If you happened to have your Thanksgiving meal last week with a person of Greek heritage, you may have heard them toast “Yia mas”, that literally means “to our health”. And that is exactly what I am thankful for each day, my family’s health.
I am also thankful for the health of our wireless business, which is going great thanks to professionals such as doctors, and nurses that want to want to use their personal devices (smartphones and tablets) at work.
At Cisco we have long been talking about how we enable this proliferation of devices in the workplace and how we make it easier for IT to onboard and troubleshoot these “un-managed” devices. We also provide a robust wireless infrastructure that enables these professionals by providing the best possible mobile experience. But the trend of personal devices in the workplace does pose a valid concern: “As more and more doctors start using their personal iPads at work, will my patient data be secure?”
Curiosity got the better of me, and I decided to look at some data over the long weekend to better understand how healthcare data breaches occur. This is by no means a scientific analysis, I just crunched some data I downloaded from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website (hss.gov), so the findings are not conclusive, but rather indicative of what is happening. The data represents HIPAA breaches of 500 or more records per incident over the past 2-year period.
Oh, how I wish tablets were around when I was providing patient care as a Registered Nurse on a busy surgical floor! I had a legion of patients, and masses of information to find and remember ‘in the moment.’ It seemed like I could never find the person or the equipment I needed fast enough.
Sometimes, the most practical option was to take pen to paper (or to my scrubs) to jot down a note, and then go find the information I needed in a chart, the EHR, or reference once I got back to the nurses station. Could I have delivered more timely, efficient and safer care if I had access to the information and data I needed at the patient’s bedside? You bet I could, and here’s how!
Tablets provide information access at one’s fingertips – especially at the patient bedside – helping doctors and nurses to render quick, safe and sometimes lifesaving care. This is echoed in Institute of Medicine (IOM) reports calling for direct care providers to have quick access to electronic references. Moreover, up to 70% of sentinel events in healthcare are caused by poor communications, according to a Joint Commission study (1995-2006). Given these findings, tablets offer a new and improved way to ensure patient safety because up-to-the-minute information and immediate communication is readily available where and when needed.
Tablets help save time by increasing mobility and productivity, reducing errors and keeping information readily accessible within the clinician’s reach.
Come on clinicians … no mater if you are a doctor, nurse, respiratory therapist, case manager, educator or another team member … surely you can think of all kinds of ways tablets could enable you to have the information you need when you need it. You and your patients will be all the happier and satisfied for it.
I quickly came up with a short list of ways that tablets, one of several mobile devices, can make a difference for patient care delivery:
Workflow efficiencies by having access to information and data at the point of care
Real-time communication amongst team members while in different locations
BCMA and real-time drug interaction checking … possibility for a real-time pharmacy consult at the patient’s bedside via voice or video conferencing
My questions to you: Have you used a tablet to deliver patient care? If so, what has been your experience – is the tablet adding real value, or is it just “another toy”?
Government support for healthcare (telehealth or telemedicine) technologies continues to gain momentum across the globe. The latest examples in Scotland and California emphasize improved medical care and reduced costs from adoption of technologies such as telepresence, home monitoring and Internet services.
A recent Guardian article highlights a report from the Scottish auditor which urges NHS to consider telehealth when developing or redesigning services. The report sets out a series of questions for NHS boards to ask around improved access, increased capacity, cost avoidance and health benefits. They include: Are any patients unable to access the current service because of geography? Do clinical staff have to do more than a four hour round trip to deliver the current service? Could using telehealth potentially reduce hospital admissions? Hopefully NHS takes this recommendation seriously and starts to make some serious headway on the telehealth front. Read More »
Healthcare is transforming rapidly thanks to advances in technology and people working together. This evolution was obvious in Jordan last week, when the inaugural meeting of the country’s Healthcare ICT Task Force took place in conjunction with the World Economic Forum Jordan.
The task force is a collaboration between the King Abdullah II Fund for Development, the Information Technology Association of Jordan (inj@j), and Cisco, and it points to the country’s vision to become a regional hub for ICT solutions in the healthcare sector. Read More »
Historically Healthcare has the reputation of being behind the technology curve, however the next-generation worker is now driving the demand for the Bring Your Own Device business model.
“What? That’s crazy talk! How do I maintain a controlled secure environment?”Exclaims the IT Manager.
This new age of social intelligence and the evolution of social networks and mobility bring the expectation of free choice among the work force. Workers are putting the pressure on organizations for interoperability between the enterprise network and the devices of their choosing.
Today the average person on the planet has 1.8 devices on today’s networks connecting over 13 billion devices in total. By the year 2015 that number is expected to rise to 25 billion equating to 3.47 devices per person. Read More »