A new Zebra Technologies study predicts that 97 percent of bedside nurses and 98 percent of physicians will use mobile devices in hospitals by 2022.
The Zebra researchers last year connected with 1,500 nursing managers, IT decision makers and recently hospitalized patients in the United States, Brazil, China, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar and United Kingdom.
Respondents predict that mobile devices will become much more integrated into the healthcare experience, with, for example, 92 percent of surveyed nurses anticipating being able to access medical and drug databases using mobile devices by 2022.
“[T]here is a higher demand for services and support that are not sustainable with existing resources and methods,” the study notes. “Hospitals are increasingly turning to technology and automation to reduce the strain on an already fragile system.”
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The Obama administration has announced that tech companies, hospital systems and physician groups have agreed to act to make electronic health records (EHRs) easier for consumers to use.
EHRs systems often don’t talk to each other, limiting their usefulness to patients, especially those with complex health problems.
“Now is the time for this data to be free and liquid and available,” said Karen DeSalvo, head of the Department of Health and Human Services office overseeing the transition to computerized medical records from paper ones.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune noted that “Taxpayers have ponied up about $27 billion in subsidies to encourage the adoption of electronic medical records by hospitals and doctors’ offices. But the results so far have fallen short of the data-driven transformation that proponents envisioned. With new personal health applications for mobile devices hitting the market, there’s a renewed push to clear obstacles rooted in different technologies and clashing competitive priorities among vendors and healthcare providers.”
Those in the agreement said they’d work to:
- Improve consumer access. “Theoretically, patients would be able to easily access their records from one provider and transfer them to another. That second provider would be able to seamlessly import the earlier records into its system,” the Star Tribune reported.
- Stop blocking health-information sharing. “A report last year found that some healthcare organizations were blocking the sharing of information outside their group.” But “some experts say that’s already changing with greater use of something called ‘direct exchange,’ a secure messaging pathway between registered medical providers,” the paper reported.
- Put standards for secure, efficient digital communications into effect.