Friday, March 8, 2013

Health Care Innovation Forum:  Hello Smartphones & Tablets: Goodbye Laptops & Desktops,  for Doctors on the Go
Hello,Goodbye, I must be going.
Groucho Marx  (1895-1977)
The new handheld IPhones and computer tables,   known collectively as mobile devices,  are perfect for doctors on the go. That's why they are replacing laptops and desktops.
In a March 6  article in Healthleaders Media, “How Tablets Are Influencing Healthcare”, Ferdinand Velasco, MD, Chief Information Officer of Texas Health Resources reminds us these devices are tailor-made for busy clinicians.
“The mobile technologies we now finally have are actually very compatible with the workflow of clinicians, Clinicians are fundamentally a mobile workforce. They don't work in a desktop or a work office type of environment like in other businesses. They're constantly moving about. They move between their physician office setting and the hospital, and when they're in the hospital, they go from room to room and floor to floor. Even in their own office they're not sitting behind a desk. They're going from one patient room to another, one exam room to another, and to some extent that also applies to the other healthcare workers as well.

"Rather than the old paradigm where we were encouraging clinicians to use these fixed devices, or at least somewhat semi-fixed devices with the laptops on carts or WOWs [workstations on wheels] or COWs [computers on wheels], now they actually carry these devices around, and so the adoption actually is much easier."
Doctor Velasco should know.  He tracks information flow for a health system with 25 hospitals, 21,000 employees, 550 physicians, and 3800 hospitals beds.
A recent survey of Texas physicians revealed 80% of physicians have smart phones and 50% have tablets, which they purchased themselves independent of the hospital system.
The rising tide of mobile device use has spilled over into big hospital systems, physician offices,  retail clinics, pharmacies, Walmart, other big discount outlets, and into patient homes.   Smart phones and tablets are innovating how care is delivered.   The innovations include replacing office visits with in-home monitoring tools and smartphone applications and use by patients to communicate with doctors and nurses and to manage their own care.
Tweet:  Doctors have embraced smartphones and computer tablets, which are replacing laptops and producing waves of healthcare innovations.

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