As we move toward a system where value-based care is the norm, practices that embrace mobile health (mHealth) have a distinct advantage: Tablets and apps in particular are making it easier and faster to provide high quality, patient-centered care.
Here are 7 reasons we love mHealth, and why you should too:
- Breaking down barriers: Tablets are literally breaking down barriers to effective physician-patient communication. Whether you’re looking up your patient’s history or inputting a much-needed referral, looking at your computer monitor during a patient encounter means you’re not looking at your patient. The smaller profile of a tablet makes for more intimate and focused care discussions.
- Point of care tools: Secure mobile apps expand the capabilities of any device, as well as the physicians who use them. From e-prescribing to clinical guidelines and medical calculators, apps make it possible to access a wealth clinical decision support tools right at the point of care.
- Delivering care faster: Because of their portability, tablets make it possible for physicians to access electronic health records (EHRs) while they are on the go. No time is this more important than when a patient needs life-saving care. Tablet in hand, physicians can access EHRs, patient labs and clinical decision support tools while they are en route to a patient’s room. This helps physicians quickly deliver appropriate care.
- Engaging patients in their care: Patients absorb as little as 20 percent of medical information from their physicians. mHealth creates opportunities for improvement by infusing point of care conversations with images, videos and other visual aids. Emailing this information to patients and their family caregivers not only supports retention, but also can increase the likelihood of patients following through on important care instructions.
- Quick access to testing and results: A new generation of devices are making it possible to perform tests such as blood glucose testing, EKGs and cholesterol screenings, right at the point of care. Even better, results are immediately available in the patient’s EHR. These devices eliminate the likelihood of misplacing lab information while also expediting clinical decision-making.
- A place for everything: From digital photos to handwritten and dictated notes, tablets make it possible to capture, organize and store an endless array of patient data. Having all this information in one place supports seamless coordination of care.
- Nothing beats a sterile keyboard: Unlike traditional computer and laptop keyboards, the smooth surface of a tablet lends itself to being sterilized. A once over with a technology-safe antibacterial wipe is all it takes to rid your device of countless germs.
Tell us about some of the reasons you love mHealth in the Comments section below.