Hospitals are looking for ways to manage wellness of their patients as opposed to just treat illness. Much has been written about the effectiveness of healthcare when the focus is to keep patients well instead of just treating symptoms, conditions, and ailments. You might ask yourself how a hospital IT staff can have an effect on patient care and wellness. Simply put, by providing pervasive wireless network and supporting mobility to caregivers and patients, clinical IT becomes a partner in providing the tools needed to prevent illness and to keep patients well. It’s about connecting medical devices, associated software, physicians and patients together to provide better care with hopefully better outcomes for the entire clinical ecosystem.
In a mobility study provided by mHIMSS, 65% of clinicians are utilizing mobile applications to view patient information. That is not all that surprising considering the mobile nature of clinicians. In a recent survey by Healthcare Informatics, it was determined that more than 80% of physicians own a tablet device and want to use them at the point of care. The role of healthcare CIO has never been clearer; provide technologies that enable a better patient/clinician experience by supporting mHealth or run the risk of becoming irrelevant. Technologies such as mobile EMR applications supported on iPad’s and iPhone’s, mobile telemetry that is continuously available with no drops, and BYOD support for patient devices on the hospital network are just a few of the initiatives that today’s healthcare CIO must tackle in order to support hospital competitiveness.
Mobility is the key to enabling a better patient/clinician relationship which improves the patient experience and make physicians more efficient. By allowing access to their caregivers, health IT is giving the patient the ability to have some control in their illness prevention and wellness. That includes providing access to information that will keep them well, not just help them get better. This type of information is the cornerstone to better clinical experience both from the patient perspective as well as physician efficiency.