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Study: 9 in 10 Clinicians to Use Mobile Devices at Bedside by 2022

April 24, 2018
by Heather Landi
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A recent study indicates a rising adoption in clinical mobility, such as the use of mobile devices like handheld mobile computers, tablets, cordless barcode scanners and mobile printers, in hospitals and clinicians increasingly see mobile devices as improving the quality of patient care and helping to reduce medication administration errors.

Nine in 10 clinicians expect to use a mobile device at the bedside by 2022, according to Zebra Technologies’ 2022 Hospital Vision Study. Zebra Technologies, a mobile device solutions company, surveyed 1,500 nursing managers, IT decision-makers and patients and the survey compiles the feedback from respondents across the United States, Brazil, China, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, and United Arab Emirates.

Seventy-two percent of surveyed decision-makers say that mobile devices are improving the quality of patient care, giving clinicians actionable intelligence at the bedside with the effect of increasing time with patients and reducing errors. The survey also found that 55 percent of hospitals cite reduced cost of patient care as a benefit of mobile technology.

The perceived benefits of clinical mobility are fueling an increase in adoption of mobile technologies at every level of care. According to survey respondents, nearly all hospitals estimate that mobile devices will be used at the bedside by nurses (97 percent) and physicians (98 percent) by 2022, but also increasingly by other members of the care team such as pharmacists, lab technicians, radiologists, and patient transport professionals. According to the survey, respondents forecast a major increase in the use of mobile devices across areas such as pharmacist and pharmacy technicians (from 42 in 2017 to 96 percent in 2022), lab technicians (from 52 to 96 percent), and intensive care nurses (from 38 to 93 percent).

Surveyed nursing managers and IT decision-makers expect clinical mobility to reduce errors in areas including medication administration (61 percent) and specimen collection labeling (52 percent). According to the survey, by 2022, 91 percent of nurses are expected to access electronic health records (EHRs), medical and drug databases (92 percent), and lab diagnostic results (88 percent) using a mobile device, reducing time that must be spent away from patients.

The survey results also indicate that communications are expected to improve due to rising clinical mobility adoption. Nearly seven in ten of surveyed nurse managers credit clinical mobility with improving staff communication and collaboration as well as the quality of patient care, while 64 percent of surveyed IT decision-makers identify nurse-to-physician communications as a top area for improvement.

Improved data streams integrated through handheld mobile technology are expected to improve detection and notification of life-threatening conditions, according to the survey results. By 2022, 98 percent of surveyed IT decision-makers, and 96 percent of nurses, expect predictive analytics and early notification for life- threatening conditions, such as sepsis and hospital-acquired infection, will be sent to clinicians’ mobile devices.

What’s more, 83 percent of clinicians and IT decision-makers plan to expand the use of real-time locationing service (RTLS) for dynamic staff workflows.

The study also highlighted how patients perceive the rise of clinical mobility with nearly eight in 10 survey respondents feeling positive about mobile tools being used to improve their care.

 

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Vanderbilt Transplant Center Launches Mobile App for Providers, Patients

January 22, 2019
by Rajiv Leventhal, Managing Editor
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The Vanderbilt Transplant Center is now giving patients and providers instant access to critical transplantation data—such as educational resources and donor information—on their smartphones and mobile devices.

According to the organization’s officials in a recent announcement, the app is designed to be a resource for transplant information at the Nashville-based Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) for both patients and providers.

“It helps patients find information about transplant programs as well as educational links about transplantation. Patients can customize what organ they are interested in learning more about, meet the transplant team and find provider locations. Living donor information is also available as well as a living donor referral form,” officials stated.

The Vanderbilt Transplant Center, Tennessee’s only full-service transplant center, provides chances for patients to participate in clinical trials and studies, as well as access to other specialists. Its transplant teams have performed more than 9,500 solid organ transplants since 1962, including all the major organs—heart, kidney, lung, liver and pancreas, according to its officials.

For providers, the app aims to offer improved access in the referring process for both adult and pediatric referrals through REDcap referral forms. The app gives referring physicians a secure process to contact the on-call VUMC transplant physicians to enable better communication, while also containing a direct link to call the VUMC Transfer Center for urgent transfers of patients to VUMC facilities. Providers also have access to outcome data, officials noted.

The Vanderbilt Transplant Center has debuted a new free app available for iOS and Android devices, available by searching “VUMC transplant” in the respective app store.

“Development of this app will allow patients unprecedented ability to connect with our system, schedule appointments and interact with our providers,” Seth Karp, M.D., H. William Scott Jr. professor and chair of the Department of Surgery and director of the Vanderbilt Transplant Center, said in a statement. “We have every expectation this service will increase our ability to reach patients and provide outstanding care.”

