Smart Devices – Just What the Doctor Ordered

January 29, 2013

ImageBy Kathleen Gaffney, Healthcare Transformation Specialist

Physicians will want to start off the year by utilizing their new personal smart devices in the workplace.  CIOs can prepare by understanding how physicians are using their smart devices and the type of support they are looking for from the IT department. 

Physicians in all specialties rely more and more on mobile devices to provide medical care. Studies show that there is no statistically significant difference in the volume of mobile device usage between Baby Boomers and Gen X’ers, though there are differences across the medical specialties. Specialists have a higher likelihood of using smartphones and tablets in the workplace compared to primary care physicians.  Physician Assistants and Emergency Department Physicians have the highest usage rate of all specialties. 

Physicians rely on their smart devices for a variety of reasons — to communicate with other physicians, obtain pharmacy or medication-related information, and access medical and evidence-based medicine reference resources.  They would utilize their smart devices even more frequently to access the EMR if the information was presented via a friendlier mobile interface.

When using their smart devices, different specialties have different content needs.  Pediatricians use their mobile devices to obtain pharmacy and medication information more frequently than that of internal medicine physicians.  Internists frequently access evidence-based medicine resources.  ED physicians use a photo application to document suspected physical abuse injuries and video application to share possible movement disorders with neurologists.  Hospitalists use texting to communicate with physicians about their inpatients, and all physicians like to receive critical labs and reports on their smart device.

Today, physicians are looking for IT to support the following on their smart devices:

  • Secure methods for sending actionable messages that include Personal Health Information
  • The provision of an easy-to-use, intuitive EMR on a smart device
  • Clinical alerts pushed to their smart device
  • Reliable wireless coverage and high speed Internet throughout the institution

If IT can provide this support while understanding that different specialties have different volume usage and content needs they will be off to a great start in 2013. 


A Perfect Ten

January 10, 2013

Imageby Donn Wurts, Nexus Director, Healthcare Practice

In gymnastics, competitors strive to receive a score of “10”.  To receive a ten, the gymnast must perform their routine flawlessly, without even the slightest error in execution or form.

Perfection is also the goal for today’s healthcare organizations.  Propelled by demands for improved patient safety, improved outcomes, government regulations, and payment reform, healthcare organizations must transform existing IT models designed to support business applications (email, billing, simple communications) to ones focused on critical care (electronic health record, clinical collaboration, telemedicine,  bio-medical engineering).  With this transformation, comes the need for not only 100% network and application availability, but also the ability to support key initiatives like those published by the Institutes of Medicine and the Office of the National Coordinator of the American Health Information Management Association that include:

  • Immediate clinician and patient access to health information and data
  • Access to new and past test results
  • Remote ordering of prescriptions, test, and other services
  • Bedside decision support systems that include reminders, prompts, and alerts
  • Secure communication between providers and patients
  • Scheduling systems for providers, staff, and patients
  • Access to federal, state, and private reports

To achieve this information delivery perfection, healthcare organizations will need:

  • The right technologies – Healthcare organizations must implement systems and applications that are designed from the ground up to be redundant, reliable, scalable, and secure.  They must also be easy to manage and maintain and provide the flexibility to support changes in treatments, processes, or the regulatory environment. The right Core Foundation Services.
  • The right processes – Change management, security management and disaster recovery are just a few of the processes that must be altered to ensure 100% information availability.  However, these processes must also be combined with and supported by the “right” management systems and software to guarantee continuous access enabling clinical workflows and information at the point of care.
  • The right people – In many cases, the most significant challenge that healthcare organizations face, is to find the “right” people and trusted partnerships.  Currently, there are just not very many IT professionals whose skill sets combine experience in both healthcare and large system design, implementation, and management.  As a result, many healthcare organizations are turning to companies like Nexus Connected Healthcare that have the clinical experience, methodology, and processes to support them throughout the transformational, almost evolutionary process.

Not many gymnasts reach their goal of a “perfect 10”.  But for healthcare organizations, perfection isn’t just a goal, it’s an obligation.

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