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How to Maximise the Benefits of Mobile Devices

Posted by Zebra EMEA

May 20, 2016 at 8:45 AM

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Mobile devices can make a huge impact on the efficiency and accuracy of healthcare facilities, whether at the hospital, pharmacy, lab or even the outpatient’s home. However, it is not just clinical functions that benefit – non-clinical staff can use mobile devices for anything from inventory management, meal ordering, maintenance and logistics.

Given the far-reaching advantages mobile technology has to offer, we at Zebra Healthcare wanted to know how mobile devices were being used within clinical and non-clinical applications. In our recent survey, we asked hospitals about the range of applications they are currently using, what they have planned for the future and who is currently benefitting from the devices.

The most popular application mobile devices are used for is the collection of clinical patient data. 90% of the hospitals we surveyed said they use the devices for this function, with the remaining hospitals planning to in the future. Over half of hospitals are also using mobile devices to access clinical patient data, a number we would expect to see increase as so many staff are already using mobile technology to collect the data in the first instance.

The survey also revealed that not quite as many hospitals are using mobile devices for drug prescription and specimen/blood collection. However, a third of them are planning to implement this technology in the future. Hospitals should certainly invest in deploying mobile technology in this area as it can help to significantly improve accuracy and efficiency.

As we move away from the bedside, 62% of hospitals use mobile devices for inventory and facilities management. Over a third have also mobilised logistics, management of staff communication by email and text, bed management, meals ordering, and enabling clinician e-help and case conferencing.

In terms of who is benefitting from these devices, 80% of nurses and many nursing managers are using them. This is alongside just over half of doctors and over a third of consultants. In comparison, fewer non-clinical staff are using mobile technology (38%), but 41% plan to in the future.

All in all, the results are very positive, indicating the healthcare sector is seeing real benefits from mobile technology. The fact that so many hospitals are using mobile devices to collect and access patient data is very promising as it will ensure that patient records are accurate and always completely up-to-date. Overall efficiency and patient care within hospitals will improve too, as mobile devices are used to manage inventory, logistics and beds.

One thing we would like to see more of is the use of mobile devices for drug prescription and sample collection. This would enable hospitals to ensure this process is far more accurate and efficient, improving patient care and freeing up valuable staff time. We also believe that more can be done to deploy mobile technology within the non-clinical functions of hospitals. This will help to improve the overall running of the hospital and improve patient care from another perspective.

To see further improvements, hospitals should consider whether their staff are fully empowered to use mobile devices? It’s also important to evaluate whether the mobile technology currently in use is the most appropriate. Is there more you can do to support your staff when using the technology and are there any areas in serious need of mobile technology to help improve current processes, such as blood collection or prescriptions?

To find out more, download the full report by clicking the button below. The report explores the use of mobile technology in hospitals in more detail, while also offering insight into the use of other technologies within healthcare settings.

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Topics: Healthcare, mobile devices