As of January 2009, all 140 district nurses in Powys have been using the phones to record patient information while working in the community with the aim of allowing them to plan their work more effectively.
From this month, the devices are also being given to health visitors. Staff already had mobile phones so these were replaced with the smart phones.
According to Powys (teaching) Local Health Board, one key benefit is that it will mean, in the near future, nurses will no longer have to record the same information in multiple systems – paper casenotes, GP systems, Social Services – leaving them more time to focus on their face-to-face work with patients.
There has been a lot of interest from other areas too, from elsewhere in Wales, from Scotland and even New Zealand.
Judith Paget, chief executive of Powys Local Health Board, said: ‘This pioneering step shows that rural areas, because they have to think differently, can be at the cutting-edge in delivering services to their communities. Our District Nurses are demonstrating that Powys can be the place where the future happens first.’
Related article on nursingtimes.net: GPs postnatal care hit by healthvisitor cuts