Super Technical Solution for Practices

In a recent session I attended about EMR ROI, the guy gave a really technical solution for practices that is highly effective:
Use Walkie Talkies

Ok, I think he said 2 way radios or something, but I think it sounds better walkie talkies. Kind of takes me back to being a kid again and always wanting one of those.

No doubt some people won’t feel comfortable walking around their clinic with a 2 way radio attached to them. However, this doctor swore by them. Basically, solves the challenge of opening the door and looking down the hall and hoping to find someone. I think he had a policy that only the providers were allowed to initiate a call on the radios or something.

So, I didn’t point this out because I thought that walkie talkies were such a fantastic solution. I actually think that IM can solve a lot of the same communication issues and it’s silent. However, what I found most interesting about this solution was that sometimes we over think the solutions to problems.

Sometimes 1 sheet of paper or an excel spreadsheet is better than trying to force something into your EMR.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference,, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.


  • I’ve got an orthopedist in Denver, CO that I work with that currently uses a ‘1-way’ radio solution with his MA. It actually works out really well. He holds the radio in his shirt pocket and clips the microphone to his shirt collar. The MA just has an ear piece in one ear during clinic so that she can hear the doctors requests. The simplest solutions sometimes are the best!

    I definitely agree about using an IM system in ANY medical office. Its such an easy way to communicate throughout the day. This communication doesn’t necessarily need to be documented through the EMR system.

    I often use Gmail Chat to communicate with my coworks in-house. Same benefits of texting on cell phones.

  • I’ll second the IM/cellphone txting solutions over walkie-talkies, though I agree with the overall premise, “Keep it simple.” My reasons? From long experience in theatres trying to use walkie talkies during performances: they’re notoriously bad to synch up, have bad battery lives that require frequent recharging, and no matter what channel you choose, you’ll occasionally get bleed over from truck drivers or other strange people poking into the conversation. These problems persist even in the high-end models (trust me, we’ve tried many types and brands).

    This conversation reminds me of those great Sprint Nextel ads ( Maybe we need a new one: What if doctor’s offices were run like –?

  • John,
    Yes – I agree that practical, transitional solutions make alot of sense. In fact, Verizon and the Medical Transcription Industy Association (MTIA) just announced a replacement for hte fax machine in doctors’ offices. If patient agrees to have his report sent to another physician (as is often the case between primary care and specialists) – the physician simply mentions at the bottom of the dictated report (as they do now). Except instead of the transcriptionist faxing, he or she can send via the Verizon network – electronically. Wa La…..electronic patient information shared between two physicians. Simple, low cost and effective. Another brilliant transitional solution – along with a complete audit trail for HIPAA!

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