Edward Zavala, transplant center administrator, added, “The Vanderbilt Transplant app is a significant addition for our referring providers to access the transplant center. Additionally, the patient education component of the app provides patients ready access to transplant-specific education.”

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Report: At-Risk Medicare Seniors the Next Apple Watch Target?

January 18, 2019
by Rajiv Leventhal, Managing Editor
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Apple is engaging in discussions with multiple private Medicare insurers about subsidizing the cost of the Apple Watch for at-risk people over 65 years old, according to a CNBC report.

This week’s report, from health tech reporter Christina Farr, noted, “The insurers are exploring ways to subsidize the cost of the device for those who can't afford the $279 price tag, which is the starting cost of an older model.”

The latest version of the Apple Watch—the Series 4—was launched in September, and as officials of the tech giant stated at the time, brings “advanced activity and communications features, along with revolutionary health capabilities, including a new accelerometer and gyroscope, which are able to detect hard falls, and an electrical heart rate sensor that can take an electrocardiogram (ECG) using the new ECG app.” This version retails for at least $399.

According to the CNBC report, “Apple has paid a visit to several of the largest insurers in the market, as well as some smaller, venture-backed Medicare Advantage plans. The people declined to be named as the discussions are still private.”

The watch’s electrocardiogram function and fall detection capabilities particularly make it appealing and valuable for seniors; about 19 million seniors, and growing, are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, which are private health plans that receive government payouts for providing services to seniors—about $10,000 per member, on average, Farr’s report noted.

According to Apple, the new Series 4 Apple Watch intermittently analyzes heart rhythms in the background and sends a notification if an irregular heart rhythm such as AFib is detected.  It can also alert the user if the heart rate exceeds or falls below a specified threshold.

And, the Apple Watch’s fall detection function utilizes a next-generation accelerometer and gyroscope, which measures up to 32 g-forces, along with custom algorithms to identify when hard falls occur, the company has stated.

To this end, data from health technology company HealthMine shows that 21 percent of Medicare Advantage beneficiaries use a fitness/activity/steps tracker; and 70 percent currently use digital tools, with a blood pressure monitor being used by 50 percent of beneficiaries.

In this realm, Apple is working with other major insurers as well. It was recently announced that UnitedHealthcare Motion, an employer-sponsored wellness program, is telling its participants they can get a free Apple Watch if they meet the insurer’s daily walking goals over a six-month period. For this initiative, program participants can use the Apple Watch to see how they are tracking against the program’s three daily goals—frequency, intensity, and tenacity—helping integrate physical activity and engagement with their health plan.

Industry observers have already begun to offer some reaction to CNBC’s story. In Farr’s report, Bob Sheehy, the CEO of Bright Health, an insurance start-up with a Medicare Advantage plan, and the former CEO of United Healthcare, spoke to the idea of seniors potentially avoiding expensive care visits by leveraging the device. “Avoiding one emergency room visit would more than pay for the device," said Sheehy.

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PerfectServe Acquisition of Telmediq Consolidates Secure Communication Platforms

January 17, 2019
by David Raths, Contributing Editor
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Combined companies have more than 500,000 clinical users across 250 hospitals, 27,000 physician practices and post-acute care organizations

PerfectServe, a provider of cloud-based clinical communication and collaboration solutions, has acquired competitor Telmediq, a secure communications platform provider for health settings.

Knoxville, Tenn.-based PerfectServe said it plans to support both solutions going forward, taking advantage of each platform’s cloud-based, service-oriented architecture to integrate complementary features.

Telmediq is deployed across 300 healthcare organizations and 80,000 users. It offers a call center solution, nurse mobility, advanced alert and alarm management capabilities, and mass notification functionality. Combined, PerfectServe and Telmediq have more than 500,000 clinical users across 250 hospital sites and 27,000 physician practices and post-acute care organizations. 

PerfectServe said the acquisition is an important step in its effort to build a care team collaboration platform that unifies the entire care team across the continuum, from inpatient, to outpatient, to patients at home. “Our vision is to build a platform that is separate from, transcends, and is fully integrated with the EHR and all other point-of-care technologies,” said Terry Edwards, president and CEO of PerfectServe, in a prepared statement. “The goal is to make it easy for clinicians to overcome persistent care coordination challenges that have existed in the industry for years.”

The Telmediq acquisition follows an investment last year in PerfectServe by private equity firm K1 Investment Management.

 

 

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