This is the second part of a two-part blog series covering the highlights from my conversation with Dr. Brian A. Levine, who is not only an ob/gyn and infertility specialist, but also the technology editor for Contemporary Ob/Gyn magazine. Part 1 covered Dr. Levine’s overall experience using his Microsoft Surface tablet in his clinical practice and how it’s helping him improve productivity and patient interactions. As the conversation continued, I got the chance to ask him about more of the benefits he’s experienced since he started using the tablet as his one computer for all his work.
My Surface Pro 3 is a great, mobile vehicle for using Microsoft tools for communication and collaboration such as Skype for Business for video consultations or Office 365 for document sharing. For example, when I send a pregnant IVF patient to a general ob/gyn, I can conduct a video meeting with that physician to go over the patient’s charts, test results, and images onscreen together. This helps the ob/gyn understand the patient’s complicated fertility history more easily than only sending documentation. It also improves our interpersonal connection and the ob/gyn’s understanding of what I do, which often leads to referrals to my practice.
I can also use Office 365 on my Surface tablet to collaborate with other researchers and jointly write a paper, while making sure there’s only one version out there. I have a lot of tools at my disposal on the Surface tablet for interpersonal connectivity that help me forge very strong collegial and referral connections.
You previously mentioned that you can do voice dictation with your Surface tablet. Have you quantified your time savings?
Using voice dictation software on my Surface Pro 3 has made me a more effective and efficient physician. For example, I can dictate my operative notes into my EMR right after surgery. Rather than having to wait for access to a workstation at the hospital or entering my notes in my office later, I can capture everything using my Surface while it’s fresh in my mind.
My Dragon Dictation application from Nuance works beautifully on my Surface. I can talk faster than I can type and with the fast i5 processor in my Surface Pro 3, I instantly see what I’m dictating on the screen. Then I visually confirm the text and submit it. I calculated that’s saving me five minutes per operative note. If I’m doing 15 procedures a week, that’s 75 minutes of reclaimed time, which I can spend instead with my patients, on research, or just getting home earlier for dinner.
How does your Surface compare with your experiences using other tablets for your work?
Prior to using the Surface Pro3, I was using an iPad. The iPad is great for personal use and it’s my e-reader of choice, but my professional device is definitely my Surface. I can run full versions of my applications and it’s my one computer that I use for all my work. Healthcare is a Windows world, so using a Windows tablet is important for health professionals. And clinicians need devices that are robust and reliable, because we don’t have time for technological downtime. To me, that’s what the Surface tablet is.
Any final thoughts you’d like to share with our readers?
The landscape of being a physician is changing every day. It’s no longer this Norman Rockwell picture of just having one office where all your patients come to see you and where you do all your work. We’re much more mobile and have a lot more to do, whether it’s keeping up on fast-evolving medical advancements, making sure our EMR is up to date, collaborating with other health professionals, or meeting patients’ expectations for being more transparent and accessible. For me, it’s been a happy transition to this new landscape with the Surface Pro 3. It’s a crucial tool for my clinical workflow and it helps me to be a better physician.