How Miami Children's Hospital embraces mHealth to engage patients, parents

When it comes to pediatric care, engaging parents is imperative--especially as they become more savvy in health IT and mHealth, according to Edward Martinez, chief information officer at Miami Children's Hospital.

Parents today want information on their children's care immediately, he tells Healthcare IT News, and that means Miami Children's has to look at engagement from their perspective.

"Getting them engaged that early on ... will get us a much better outcome earlier because they like the idea of being engaged on mobile and not face-to-face," he says.

One technology the hospital is working on is mobile discharge. It allows parents to view discharge instructions and video on their phone. This allows parents to see what the nurse told them, such as how to insert a needle, Martinez says.

He adds that because most parents want to be extremely involved in their child's care, compliance with the apps is very high.

A majority of U.S. adults, 56 percent, embrace using a connected device at home to monitor health and share data with caregivers, according a health study conducted for A&D Medical by The Harris Poll. In addition, patients increasingly are looking for healthcare providers that offer digital services, according to a survey by TechnologyAdvice Research. However, only one-third of respondents to the latter survey said their physician offered such services.

In addition to apps for parents, Miami Children's also created a "hand-off app" for the clinical side, which allows caregivers to easily share information with others on the team, according to Martinez.

Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania also created a mobile hand-off app for its employees. The in-house app brings real-time clinical data to providers and consolidates all of the hospital's different systems into one place, Subha Airan-Javia, assistant professor in medicine at Perelman, said during a panel discussion at the mHealth Summit in December.

Martinez previously told FierceMobileHealthcare about efforts by his hospital to ensure patients could receive documentation via mobile devices prior to visits.

To learn more:
- read the Healthcare IT News article