Healthcare mobility solutions: Why mobile is key to efficient data collection

By Jasmine Henry

| Healthcare

Staff in busy lobby area of a modern hospital.

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Healthcare mobility solutions are becoming an integral part of many organizations’ care delivery systems. As health leaders work to improve patient care quality and outcomes while protecting electronic personal health information, mobile devices are improving data collection efficiency in the healthcare enterprise.

More than three-quarters (81 percent) of physicians use smartphones for work, according to Kantar Media. Mobility has improved many areas of data operations, including information quality and transparency among members of the patient’s care team, but its impact on data collection is particularly profound. The role of healthcare mobility solutions in real-time data capture is already significant, but will likely continue to evolve in the years to come.

Real-time data collection and quality healthcare outcomes

Physicians are taught in medical school to make objective, data-driven decisions about patient care. However, Dr. Joe Nichols writes in HIMSS that “what [physicians] didn’t learn was the value of capturing those parameters in a complete, consistent and standard way.” Accurate, comprehensive data is crucial to understanding not only the right approach to a single patient’s treatment, but also how diseases progress and what outcomes are most likely across entire populations, leading to smarter healthcare management.

Currently, 29 percent of US healthcare payments are tied to alternative payment models, a figure which will likely increase to 50 percent by 2018, PNHP reports. The healthcare enterprise is increasingly required to connect healthcare decisions to outcomes to receive payment for services. With mobile technologies, the healthcare enterprise can capitalize on the potential of electronic health records (EHRs) as a system-of-record for patient visits, monitoring and other mobile data sources to allow enterprises to learn from their data, improve outcomes and optimize payments for services.

Physicians welcome the rise of the mobile EHR

Many physicians view mobile EHR data entry as a pathway to efficiency, and a welcome step away from the in-room desktop computer that some perceive as a barrier to effective patient interactions. Doctors spend up to twice as much time manually entering data as interacting with patients, American Medical Association President David O. Barbe, MD, told Healthcare Informatics. “We didn’t train to be data entry clerks, we trained to be clinicians,” Barbe said. Clinicians want tools that make data entry occur naturally and in real time.

EHR Intelligence reports that while hospital and hospital-owned clinic adoption of EHR technologies has exceeded 96 percent, the role of mobility in collecting data for electronic health records is still maturing. Multisourced mobile data is enabling the first steps toward real-time precision medicine and treatment plans that are designed according to a patient’s individual genomic data. Mobile monitoring, including mHealth apps and wearables, also opens new possibilities for remote monitoring, diagnostics and treatment.

Mobile drives data transparency throughout the patient’s health journey

Communication with the patient throughout the hospital, clinic and at home is a key element of data collection throughout their health journey. Recently, Health IT Security cited the rise of secure mobile messaging programs as a key tool for physician-patient interactions. Not only is this technique seamless, it can ensure better data capture and a real-time response when the clinician isn’t located near their hospital landline.

And there’s another form of mobile data collection more than 7 million patients benefit from: remote monitoring and IoT medical devices, mHealth Intelligence states. Sleep monitoring is the most common function, followed by devices that support remote and continuous data collection of ECG, blood glucose and medication adherence for high-risk patients. In the rapidly growing arena of connected health monitoring, physicians are increasingly able to access a complete picture of the patient’s health within the EHR, both from data that’s collected at care facilities and at the patient’s home.

Transforming mobile health data into actionable intelligence

Centralized technologies are crucial to actionable data, especially as the nature of data collection through healthcare mobility solutions expands. For healthcare enterprises, a mobile-accessible EHR with strong interoperability is crucial to capturing data streams from physicians, IoT and mHealth apps, in addition to other sources. Mobile technology has and will continue to enable improved real-time, comprehensive and accurate data capture in the health enterprise.

Written By

Jasmine Henry

Jasmine E. Henry, MS

Jasmine is a commentator on emerging technology and freelance writer in the greater Seattle area. With a professional background in analytics, big data, mobility, and security that spans both the for-profit and government sectors, her professional interests include artificial intelligence…

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