Driven by EMRs, Hospital Mobile Use Gains Ground



For most U.S hospitals, giving staff mobile access to key apps is more a vision than a reality. But here and there, hospitals are adopting cutting-edge mobile applications – and their doctors seem pretty happy with the arrangement, according to a piece in the Green Bay Press-Gazette.

Despite the security and support issues that come with supporting mobile devices, hospitals have more reason than ever to get on board. After all, doctors are increasingly demanding mobile access to their EHRs, a trend that’s only likely to heat up in coming years.

At Texas Health Resources of Arlington, Tx., mobile devices have changed the way physician Ignacio Nunez handles emergencies.  Though Nunez, an OB/GYN, may make his rounds in the morning, he can still take phone calls at 2PM from the field and remain connected. For example, he can check an expectant  mother’s medical records or even watch the fetus’s heartbeat on his iPhone.

THR’s goal, according to associate CMIO Luis Saldana, goes well be yond just to expanding the reach of his EMR, the paper reports. Ultimately, he hopes to “extend the physician beyond the hospital.” (I love his turn of phrase, don’t you?)

Meanwhile, other hospitals are beginning to stick their toe in the water as clinicians begin to demand mobile access to their systems, the newspaper reports. Aurora Healthcare, for example, is getting a flood of requests for it to support iPads, handheld devices and smartphones, says Russ Hinz, who manages the system’s EHR.

To get more examples of hospitals’ mobile progress, I encourage you to check out the newspaper piece, which captured more case studies than most trade journals.  I didn’t want to summarize them all here, but you’ll find a lot to consider there.

If there’s any single theme I took away from the varied anecdotes, it’s that doctors aren’t just interested in mobile technology, they’re ready to stage a revolt if they don’t get it.  Given that hospitals have a desperate need to keep up with physicians, it seems like a win-win proposition.

That being said, doctors, there may be a flip side to all of this. Anyone want to guess how long it will be before hospitals insist that their physician use mobile technology?

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