According to a new survey from the analytics arm of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), HIMSS Analytics, roughly 66 percent of health IT leaders responding to a survey say mobile technology would substantially or dramatically change the future of patient care delivery. The survey, the 2nd Annual HIMSS Mobile Technology Survey, found that respondents believe mobile health (mHealth) will benefit patient care mostly in pharmacy management.
“Mobile devices can provide enhanced access to patient information, putting information into the hands of clinicians anytime, anywhere,” Jennifer Horowitz, senior director of research at HIMSS Analytics said in a statement. “The availability of this type of data, when used correctly, can enhance patient care, potentially preventing more costly care by identifying potential areas of concern earlier.”
Overall, respondents, which included 180 IT professionals from major U.S. hospital systems, were using mobile apps to engage in direct patient care across more areas and more frequently. This included, according to HIMSS Analytics, collection of data at the bedside (45 percent compared to 30 percent), use of bar code reader on mobile devices (38 percent compared to 23 percent), monitoring data from medical devices (34 percent compared to 27 percent), and capturing visual representation of patient data (27 percent compared to 13 percent).
Health IT professionals said funding and security of patient data remained road blocks into the adoption of mobile devices for clinical purposes. However, the respondents said they are taking steps to address this, with 83 percent of IT professionals noting the devices used by their clinicians do not retain patient-specific information. Overall, 75 percent of IT professionals said they will expand the use of these devices in the future, even despite the road blocks.
Interestingly, one-quarter of respondents said the data captured via mobile devices is integrated directly into the organization’s EHR. Also, two-thirds said their organization has a mobile technology plan in place, up from the 38 percent of respondents that reported this in 2011.