We all recognize that mobile devices and their usage has exploded in the past several years, but how has mobile been adopted in the healthcare industry? The reality is that people are using their mobile devices for health-related purposes more than you’d expect. In fact, 52% of those with smartphones search for health-related information on their phones, whether it’s searching for nutrition information, symptoms they are experiencing, or a nearby clinic.
Consumers have started to develop the expectation that everything can be mobile, so to maintain relevance with patients, the healthcare industry needs to build and use more mobile-friendly processes and products.
Here are four great examples of how mobile is currently being used in the industry.
Current Mobile Tech Trends
Telemedicine is essentially the act of using video conferences for appointments rather than in-person appointments. There are several reasons that healthcare facilities are starting to implement this strategy. It works to cut real estate costs and improve patient accessibility and convenience. This is especially useful for patients who have limited access to hospitals and clinics because they live farther away or have trouble with mobility due to age or disabilities. Telemedicine may never fully replace inpatient care, but it is an innovative method of improving access to healthcare facilities.
Patient-Facing Mobile Apps
There are tons of patient-facing mobile apps today that make managing clinic appointments and other health-related tasks easy for the patient. Many clinics and healthcare providers have their own apps available with the ability to schedule appointments, refill prescriptions, view test results, and even locate nearby clinics and hospitals (in case of travel or relocation). Mobile has become an expectation by consumers in general, so if you haven’t started to develop your own app for your patients, you may want to start looking!
However, these are not the only mobile apps that patients are using; there are a variety of other health-related apps designed to help patients learn more about managing their health and well-being.
Many people might think of mHealth devices as the wearable technology that consumers have come to know. Of course, these devices are included in the mHealth realm, but there are so many more incredible devices out there including mini gamma ray cameras, ingestible sensors, and more. All of these devices are working to bring better data management, more accurate decisions and diagnoses, and better accessibility to the healthcare industry through mobile and personalized care.
Another mobile tool that is rapidly gaining speed is the use of mobile EHR: a mobile app that integrates with your existing EHR system to make sure your operations are as efficient and effective as possible. It centers on using technology to enhance current workflows and improve communication. However, its future may begin to shift by expanding its focus to include assisting patients in receiving care remotely.
More on Mobile EHR
How it Works
Using mobile EHR doesn’t mean you are replacing your existing EHR system, but instead, you are redefining the way that physicians at your healthcare facility interact with patients and medical records. As a mobile app that integrates with your current EHR system, it allows you to streamline your documentation process, use voice technology to record patient information, and instantly retrieve EHR data for patient appointments. All of these features help to increase focus on the patient and reduce administrative burden by decreasing the time spent on administrative tasks.
Patients and physicians are not the only ones who benefit from mobile EHR. Providers, administrators, IT personnel, financial officers, and patients all benefit from its use. One of the greatest benefits that you’ll see, however, is the ability to better focus on your patients.
Some physicians struggle to focus on the patient rather than on the computer and spend extended periods of time transcribing notes from audio recorders after work. Inefficient workflows also impact the level of engagement and satisfaction that the patient experiences. With mobile EHR, physicians connect directly to the EHR system from a smartphone or other mobile device. With streamlined processes and more face-to-face interaction, better connections and relationships are built between patient and physician.
Another major benefit is the saving of time and money. Physician burnout is an all-too-common occurrence from the accumulation of administrative tasks that physicians must complete after appointments. With mobile EHR, physicians are able to complete documentation about 33% faster and can expect to see savings of $6000 in just one week.
The use of mobile EHR is filled with benefits. Learn more about how mobile is shaping the healthcare industry and where untapped potential exists by downloading iScribe’s eBook: The Ultimate Guide to Mobile in Healthcare.