I was recently reading through this whitepaper called Going Mobile: Integrating Mobile to Enhance Patient Care and Practice Efficiency. The concept is lovely, but I’m afraid that most healthcare IT has fallen short of the mobile promise. We see the benefits of mobile in so many other aspects of our lives, but we’ve fallen short in delivering that same benefit in health care.
The good part is that the opportunity is still available for health care to benefit from mobile technology. So, even if the whitepaper might be talking about potential rather than the reality of what’s available today, it’s worth considering why more EHR vendors and other health care IT companies should invest in mobile.
The whitepaper offers 5 opportunities for mobile:
- Clinical Decision Support – The first iteration of this was Epocrates. It was mostly information, but that’s where clinical decision support starts. Hopefully we’ll see rapid advancement in this area. Mobile makes that clinical decision support easily available at the point of care.
- Workflow Efficiencies – It’s unfortunate that we haven’t realized this benefit. Mobile can really make things more efficient if we create the right interface. I just have seen so few EHR vendors invest in the right mobile interface to take advantage of these efficiencies.
- Communication and Coordination – We’re starting to see this happen with services like secure text message. You’d think we’d need something more, but secure text message is a great place to start. It’s easily learned, completely malleable to any workflow, and easily implemented. Over time I’m sure we’ll find even better ways to communicate and coordinate care on mobile.
- Patient Engagement – One of my favorite stats is that 98% of text messages get read. Plus, they get read almost immediately. Compare that to email and you’ll see why mobile is such an opportunity to engage the patient. We’re seeing more and more of these offerings on the market.
- Security – Some might consider this a challenge, but I think it’s also an opportunity. Ever heard of 2 factor authentication. Your mobile device is perfect for it and provides a much more secure login. Certainly there are security challenges with mobile devices as well, but it can also be used as a great opportunity to improve how we approach security.
Be sure to check out the whitepaper where they dive a lot deeper into each of these subjects. Like I said, the benefits of mobile have not been really realized in health care, but that opportunity is still available.