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Why Should I Be Charting On An iPad?

Why you should chart on an iPad

Whether you’re an avid Unified Practice user or simply curious about the software, one of our favorite offerings is the iPad EHR, which provides an array of benefits for you and your practice.

The Historic Way of Charting

Most practitioners learn to chart on paper, with pen and clipboard in hand. While this process is time-consuming, the benefit of a clipboard is you can carry it around and set it down easily. As hands-on-practitioners, holding onto something that can be placed down and picked back up is more helpful than you might think.  

If you’re charting with a laptop, you have less mobility. The machine might be clunky, too, making it harder for you to be present and attentive to your patient.

Think of the iPad as a digital version of your clipboard — it’s lightweight and easy to set down. Better yet, it includes dozens of shortcuts and customizable tools to allow you to chart faster with more flexibility.

5 Reasons You Should Chart on the iPad

Here are five reasons why charting on the iPad with Unified Practice has the potential to transform your work.

Taking photos and scanning documents

Taking photos with the iPad app is super simple; whether you’re snapping an image of a patient’s skin condition or recording where you performed cupping, the camera function makes capturing images easy. Moreover, you can also use the camera to scan documents versus having to leave the treatment room and locate the scanner itself.

Draw tool

The draw tool might be the best (and most underutilized!) feature on the iPad EHR. With it, you can upload templates, such as an image of a posterior scalp, and draw on the image easily with your finger or the Apple pencil. In this instance, you could draw an arrow to indicate the angle a needle was entered at a specific acupoint on the scalp.

You can also create your own drawings and add them to the Subjective portion of your SOAP note. Alternatively, you can take a picture of a body part, draw on it, and attach it to any portion of the note that makes the most sense.

Quick charting

The biggest benefit of using the iPad is the quick charting. When you chart on a laptop (or with pen and paper!) it’s all free text, meaning you have to write out every word by hand. With the iPad, you get suggested and smart texting and speech-to-text options. Being more efficient while you chart allows you to spend less time in your SOAP note and more time engaging with your patient and identifying the best treatment plan for them. Plus, nobody wants to type out long point prescriptions over and over — how fast could you write “LU-7, LI-4, ST-36, SP-6, LV-3, Bai Hui, and Yin Tang by hand?

Also, if you don’t have time to sign your chart at the end of the day, you can also bring the iPad home and finish up your work on the comfort of your couch.

Reference data

If you ever need to reference a term, condition, or protocol you might not remember off the top of your head, it’s easy to access reference data as you chart on the iPad. With this feature, it’s no surprise EHRs are linked to improvements in the quality of patient care, providing practitioners with a range of prompts and information that allow for more thorough exams. In our app, we license thousands of textbook pages from Nigel Wiseman, Dan Bensky, and Matt Callison.

Patient onboarding

If your patient doesn’t fill out their onboarding forms before coming to the office, no problem. Patient onboarding workflow on the iPad is easy, HIPAA compliant, and you can see if they’ve filled out their forms ahead of time so you know what to ask the moment they step into your office.

patient onboarding iPad

Some Frequently Asked Questions

While this might sound convincing, we often get some questions and concerns about the iPad EHR. We’ve answered them here.

What if I can’t afford an iPad?

We like to think of iPad’s as an investment versus a hard cost. While it might be money up front, using the EHR will save you so much time in the long run, and will allow you to be more present with your patients and provide better care. If your budget is really tight, you can always look for lightly-used iPad’s for purchase. Any iPad operating on iOS version 10.0 or newer is compatible with our EHR app.

I’m a PC person, through and through

We work with many people who are devoted to PCs. While we understand it might be challenging to adopt a new operating system and machine, the Apple iOS is much more reliable than a PC or Android. You will experience far fewer bugs and crashes on a Mac. We’ll also show you how to set up your iPad to always have the most up-to-date version of our EHR.

Plus, what makes one EHR different from the next has a lot to do with how intuitive the system is. Our team has put a lot of energy into making Unified Practice as intuitive as possible so we can reduce new learning curves for practitioners.

Just as important, Apple products are top of the line and aesthetically pleasing; they are undoubtedly sharp and sleek. Using them will make you and your practice look and feel more professional, exuding trust and respect.

The Bottom Line

The iPad EHR is both friendly and more effective for both practitioners and patients. If you chart on the iPad, you have the flexibility to do things the way you want to, versus being limited by a laptop or paper.

Lastly, it goes without saying that charting digitally means your pages will never get lost. The added benefits of using the iPad EHR versus a laptop means you can safely and securely chart more efficiently and effectively. No longer having to store paper charts means you have room for an additional treatment area or larger herbal inventory, too.

Get started and watch a demo of Unified Practice today.