Do you know anyone who doesn’t use a smartphone? Nearly half of all adults in the United States now own at least one “smart” mobile device, and it won’t be long before those without are in the minority.
So what does that mean for the way we work, and in particular how clinicians work in a healthcare setting? Many doctors and nurses use smartphones in their personal lives, but few have the same technology available to support their work. In fact, they often still use landlines, pagers and PDAs – technology that was obsolete long ago in most workplaces – to communicate with their colleagues.
Get ready for a change. The consumerization of healthcare IT is coming, and it’s about to revolutionize not only the way clinicians communicate but also how they care for patients. As mHealth delivers comprehensive, integrated healthcare solutions, traditional boundaries will inevitably break down. The result: onsite, offsite, any time, anywhere communication, collaboration and access to information.
Clinicians who are accustomed to having maps, weather, news and the latest viral video at their fingertips in their personal lives want the same timely and reliable access to information when treating patients. That includes medical reference apps such as Epocrates as well as access to patients’ electronic medical records (EMR).
Healthcare organizations that embrace these inevitable changes are moving in the smart direction, improving quality and efficiency, reducing costs and meeting governmental requirements for meaningful use of EMR. More important is the ability to focus on their primary mission of caring for patients. Other
benefits will likely include higher job satisfaction and lower turnover among their staff.
I’m not saying it’s going to be easy. Robust privacy and security features are integral to the successful transition of smartphones into the clinical workplace. And the challenge of working within a hospital’s existing wireless network is not for the faint of heart. Fortunately, Voalte has spent the past four years working through these issues at some of the nation’s top hospitals. As we start Q2 of 2013, I’m pleased to announce we experienced record-breaking growth of 280 percent over Q1 last year, with 18 new hospitals signed on to implement Voalte solutions.
The foundation of our exponential growth is our stellar executive team, made up of the most talented professionals in their respective fields. In my new role as president of Voalte, I’m looking forward to working with this team and our entire staff as we continue to lead hospitals in the smart direction.