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Mobile devices release clinical time at Counties Manukau Health

Thursday, 10 October 2019  
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Picture: Doctors from Counties Manukau Health using the one of the new devices. 

 

eHealthNews.nz editor Rebecca McBeth

 

Counties Manukau Health has introduced more than 500 Windows 10 tablet devices for clinicians to use in hospital patient care and on community home visits.

 

The project started rolling out in September 2018 and now has more than 500 large and small screen devices used across the organisation, including 90 of the Microsoft Surface Go.

 

The Surface Go uses secure facial recognition for fast login and is installed with the organisation’s top 15 clinical apps, including Clinical Portal, eReferrals, eRadiology, ePrescribing and eVitals.

 

Health informatics and medical administration fellow Brian Yow says the mobile devices empower staff by allowing them to do things such as remotely view results and sign-off letters, as well as facilitate patient care by showing X-rays and ordering tests at the bedside.

 

Clinical director of information systems Tina Sun says “having clinically relevant information readily available at the bedside improves efficiency and allows us to release time back to clinicians to focus on patient care”.

 

A time-and-motion study of more than 500 hours pre- and post-roll-out of the devices showed clinicians were able to save an average of 30 minutes per shift after the devices were introduced.

 

Yow says the productivity gains offset the device costs in a few months and the tablets last for several years, which brings significant improvements for patient care and clinical efficiency.

 

Deputy chief information officer Megan Milmine says they have found it is best to assign the tablets to individuals to ensure maximum use and personal responsibility for keeping them safe and charged.

 

Access to the clinical systems relies on clinical staff being on the hospital network; however, there is some ability to securely view patient information from home via Citrix.

 

Milmine says this means on-call staff can securely review patients under their care from any setting, even at home, often saving the need to go into hospital, saving them time and improving their work-life balance.

 

She says the digital mobility project is about releasing time to care and involved a lot of work on infrastructure to ensure there is a fast and reliable wi-fi connection for clinicians on the move.

 

CM Health has also introduced other devices such as iPads for nurses doing eVitals and workstations on wheels.

 

“We have been on quite a journey to arrive at what we think is the right device mix, and we continue to scan the market for new ideas and devices. We do a full survey on any new devices trialled to ensure we choose those that meet the majority of people’s needs,” says Milmine.

 

If you would like to provide feedback on this news story please contact the editor Rebecca McBeth.

 

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