More, Easier, And Better Connectivity: A Means To Improving Healthcare And Reducing Costs
Enterasys recently conducted a survey on network technology in healthcare and as we comb through the data something pops out: there is a marked difference in adoption of wireless within the US versus outside the US. It’s possible that this is a result of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, with its encouragement of meaningful use of Electronic Health Record technology, and the Affordable Care Act, which also strives to drive US healthcare costs down and quality up. By fostering the broader use of EHR, wireless networking technology helps accomplish these goals. Medical professionals tend to perform their work on the go, almost constantly in motion. Combining EHRs with mobile devices, especially tablet computers, provides a more natural flow of vital information and communication, leading to better medical outcomes.
Participating in the Enterasys survey were CIOs at medical facilities in the US and outside the US (including UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Norway, and Belgium). Although the hospital sizes ranged from 100 to 2500+ beds, the largest group of respondents had between 100 and 600 beds. At a later date, we’ll publish an InfoGraphic with all the survey results.
Here are some of the early findings.
The percentage of facilities that use mobile EHRs is 12% higher inside the US than outside the US. But the percentage of hospitals that don’t allow mobile EHRs at all is half as large in the US versus internationally. Physician use of personally-owned mobile devices at the point of care is more prevalent in the US (70% versus 40%), and twice the percentage of facilities outside the US as inside don’t allow physician-owned devices in the hospital at all.
US hospitals are moving rapidly to wireless telemetry/fusion systems. In fact, some US hospitals have already gone 100% wireless, while only 14% have no wireless telemetry/fusion systems. But outside the US, none in our survey have yet gone 100% wireless and over 36% have no wireless telemetry/fusion at all.
Across all geographies, the highest use of wireless networking is for administrative purposes (roughly 90%). US hospitals use wireless for clinical point of care, patient/guest access and biomedical devices more heavily in each category than do their international counterparts.
Medical facilities in the US report that they upgrade their wireless networks every 1-3 years, while non-US hospitals upgrade less often, every 3-5 years on average.
Both US and non-US medical facilities feel their wireless network is “Very Important” to meeting government regulations.
The survey found that only about 25% of physicians in all geographies use social media on the hospital network. Of those who do use social media, Facebook is the US choice and Google+ is the choice outside the US.
It is apparent from this survey that with the help of wireless network technology, US hospitals are planning to raise the country’s rating when the World Health Organization next does its ranking of national healthcare.