Using smartphones and tablets for clinical patient care is rapidly becoming the new normal for providers. Until recently, most were using their devices for research or communicating with colleagues, in other words non-clinical applications. In just one year, the percentage of physicians using mobile devices to manage patient care — ordering prescriptions, accessing records, ordering tests or viewing results — has grown from 8 to 31 percent.1 That’s an almost three fold increase between 2013 and 2014. Among those most likely group of smartphone users are ER doctors, obstetrician-gynecologists, general and orthopedic surgeons and radiologists. Today, mobile tech is rapidly transitioning to a tool for clinical care delivery.
One reason for this rapid adoption of mobile health IT among clinicians is that applications which run on desktops interrupt workflow and hamper efficiency by requiring doctors to sit in one place while using them. According to a 2013 study, the inefficiencies of using PACS workstations to access images, for example, can total as much as 173 minutes, or over two hours, per day.2 Given that loss of time, it’s no surprise that the option to view those same images from a smartphone or tablet appeals to increasingly busy providers.
Accessing patient scans with a mobile image viewer is not only more efficient, it is actually faster than a PACS workstation. A 2015 study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research concluded that a mobile image viewer provided faster initial image access and improved technical performance, ease of use and diagnostic confidence when compared with desktop image viewers.3
“Now that I can view patient images on my iPhone, I actually use it preferentially over my computer. If I’m walking around the hospital and I need to look at a patient’s image I don’t go to a PACS terminal, I just use my iPhone,” says neurosurgeon Christopher Duma, MD.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) recent release of a draft guide for securing mobile devices underscores the shifting impact of mobile tech on healthcare delivery. NIST’s move to support the security needs of healthcare institutions recognizes that provider use of smartphones is on the increase.
The following whitepaper highlights the best practices of forward-thinking healthcare institutions that already allow secure, mobile access to patient data. Learn more about their experiences and how to overcome common barriers with the policies, security and infrastructure of mobile health IT.