in order to advance their knowledge and streamline their practices.
Microsoft Office – Excel and Outlook
The suite of applications and servers from Microsoft has been the industry standard for businesses for nearly three decades. The most recent version, Office 2016, is designed to be more compatible and useful for healthcare organizations. New features include an emphasis on collaboration so that professionals can work together with real-time editing keeping patient documents accurate and up to date. Security has been increased more than ever before as patient privacy has become a bigger issue. Office 2016 has also put an emphasis on increasing mobile capacity so that nurses, physicians and administrators can have easier and safer access to data and records outside of the office. 
One of the most useful applications in Microsoft Office is Excel, which professionals can use for creating custom spreadsheets to fit their needs or importing data from medical devices and organizing the information. These spreadsheets can be used to track patients, doctors and sales while having the added benefit of being easy to update and in a sharable format.
Outlook is another office application that allows for managing emails, calendars and contacts. This is an essential organization and correspondence tool that is necessary for healthcare management. Appointment and calendar notifications can keep professionals on schedule and aware of important events. A new security function of Outlook is its ability to recognize protected health information (PHI) in an attachment while issuing a warning in order to prevent sending sensitive information to the wrong person. 
Cloud-based storage and File Sharing
Services such as Dropbox and Google Drive have benefits for information management in healthcare. In the continually growing world of digital health information, these services allow documents, photographs and videos to be uploaded, shared, updated and stored and promise speedy accessibility across multiple devices. Using these services can be a time saving and cost effective way for healthcare professionals to store and manage health information. 
Again, security is a major concern when dealing with health-related files. It is important for professionals to guard the privacy of their patients and their practice. Both Dropbox and Google Drive provide implementation guides for being HIPAA and HITECH compliant.  
Evernote is an information management app that boasts organization and time management. As a healthcare professional, the app can be used for taking notes in a variety of ways such as text entry, dictating, audio recording and photos and for storing information from online sources such as medical studies, news articles and important emails. The main attraction is the search function which quickly pulls up any note or article based on a word or phrase. Evernote can also be used in coordination with a cloud-based storage service. 
Skype is an application mainly used for video conferencing and voice calls. Many healthcare professionals have been using Skype as a way to connect with more patients while at the same time taking some of the pressure off of the crowded healthcare systems. Physicians are able to remotely see and diagnose patients who may have never had the opportunity to get help. Administrators and healthcare leaders are adopting virtual medical visits with the intention of saving costs in the long term while keeping their patients satisfied and healthier. Patient monitoring is another benefit of this application. Doctors and nurses can more easily and efficiently track and watch over patients with chronic diseases via Skype, while patients benefit from updates and the opportunity to ask questions. 
Your experience tells you what today’s health systems need. Our online Executive Master of Healthcare Administration shows you how to use that knowledge to lead. At Adventist University of Health Sciences, we respect your history in healthcare management and offer an accelerated path to help you advance your career.
1. Transforming healthcare of the future with Office 2016. Microsoft. https://enterprise.microsoft.com/en-us/industries/health/transforming-healthcare-of-the-future-with-office-2016/
2. 3 data privacy features in Microsoft Office 2016. Healthcare IT News. http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/3-health-data-privacy-features-microsoft-office-2016-security-phi-pii
3. Ventola, C. Lee. Mobile Devices and Apps for Health Care Professionals: Uses and Benefits. The National Center for Biotechnology Information. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4029126/
6. Eisenberg, Richard. Your Doctor Will Skype You Now. Forbes. 2015 Sept 27. http://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2015/09/27/your-doctor-will-skype-you-now/#7b8c2f5b312c