Ottawa Hospital’s groundbreaking decision to equip its doctors with iPads is already improving patient care, the hospital says.
The hospital has deployed about 1,900 of the Apple tablets to doctors since 2010.
Doctors use the devices to:
* access the latest patient records and test results while doing their rounds in hospital
* access test results
* order X-rays from a patient’s bedside, improving 'the efficiency of the process and patient confidence in the level of care'
Later this year, Ottawa Hospital's healthcare professional will be able to"
* order lab tests
* order medication
* match medication bar codes with bar codes on patients’ wristbands, reducing the risk of error
Future plans include:
* secure messaging between care team members.
The introduction of iPads and other Apple mobile devices is part of a larger strategy the hospital calls “back to the bedside,” says Chief Medical Information Office Dr. Glen Geiger.
“Over the past 10 years or more, many of our clinical teams have become computer-centric as opposed to being patient-centric. People are always gravitating back to our nursing stations where the computers are to get information.” By introducing iPads and other mobile devices, he says, “we’re trying to free up our clinicians’ time so they spend more time with the patient.”
While it takes longer for doctors to complete their rounds using iPads, “it’s better care for patients,” Geiger says. “I’ve been able to explain very complex things to family members in sometimes very desperate circumstances where images or lab tests have indicated how severely ill the relative was.”
As a result, patients feel more empowered and engaged with their care, Geiger says.