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Opinion extra

Learning lessons of “going mobile”

  • 1 Comment

I believe as a social enterprise, and as an NHS healthcare provider, we need to be much more efficient with money and time. By doing this, we can ensure the current economic climate does not impact on quality of care.

As someone who has always seen mobile working as a big opportunity for healthcare organisations, I was excited to learn my team at Bristol Community Health would be piloting mobile workflow management technology.

A major part of our strategy is increasing our “time to care”, and this technology is designed specifically for our clinicians to spend more time with patients.

We’re looking to launch the TotalMobile App Platform pilot live this summer within our community healthcare teams and our community phlebotomy service. This will allow our clinicians to view their patient visits for the day, update patient information and clinical notes as well as record clinical activities and outcome appointments at the point of patient contact. These teams will also be able to access their emails, use maps as navigation and access the internet.

With the current financial pressure on the healthcare system, not to mention resourcing challenges, I think it is important that our teams understand how mobile technology can help us to carry out our daily activities more efficiently without compromising care quality.

Ultimately, our lives are made easier as the burden of paperwork is lessened!

I have made a few observations in the run-up to our go-live date for the pilot.

Clinical staff input is vital for the solution build and staff engagement

A success of the pilot so far has been involving clinicians in every step of the way, through running workshops to look at how the solution could be built for us.

For example, we are looking into what patient information could be pulled down from our database onto the device, which forms and processes could be built into the solution and how this information could be sent back to our database.

Clinical input at key stages of the pilot has helped engage health professionals with the mobile technology that is ultimately being designed to make their life easier.

Patient involvement

We are looking to involve patients more in their care, supporting the Department of Health’s shared decision-making agenda. During the pilot, our community staff will be able to update patient records and complete treatment plans in real-time. This empowers patients and involves them in their care. They will also be able to sign an electronic form on the device to confirm their consent for their care.

Increasing the availability of patient information

Rather than complete notes on paper and store them at our team bases,the solution will enable us to have significantly more patient assessment and treatment information electronically, which can be assessed by others involved in the patient’s care. Clinicians will be able to update patient records in real-time, improving accuracy.

Good technology is easy to adopt

I gave a tablet computer with the TotalMobile App Platform on to a team leader of mine recently without telling her how to use it. She was able open up a form, complete and submit it without any guidance – it’s very intuitive!

We are all really looking forward to implementing the solution and evaluating the pilot outcomes.

Zoe Harris is functional lead for mobile working and team manager at Bristol Community Health

  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)

  • michael stone

    'we can ensure the current economic climate does not impact on quality of care.'

    You can't state that until after the event - you might HOPE that something you are doing will prevent the current economic climate from impacting on the quality of care (and, I wish you luck on that - you'll need it) but you can't logically state it as a fact before the event !

    'impacts less' seems more reasonable, as a suggestion/claim/objective.

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