Mobility has taken the health care industry by storm, as medical professionals quickly discovered that the miniature computer in their pockets and attached to their belts could improve the quality of care when mobile health care apps are installed. Now, demand for mobile workflow apps has exploded.
MIT Technology Review reported that at its EmTech conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Jeannette Tighe, from the HealthTech Advisory practice at Sagentia, explained that by the end of 2015, there will be 500 million smartphone users taking advantage of health care-related mobile apps. In addition, the market for those apps will be worth around $26 billion in 2017, as the world’s aging population demands cutting-edge medical care. However, with the ICD-10 implementation deadline on its way in only a few short months, doctors don’t have the time to devote to look at mobile workflow solutions.
The good news is that nurses are picking up the slack, and they are truly inspiring the health care industry to take more advantage of mobile apps. According to a recent report from InCrowd, 88 percent of resident nurses use smartphone apps on a daily basis to complete nursing work, while only 67 percent of medical residents used mobile apps for clinical care.
“88% of nurses use smartphone apps daily for nursing work.”
Simply put, nurses are leading the drive for a mobile health care industry, as these tools improve the quality of care they can deliver to patients. But what mobile workflow apps are they using? Let’s take a look at four of the most critical mobile health care apps.
1. Ward round apps
Patients often joke that they see their nurses more frequently than doctors, but there is good reason for this: RNs need to ensure that patients are always monitored.
Perhaps this is why mobile ward round apps have become such a critical part of nurses’ daily work routines. With this type of solution, RNs can record patients’ statuses, diagnoses and procedures, so when the doctor does come around, he or she will be ready to provide quality care.
Ward round apps also make nurses more productive. Mobilengine’s client Worcestershire NHS Trust managed to reduce the time RNs took to complete ward rounds by half with its mobile solution.
2. Patient admission and discharge apps
Traditional paper processes have made patient admissions and discharges lengthy and complex. This is why nurses love mobile apps that solve this problem, as they can easily access all necessary patient care information without taking their eyes off patients.
Armed with a solution for patient admission and discharge, RNs can ensure that every patient is suited to be admitted or discharged, without worrying about missing any critical steps or procedures.
3. Procedure management apps
The health care sector is stressful and fast-paced, giving nurses little to no time to question actions or pause to make decisions. This has lead 52 percent of RNs to use their smartphones instead of asking a question of a nursing colleague, and 32 percent consult their mobile apps rather than bothering a doctor, according to InCrowd.
With procedure management apps, nurses can ensure that they are following procedures to the letter, reducing the chance of errors, saving precious time and improving their productivity in the process.
4. Patient feeding apps
Nurses are flooded with a wealth of patient information every minute, making it difficult to discern what’s critical and what’s fluff. Patient feeding data falls into the former category, as RNs must ensure that patients are always healthy by providing them with food and beverages accordingly. Prior to the development of mobile workflow solutions, keeping track of this information was difficult at best. However, thanks to patient feeding apps, nurses can quickly and easily identify which patients need nutrients before leaving the kitchen.
Health care professionals and mobile workflow apps belong together, and perhaps with the number of nurses using these solutions, doctors will slowly come around to adopting mobility – but maybe after ICD-10 is implemented.
Marketer Leah Kinthaert has over ten years of expertise in bringing both overseas-based and early-stage start-up companies to the next level.