With mHealth Platforms, the Smartphone is Just the Beginning

Eric Wicklund | mHealth Intelligence | June 6, 2016

Healthcare providers are investing a lot of time and money in enterprise-wide communications, and finding that the smartphone is a very versatile tool. Health systems are finding that an enterprise-wide smartphone platform is much more than just a cool way to give everyone a new phone.

For Autumn Foy, director of clinical informatics at Onslow Memorial Hospital, putting some 325 iPhones into the hands of staff and clinicians at the North Carolina hospital is one step toward better care team coordination, which means improved patient safety and better clinical outcomes. When you’re a small hospital on a tight budget taking a close look at a million-dollar project, those outcomes resonate.

“Our focus at first was on patient safety,” says Foy, who had to sell hospital executives on the merits of the platform. “From there we looked at (the benefits in) improving workflows, and making our staff more mobile. It’s been a long, complex process and a little challenging at times, but when you take a look at the patient first, that’s a good first step”.

Foy got the OK last September to integrate the PatientSafe Solutions mobile platform, and went about equipping nurses and staff with the devices to improve real-time communications and scan patient medications. Later this year, staff will be able to use the devices to register and track infants, match specimen collections with patients, and scan blood products to make sure they’re going to and coming from the right departments...