Many healthcare workers spend a substantial amount of time at their desks facing computers. By harnessing mobile tools and technology, it is possible to lessen this time, and instead spend more of it with patients, thereby improving the quality of patient care and leading to better patient outcomes. Mobile technology can also help hospitals and healthcare facilities in many ways. Here are some ways that mobile technology has benefitted the healthcare sector.

1. Improve communication for patient care

A complex healthcare institute, such a hospital, can improve communication within the facility via mobile technology. For example, mobile technology can employed in the management of specimens by automating specimen collection and laboratory test process. Nurses and other healthcare professionals can streamline administrative patient care operations, verify patient identities and record the collected specimens into their handheld mobile devices, saving time and paperwork.

With a bar-code system, the healthcare professional could scan and tag medical records of the patient at anywhere in the healthcare facility to provide updated information for another healthcare professional in the team to use and analyse. This ensures that there is less chance of miscommunication when transferring the medical records between one healthcare professional and another, and saves time from physically delivering the records.

Another example includes an on-demand mobile printing technology which allows healthcare professionals to print updated specimen records and data on the spot, for accurate and efficient bedside diagnosis. Having such real-time access to a patient’s data can be crucial to the eventual outcome, especially for patients where acute changes can be a matter of life and death. Additionally, when patient profile and medical history are can be easily accessed anywhere in the healthcare facility, it can lead to a safer and higher standard of patient care as every healthcare professional have access to the patient’s information.

2. Enhance the safety of patients and healthcare workers

Mobile technology can also be harnessed to enhance the safety of patients and staff in the healthcare facility. In a big healthcare facility like a public hospital, the patient population can be very large. As a result, there is unlikely to be enough healthcare professionals to keep a close eye on every move each patient makes. Some patients, like the elderly, psychiatric patients or trauma patients, can be a risk to themselves and others when they leave their bed or room, and wander around in the healthcare facility. In extreme cases, it is essential for the healthcare workers to keep track of these patients, and it would be hard to find a better tracking method than a technological one.

As an example to deal with such situations, mobile technology like Wi-Fi RTLS can be implemented. Making use of a healthcare facility’s existing Wi-Fi network, tagged patients can be located anytime and anywhere. If the patient goes into a laboratory or somewhere dangerous, this can be used to alert security and healthcare professionals. This also helps to improve the productivity of healthcare professionals, as they are less distracted by the need to constantly keep an eye on certain patients and can focus on others.

3. Increase the efficiency of inventory tracking and management

In any modern healthcare facility, there will be a large number of medical procedures, equipment, medications and other miscellaneous inventories at any one time. This makes the importance of an efficient and streamlined workflow ever more obvious.

Using technology to track and manage medical equipment and other inventories via equipment like asset tags to place on medical equipment, seamlessly communicating with existing systems to provide information, can make these workflows and processes a breeze. 

Such a real-time inventory tracking and management process can be further streamlined with a bar-code scanning system, allowing healthcare professionals to find equipment easily and quickly with one tap of smart-phones or tablets. This allows them to save time on searching for spare medical equipment like IV pumps and patient monitoring devices. It speeds up workflows, resulting in improved patient care and job satisfaction amongst healthcare workers.

As can be seen, mobile technology can be utilized in many ways to bring about numerous benefits. There remains much to be explored on the use of mobile technology, and healthcare facilities should look into harnessing its potential to increase their productivity and improve patient outcomes. MIMS

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Sources:
http://www.oracle.com/us/products/applications/peoplesoft-enterprise/scm/mobile-inventory-mangt-health-1656159.pdf
http://www.securedgenetworks.com/blog/3-Benefits-of-Mobility-on-hospital-wireless-network-in-Healthcare
http://www.enterpriseinnovation.net/article/can-technology-help-overcome-singapores-healthcare-challenges/page/0/1
https://itpeernetwork.intel.com/the-many-benefits-of-mobile-technology-in-healthcare/