Mobile Technology for enhanced patient care

Nandakumar | May 2 - 2016

Mobile health promises to enhance care and improve efficiency. However, health care leaders need solutions for protecting patient information shared on mobile devices, ensuring the interoperability of mobile devices with EHRs, and determining which apps are safest and most effective.Mobile devices are becoming as ubiquitous in the healthcare setting as they are in the rest of our lives.

The 2014 HIMSS Analytics Mobile Technology Survey reported that 83 percent of physicians use mobile technology to provide patient care.1 Clinicians—including physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, and physician assistants—use mobile technology to update patient records, search for clinical information, and connect to colleagues. Patients use mobile technology to track health indicators, communicate with their providers, and search for health information.Healthcare executives and leaders need a thoughtful approach to integrating mobile health technology, addressing issues such as:
Clinical decision support: Evaluating and selecting the best apps to support clinical decisions

Workflow efficiency:
Using mobile-enabled devices, services, and software to optimize data retrieval and documentation, as well as health care transactions

Communication and coordination:
Appropriately connecting and sharing information among providers to better coordinate care

Patient engagement:
Supporting population health, improving compliance, and engaging patients in their care; and

Maintaining the security and privacy of health information in a mobile environment

With mobile applications in place, clinicians can use their mobile devices anytime and anywhere to:

Work their inbox. (Frequent users of mobile health have as much as 25 percent lower inbox stock.)

Document patient encounters

View schedules

View patient charts

Prescribe medications

Complete dictation, and speech to text/transcription.

What makes a good app?
A critical factor is whether it offers timely and immediate access to clinical intelligence— whenever and wherever it is needed. Clinicians likely use a mix of apps at any given time, based on specialty, patient population, and individual preference. But even good clinical reference apps require navigation among multiple programs. The best apps—and the ones most likely to optimize patient care—offer “one stop solution.” They empower clinicians with confidence and information with a minimum of maneuvering and tapping.

For example, with a few taps in the app, clinicians can:

Confirm prescribing decisions, ensuring they prescribe the correct dosages and avoid medications that could cause adverse events

View disease monographs, including symptom evaluation, differential diagnoses, lab recommendations, therapy options by patient type, and guidance on complications and follow-up

Identify medications a patient may already be taking based only on a description of the pill

Get an overview of recommended lab tests and prep/collection methods; and

Get content on alternative medicine for when a patient describes an herbal remedy with which a clinician may be unfamiliar.Good clinical apps are actively curated. The most trusted apps set editorial standards to ensure  content is accurate, current, unbiased, relevant, essential and readily consumable during the moments of care.Using a mobile device to input data and update patient charts allows the clinician to focus more on the patient, and less on the computer.Recently, there has been increased interest in using mobile phones and wearable sensors for remote health monitoring and to improve patient compliance with treatment recommendations. This is a great chance for you to go with a mobile app development company.

Apple, Google, Adidas, Samsung, Verizon, Sprint, Garmin and others are developing products that measure biological factors (such as blood pressure, weight, and glucose) and behaviors (such as mobility and taking medication), then uploads that information to a database accessible by clinicians.In addition, researchers have analyzed the efficacy of SMS reminders on patients, and the results are generally positive. This is an emerging area that holds much promise. For now, mobile phones and wearable devices offer frequent monitoring of patient health and compliance, with real-time reporting to clinicians and rapid feedback to the patient. Ultimately this could result in fewer office visits, procedures, and hospitalizations, although reimbursement for these kinds of interactions needs to be worked out.