Businesses across nearly every industry are using mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, to improve operational efficiencies and make businesses more profitable. One industry that lags behind is healthcare, where, ironically, effective communication and access to information is not only a good business practice but also critical to quality patient care.
Many industries streamlined communication and information-sharing decades ago, and have more recently started using smartphones to save time, increase productivity and reduce costs.
- Retail: Offline retailers arm salespeople with smartphones, enabling them to ring up sales on the showroom floor and cut down on lines at the cash register.
- Agriculture: Today’s farmers use smartphones to calculate crop yields, monitor governmental regulations, access the latest commodity markets and even connect with each other on social media.
- Construction: Contractors use smartphones on the job site to make purchases, check specifications, compare products and prices, and stay in touch with coworkers and vendors.
- Small business: Business owners use mobile apps such as GPS navigation, document management and social media marketing.
With the 2010 Affordable Care Act posing the broadest overhaul of the healthcare system in 50 years, now is the time for American hospitals to arm caregivers with smart mobile devices and integrate those devices into their workflow.
One example of a hospital that has put smartphones and other mobile technologies into practice is Bay Area Regional Medical Center outside Houston, Texas. The hospital opened in July 2014 with 104 beds, and is already under construction to double capacity, including expansion of the Emergency Room, Operating Room and Cardiac Catheterization Lab, as well as a new Women’s Center with a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Last year, Bay Area Regional implemented smartphones running Voalte One on the Android operating system for caregiver communication.
Their website outlines the hospital’s mission: “To serve our community by delivering quality medical care with compassion, integrity and dignity. We are ‘Where Medicine Meets Technology,’ delivering advanced health care in a healing environment.”
Other state-of-the-art healthcare facilities are embracing this philosophy as well, such as University of California San Francisco Medical Center, Nemours Children’s Hospital and St. Joseph Mercy Oakland, to name just a few. At Voalte, we reimagine healthcare communication for hospitals like these that understand the fusion of medicine and technology is imperative to bringing healthcare into the future.
Lori Uzzo is Senior Content Writer at Voalte.