In 2010, approximately one-half of American doctors regarded smartphones as a key component of their medical practices. By 2015, that number skyrocketed to 84 percent, according to a Sources & Interactions Study. What’s more, this technological engagement isn’t merely a Millennial trait. Physicians age 60 or older increased their use of smartphones from 64 percent to 73 percent in a 12-month period.
For locum tenens professionals, smartphones and tablets have become a must-have device to stay connected with loved ones and everything going on at home. Of course, making calls and sending emails and texts remain core functions of every smartphone; however, that’s only one aspect of their capabilities. As you know, smartphones are cameras. They’re calculators. You can use them to play games or read e-books. There are countless apps designed to securely perform everyday life-management tasks. The key is finding programs that enhance your particular lifestyle.
Here’s a sampling of apps we thought might help locum tenens doctors automate various aspects of their lives while on assignment.
1. Personal assistants
Whether it’s Siri, Alexa, or Cortana, 42 percent of Americans use smartphones to call on digital voice assistants, according to the Pew Research Center. For the most part, we engage cyber assistants because it’s easier to voice a command than it is to tap out words on a tiny keyboard. In addition to looking up facts or mapping out directions, use the AI service to update calendars, set alarms, or remotely operate smart home options.
2. Personalized ringtones
This may sound old-school, but assigning identifiable ringtones to individuals, such as your Weatherby Healthcare consultant, can be an amazing timesaver. With only a few notes, you’ll know who’s calling and whether it’s a call that needs answering now or can be returned later.
3. QR code scanning
Paying via the QR code, that odd-looking black-and-white block, may only shave off a few seconds, but it also eliminates the frustration of fumbling for cash or cards.
4. Money management
Several online services offer secured payment options, and most have apps for phones. Apple Pay even lets you transfer funds via text messaging. Venmo and other bill-paying programs manage money matters without requiring you to log on to bank accounts – cyber security experts caution against retrieving financial data while traveling or from unsecured Wi-Fi portals.
If only you could have access to paper and pen whenever and wherever a great idea comes to mind or you need to note a reminder. Programs such as Evernote turn phones into notebooks where you can dictate and store thoughts for future action. It even converts words in images to searchable text.
6. Trip tracking
Locum tenens assignments take you to interesting, inspiring, and unique locations, and apps such as Tripit help organize the experience and memories. Although Weatherby Healthcare travel experts attend to most of the details, programs like this record reservations and other travel specifics. Another helpful app is GateGuru, which maps out restaurants and shops in airport terminals.
7. Cloud storage
Sometimes you need to retrieve files while on assignment (i.e., submitting documents for credentialing), but it’s not a good idea to bring your entire computer system on the road. In fact, security experts suggest devoting a separate laptop for travel that contains the bare minimum in files and personal data. Instead, store files on a cloud you can log into from any location, but that keeps your information safe.
8. Email management
If only you could sort out all the junk and spam emails. Well, you can with software such as SaneBox. This message management tool enables you to delegate emails to different inboxes, including “SaneLater” and “SaneArchive” so only the most pressing messages command your immediate attention.
9. Sort media
There are always news articles and medical journals to read. Online organizing programs like Feedly can help file away material from as many RSS or news alert feeds as you like to be pulled up when you have more time.
More apps to consider
Here are a few more smart apps for your consideration.
- Packing Pro: Creates suggested list of items based on destination.
- Embark: Public transportation navigator for most major cities.
- JiWire Wi-Fi Finder: Locates the nearest Wi-Fi service, but when in doubt, avoid transmitting personal info over open internet providers.
- LugLoc: This program knows where your luggage is at all times.
- SimplyNoise: Generates white noise for soundful sleeps.
When it’s time to turn off
As more and more apps are written to automate our lives, it’s easy to get carried away with it all. However, unplugging from technology on a regular basis gives the psyche a chance to recover from the constant stimulation of apps, messages, and websites. Before you unplug, take a few moments to safeguard your smartphone:
- Clear browser history;
- Delete cookies from web browser;
- Close apps;
- And if you’re daring enough, shut it down.