Mobile technology revolutionizing how medicine is practiced

Submitted by Carlos Garcia

Healthcare organizations throughout the U.S. are looking for ways to overcome many of these challenges.  With the exponential growth of technology, the bulky, expensive standalone workstations are a thing of the past.  Smart mobile devices such as the iPad, smart mobile tablets and smart phones with longer battery life are revolutionizing the way medicine is practiced.  No waiting to share workstations, mobile devices are portable and secured. The new era of mobile technology, with smart mobile devices and tablets as powerful if not more powerful than today’s current workstations, completely mobile and at a fraction of the price of the current standalone workstations offers  a world of possibilities that is rapidly being adapted by many institutions throughout the U.S. and the rest of the world.

According to recent studies conducted by the University of Maryland and other prominent research organizations in the US, the biggest problem among physicians today is “too little communication”.

Doctor to Doctor Communication – The research concluded:

78% of physicians are experiencing difficulties accessing and communicating with colleagues in a timely manner.

Patient hands-off - 56% of physicians interviewed were concerned about the lack of standardized processes for transitioning care between colleagues.  Current hospital-based patient referrals are informal and ad hoc which can introduce medical errors into the patient care process.

Too much information, too many resources to check. Physicians interviewed reported they are overwhelmed by the daily volume of communication received from colleagues, care team members and patients.  They lock automated tools to manage voice mail, pager messages, SMS messages and electronic mail to mention a few.

Research shows, most providers want to be mobile.  One of the biggest complaints  among  all clinicians is “they are slave to stations that pretend to be mobile but only wheel from one ward to the next   or between patient’s rooms  i.e. (computer on wheels). It is time to free yourself from the cows!

 

No prioritization of information.  Critical communications easily falls through the cracks.

Time and motion studies in hospitals and ambulatory settings provide strong evidence that doctors and nurses spend a significant amount of their time obtaining and providing information. It also shows poor communication, inefficient processes and increased frustration “quantified as waste”

U.S. hospitals lose over 12b annually as a result of poor communication. For a typical 500 bed hospital, the annual loss is in excess of 4m.

Quantifying the annual economic burden of poor communication in the U.S. hospitals into three categories for the purpose of these studies.

Physicians = 54%Nursing employees in hospitals = 36%

Dollars wasted on overstay for all Discharges in the U.S. = 10%