SMITHFIELD — When you visit the doctor, you expect to see stethoscopes, scales and a wall full of colorful patient charts.
Now, those files are disappearing. Technology created in the Triangle is the remedy for all the paperwork.
At Smithfield Kids Care, new patients do not have paper charts.
Dr. Pennie Bliss and her partner have found a better way to manage their patients and their paperwork by using the Autochart program from Medic Computer Systems.
With a point of a pen, Bliss enters a patient's height, weight, immunization record and any notes on how they are doing.
The information is stored in a computer where it can be acccessed by anyone in the office.
Dr. Scott Donaldson, a Cary urologist, uses a different device in his office.
The Firsthand PDA allows him to check his appointments and enter every test and procedure he has performed that day.
Donaldson says it helps not having to get someone to transcribe the information from his notes, and using the PDA saves time, too.
Patients also benefit. Dr. Bliss says it eases parents worries when a different doctor sees their child.
"When they come in, the information will be right there," she says.
What if the system crashes?
"It could be really hard since we don't have charts anymore. I think we'd have to keep notes, get the system online and then enter it in there," says Bliss.
It is a good plan that these doctors hope they never have to use.
Doctors say the automated systems add layer of privacy. A password is required to access the files.