How Mobile Enterprise Imaging Is Improving Patient Care

2013-06-27
 

Doctor Using Tablet for Medical ImagingSeventy percent (70%) of physicians are now using smart phones and 60% are utilizing iPads.  This data point comes courtesy of ImagingBiz’s Cat Vasko, who quotes Paul Nagy, PhD in a recent article.

Support of Nagy’s assertion comes via the 2nd Annual HIMSS Mobile Technology Survey, a complimentary copy of which can be requested here, showing extensive use of mobile devices by physicians. A full 50% of the responding professionals reported that they anticipated the use of mobile technology would impact patient care delivery substantially.

“Mobile devices can provide enhanced access to patient information, putting information into the hands of clinicians anytime, anywhere,” said Jennifer Horowitz, Senior Director, Research, for HIMSS Analytics.  “The availability of this type of data, when used correctly, can enhance patient care, potentially preventing more costly care by identifying potential areas of concern earlier.”

Impact On Enterprise Imaging

Vasko goes on to report that at Nyack Hospital in New York, physicians and radiologists began beta testing a new medical imaging viewer for their enterprise.

The main objective was to gauge its mobile platform compatibility.  “Touch screens and tablets are increasingly an indispensable part of every physician’s toolkit,” said Mark Geller, MD, a Nyack Hospital radiologist. “We want to make sure that [our physicians] have access to images and reports wherever they are, as long as they have a device that can connect to the Internet. It lifts the impediments of devices and time—they can care for their patients 24/7.”

“It gives patients a better understanding of what the doctor is talking about, and they are made to feel like a more meaningful part of the decision-making as a result,” Geller said. “When patients are educated and have had input on the care process, they are much more receptive to treatment,” he noted.

Key Patient Touch Points

Medical professionals using apps to engage in direct patient care has grown rapidly in the past year in key areas including:

  • Collection of data at the bedside (up 15%)
  • Using a bar code reader on mobile devices (up 15%)
  • Monitoring data from medical devices (up 7%)
  • Capturing visual representation of patient data (up 15%)

Each of the touchpoints above will undoubtedly support medical imaging workflow, specifically in regards to getting the right imaging information to the right care providers at the right time.

More importantly, however, mobile devices ensure care that is both more patient-centric and efficient, by – as Geller alludes to – removing barriers of time and space that exist between data collection and sharing.  The commitment towards mobile devices by both physicians and healthcare technology providers alike is showing a true commitment towards a necessary evolution in patient care.

What has been your experience with mobile devices in support of medical imaging?  I encourage you to share your thoughts via a comment below.

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