A new study conducted by Spyglass Consulting Group finds that 63 percent of hospitals and health systems have deployed or plan to deploy a mobile communications platform supporting more than 500 smartphones over the next 12 to 18 months. The report, "Large-Scale Smartphone-Based Deployments Enable Hospital-Wide Communications" identifies the market opportunities and challenges for hospital IT shops to widely deploy a smartphone-based communications platform to support patient care teams and other mobile hospital workers across the enterprise.
Spyglass identified four critical success factors for hospital IT to consider when widely deploying a smartphone-based communications platform:
- Scalability. All organizations surveyed report that a highly reliable, manageable, and scalable communications platform is important to support mission and patient-critical communications.
- Interoperability. Seventy-eight percent of organizations surveyed believe that tight integration with hospital IT systems infrastructure and medical devices is critical to support data driven closed-loop communications.
- Multi-device support. Eighty-three percent of organizations surveyed report that cross platform support including hospital-owned smartphones, personally owned smartphones, and a desktop computer interface is important for enhancing and expanding care team collaboration within the hospital and across the community.
- Hospital leadership. All organizations surveyed believe that strong hospital administration leadership, commitment, and investment are critical for deploying, supporting, and maintaining a large-scale smartphone-based communications platform across the enterprise.
The report also found that 83 percent of organizations surveyed indicated the need for a communication platform that spans inside and outside the hospital.
Source: HIT Consultant
Mobile device use continues to transform information access and patient care at medical centers, with new research continuously citing expanding in-hospital mobile phone and tablet use. Nurses are using smartphones for patient care far more than previously estimated, according to a new study from InCrowd. About 88 percent of nurses use smartphone apps at work to get information faster - earlier estimates had assumed only 65 percent. Besides access to drug interactions, clinical data dominated nurse smartphone use, with 73 percent looking up drug information on that device. Some 72 percent used smartphone apps to research various diseases and disorders. Nurses also reported using their smartphones for fast access to patient care information across a wide range of daily nursing tactics, from receiving patient rash photos to setting a timer for meds administration. While respondents stressed that smartphones "enhance but don't substitute" the need for a physician consult prior to administering care, 52 percent of nurses reported using their smart phone instead of asking a question of a nursing colleague, according to a subset of users probed in greater detail about their phone use. This was particularly the case if a medication, illness or symptom was unfamiliar. For example, 32 percent of RNs said they used their smartphone instead of asking a physician, explaining how doing so saved time such as "in-patient homecare situations when I need quick answers without making a bunch of phone calls," or "so I can make an educated suggestion to the doctor."
Eileen Sheil, executive director of corporate communications at Cleveland Clinic, discusses the medical center's recent Patient Experience Summit. The Summit's kick-off focused on the role of communications in health care and how it contributes significantly to the patient experience. Cleveland Clinic's marketing and communications leaders spoke on a panel about the role of digital communications and how it interfaces with and helps patients experience and navigate their own care. From social media to mobile applications, digital is changing the way patients access information about their health, schedule appointments, communicate with their physicians, and engage in their overall care. Communication and technology are central to the connectivity between patients and their hospital experience. Cleveland Clinic created MyCare Online, a service patients can use to request an appointment and speak with a physician for a fee and consult with them about various symptoms. From a smartphone, patients can have a medical consult with a doctor, get a prescription, or a referral to a specialist. MyChart, an electronic medical record that patients have direct access to, allows them to communicate directly to their doctor about test results, medications, or medical information regarding their health. Cleveland Clinic is also piloting online scheduling, where patients can view doctors’ schedules and make appointments when and where they want. Accessing information and trying to determine what to do next can be daunting for patients. Making health information, access to care, and navigation easier for patients improves their overall interface with the hospital environment.
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