BlackBerry-based network streamlines home-health coordination

Assigning home health workers to patients in Canada used to take two hours, but an application for the BlackBerry has trimmed the process to 15 minutes. Instead of nurses playing phone tag with home-health agencies and then trying to find ways to communicate patient histories by phone or fax, a computer can broadcast requests to home-care nurses and therapists.

After a worker accepts an assignment, the agency can send medical records directly to his or her BlackBerry. The system also tracks changes to each patient's condition and makes any updated information available to physicians and caregivers across the network.

"Not only does it make it faster and more efficient," Barry Billings, president of software developer MedShare, tells Canada's Financial Post. "But by having that instant and highly accurate access to the information, we improve health outcomes and patient safety."

For more, including an in-depth look at how smartphones are changing so many aspects of business:
- check out this Financial Post feature