Mobile solutions change hospital processes

Published 22.08.2014

Mobile solutions change hospital processes

Various mobile devices are becoming increasingly common in hospital work. The reasons for their popularity are obvious. Mobile devices save time and effort and ensure access to archives regardless of time and place and they even assist in reducing the amount of paperwork.

However, mobile solutions are not without issues.

– The array of devices is too extensive. We need to think about what is actually needed. Carrying five different devices around in your pockets is way too much, says Professor Wolfgang Riedel from the Institute of Hospital Administration in Braunschweig, Germany.

According to Riedel, health care professionals should optimally have just one main mobile device and one auxiliary device.

– One device handling it all is unlikely to happen, Riedel says.

More than just applications

According to Riedel, hospitals in the EU are at the forefront of electronic devices, but a paperless hospital remains a utopia in many areas. An exception can be found in Switzerland, where the University Hospital of Basel has managed to become completely paperless.

– So it is actually possible, although not all believe it, Riedel says.

In his opinion, Scandinavia has also come a long way in this development. Riedel points out something that should not be forgotten as mobile solutions become more commonplace:

– We should not invest in applications but in compatibility. Many devices are designed for single applications that do not support communication or integration.

Riedel recommends that before investing in mobile systems, hospitals should find out where mobility is needed most and in which processes it is worth the effort. Hospitals have different focuses and solutions cannot be copied over as such.

Integrations open up opportunities

Although healthy criticism should be taken into account when selecting mobile applications, they do have indisputable benefits, Riedel says. They change entire processes, shorten the chain for recording data and decrease the need to invest in expensive desktop computers.

– It is a proven fact that investing in mobile applications benefits both processes and the economy.

However, this is only true when both appliances and applications are selected wisely.

– For example, you need to be able to enter data in the application, not just view it. The application may not dictate the functionality – the hospital specifies what functionality it needs and the application needs to meet the demands.

In addition, Riedel recommends seeking integrations and integration platforms for applications.

– This is an important strategic point. Platforms enable different solutions to be applied to different systems and they decrease the dependency of system suppliers.

In addition, integrations also improve communication by reducing the one-way flow of information.

— There needs to be more than just a skin that looks good on your iPad.

Younger generations want mobile appliances

Asked whether health care professionals are ready to use mobile appliances, Riedel replies:

– It is a question of age. Without doubt, younger generations want and even demand mobile devices.

Text and photo: Hanna Hyvärinen


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