Hospital goes mobile with physician order entry to boost treatment process

Canada's biggest hospital is utilizing a native mobile electronic order entry system for physicians featuring an app that lets doctors prescribe and conduct data entry wherever they may be.

Ottawa Hospital had a choice in its decision to upgrade its PC-based entry system, Glen Geiger, chief medical information officer, said in an article at mHealth News. It could upgrade the desktop system and then launch a mobile platform or go mobile from the start. The goal was to streamline time required to access PCs at various places on a medical floor as computers were situated in nursing stations and on mobile carts.

Geiger said not only is the medical facility achieving expected benefits, but also that the staff has embraced the mobile approach, leaving the PC fleet more than a bit under used.

Ottawa is just the latest medical facility embracing mHealth technologies to streamline processes, save money, boost healthcare services and gain workplace efficiencies.

A telemedicine platform is being developed for the Mayo Clinic and Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin, Minnesota, and is aimed at reducing healthcare costs while boosting medical service access via cloud-based software, as FierceMobileHealthcare reported earlier this month.

In addition, the Northern Maine Medical Center is deploying cameras, monitors and wireless devices as part of a telemedicine services effort with Eastern Maine Medical Center to provide real-time, video-based trauma consulting between three healthcare facilities and replace the traditional phone consultation approach.

For Ottawa Hospital, technology initiatives aren't inexpensive given the hospital's size, Geiger said in the mHealth News article. The effort cost between 5 million and 10 million Canadian dollars ($4.4 million to $8.8 million U.S.) to cover the cost of 4,000 iPads, a wireless platform upgrade in three medical facilities and continuous mobile tech development. The project also required revamping help support for physicians using the mobile devices. 

Going forward Geiger and his tech team intend to deploy a similar mHealth system to the nursing staff and face two challenges upfront: finding a smaller and more portable mHealth device that provides the functionality of an iPad, and developing a mobile app to meet treatment and patient diagnostic needs, he said.

To learn more:
- read the mHealth News article

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