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It’s no secret that technology is transforming the healthcare sector courtesy of robotics, better imaging, improved diagnostic equipment, more powerful computers and better networking.
But it’s not just the big-ticket items in the hands of professionals that are making a difference to the healthcare realm.
Simple, commonly-used technology like mobile tablets and iPads, is also radically altering the healthcare experience, and importantly it’s improving how patients interact with medical facilities, the insight they have into their treatment, and how they assist in managing their own care.
Here’s a snapshot of just some of the ways tablet technology is helping patients…
From how they navigate large medical facilities to how they input information about themselves, mobile technology is facilitating a better patient experience within the healthcare sector.
Kiosks comprising tablets and tablet holders can welcome patients and visitors to large facilities to help them work out where they’re going, while check-ins allow them to indicate when they have arrived for an appointment.
Meanwhile, doctor’s surgeries are also employing mobile tablets to allow patients to enter essential data and contact information about themselves.
The technology saves double handling of information, reduces the likelihood of human error and offers efficiency for staff who are not required to manually enter the information. For the patients it ensures data accuracy and reduces the likelihood of inputting it time and again.
Fast Company notes major hospitals like Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles are using iPads to improve patient care.
Provided to some patients, the iPads serve as a one-stop shop where they can access information about their illness, review the medical information, message relevant staff, order magazines and find out about medication side effects.
A patient waiting for a heart transplant told Fast Company the mobile device allowed him to feel “more in charge of his own care”.
Meanwhile, a study looking at Nurses’ Use of iPads on Home Healthcare found many patients believed the technology could improve the care provided.
The report noted nurses and patients often worked together to discuss the data that was input, and photographs of things like wounds could be automatically uploaded.
“They were more or less aware of the potential of iPads to improve care, and some said that home care nurses should use iPads more because they had the potential to optimize documentation, communication, and learning,” the report found.
At Phoenix Children’s Hospital in Arizona, the iPad is being utilised in a slightly different roll, replacing televisions as the entertainment device of choice.
Mobi-Health News says the devices allow patients to access streamed movies and shows along with entertainment like games, including some with a specific educational and safety focus.
Ultimately, streamed entertainment is a better fit in a hospital environment that is prone to interruptions, they note, while short educational content about illnesses allows the young patients and their families the opportunity to watch the information again and absorb it.
From an operational point of view, iPad holders and tablet stands also help improve the interaction patients have with services available at a hospital.
Many institutions now use tablets for services like food ordering, allowing a patient’s meal preferences to be directly relayed to the hospital catering team.
Critically the technology can also document and flag potential allergies, or foods which a patient is to avoid.
In the hands of patients, iPads and mobile tablets have the potential to improve and personalize their healthcare experience, and there are major benefits for the institution as well.
Mobile technology that streamlines services like entertainment, information dissemination, food ordering and patient check-in, allow for operational efficiencies, save on human resources and help eliminate error.
Meanwhile, implementing the technology is affordable and scalable. Kiosks can be set up using tablets and tablet stands, bedside food ordering can be facilitated through a simple tablet and secure tablet holder, while nurses can be equipped with iPad holders to protect their devices on their rounds.
You can learn more about tablet holders and secure stands for commercial environments including hospitals here.