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Free Internet Resources For Doctors: Medical Office

Also See: Front Office, Medical Textbooks and Journals

1. Convert Your Windows Computer Into A Free EMR: Your windows computer can do a better job at certain EMR functions than any currently available EMR can. Specifically it can do instant searches of any parameter you specify when you install windows desktop search. This is an add-on for windows xp but it is built into windows vista. Thus you can be your own data miner. All you need are your patients dictations in a standard format such as word. The parameters you are looking for have to be part of the dictation. You can search by patient name, referring physician name, dates, medication, allergies, medical diagnosis, surgical procedures, cigarette or alcohol consumption,  literally anything you consistently put into a dictation. With the new desktop search powerful indexing function, searches are almost instantaneous.  You can combine searches to answer important public health questions. The steps are:

A. Make sure your computer is virus free and running well using the free online windows safety scanner

B. Obtain your patient dictations in electronic form, such as MS word files.

C. Put the files on your windows computer main (C) drive

D. Install windows desktop search. If you are using windows Vista, it is built in. It will take a few minutes the first time while it indexes every file on your computer.  Searches will be almost instantaneous afterwards.

E. Search by any parameter you want. You are limited only by your imagination. Microsoft has some great free add-ons to make the search function even more powerful. Note that the search function will work with most standard file formats, except Corel word perfect files.

2. Free Open Source Electronic Medical Record Systems This is an excellent review of free open source electronic medical record systems available as of  late 2007. They focused on systems that meet the following criteria. The software most be available under an open source license, it must have data management capabilities, is designed for ambulatory care use, is compliant with HIPAAA security regulations, and has been implemented in at least 10 practices. They chose five systems to review, ClearHealth, FreeMed, community OpenEMR, commercial version OpenEMR and WorldVistA EHR. WorldVistA EHR is a Linux based system and is CCHIT certified. Other sytems mentioned in this study but not reviewed were the excellent Canadian system, Oscar, IndivoHealth, GNUmed, MedSphere, PrimaCare, Res Medicinae, Tolven, and Ultimate EMR. Not mentioned in the review was Patient OS which is an open source, free EMR system for Windows or Linux.

3.  Free Electronic Prescribing  The free electronic prescribing initiative sounds too good to be true. Unfortunately it is. It is supported by companies which sell the prescription and health information of our patients. Dr Debra Peel of the Patient Privacy Rights Organization has pointed out that the free electronic prescribing initiative is supported by data mining companies which sell patient data. The data is used to deny patient coverage for preexisting conditions, to market brand name drugs directly to consumers, and to deny insurance or employment to workers.  Patient Privacy Rights.

4.Specialty Society Approved E-prescribing  by MGMA. This product is approved by the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Urologic Association, American Osteopathic Association, American Academy of Physician Assistants, American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, and the American Optometric Association. We haven't tested it yet, if you have experience with this product please contact us.

5. Free Prescription Pads Triple I is a reliable vendor that will send free prescription blanks to eligible physicians. The free prescription pads have a couple of tear out drug company ads in each pad.

6. Free Dicom Viewer Dicom is the standard medical image format used in radiology. When you order a CT or MRI on a patient, the imaging center will on request provide you with the images in Dicom format. Unfortunately, neither windows or Mac operating systems come with the ability to view this format. A free image viewer is usually provided with the image CD, but these viewers often won't work on a windows Vista Computer, are often difficult to use, and can't convert the files to a format which you can use in a PowerPoint presentation. The above link provides a great simple free dicom viewer, which also has the ability to batch convert files into jpeg or bitmap images. It works with windows Vista. It also lets you read image properties such as name, date, slice thickness, etc. You can also buy their deluxe version for only $27. An alternative is to spend $1000 on Adobe Photoshop CS3 extended, which can read and modify Dicom files. In my experience the free dicom viewer outperforms Adobe Photoshop CS3 extended in speed and reliability of viewing Dicom images.

7. Stop Drug Company Spying  Every time you write a prescription, the pharmacy sells this information with the patient and physician identity removed to data mining companies, including IMS Health, Dendrite International, Verispan, and Wolters Kluwer. The data mining companies use the AMA physician database to restore the physician identity to the drug prescribing information. This way the data mining companies amass detailed information on individual physician prescribing patterns. Annals Of Internal Medicine That's why drug reps always know what you are prescribing.  The AMA derives a substantial portion of its income (44 million in 2005) from selling your personal profile information to data mining companies and other companies. The AMA offers the choice to opt out of this program. Note that all physicians are automatically opted into the program, you have to contact the AMA to opt out. See the following New England Journal Of Medicine editorial. Also see the AMA's rationalization of why it sells your personal info. In addition to data mining companies the AMA sells it's physician master file to pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, medical colleges and universities, medical equipment and supply companies, and other institutions interested in supplying goods and services to physicians. The AMA physician master file contains your name, address, telephone number, social security number, educational information, DEA number, licensure information, etc. 

8. Occupational Licensing Boards, By State This listing has all the medical, dental, podiatric, optometry, nursing, EMT,  and other occupational boards by state.

9. State Medical Societies

10. National & Specialty Medical Societies