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Study Reveals Increased Technology Usage at Bedside by 2022

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 07 Feb 2018
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The powerful benefits of clinical mobility are driving an increase in the adoption of mobile technologies at every level of care. Clinical mobility is expected to transform global health services within the next five years as the use of mobile devices, such as handheld mobile computers, tablets, cordless barcode scanners and mobile printers increases in hospitals around the world.

These are the latest findings of the Future of Healthcare: 2022 Hospital Vision Study conducted by Zebra Technologies Corporation (Lincolnshire, IL, USA) which incorporated feedback from nursing managers, IT decision-makers, and patients, to offer a unique perspective from the front-line of patient care. Zebra Technologies offers rugged mobile computers, barcode scanners and barcode printers enhanced with software and services to enable real-time enterprise visibility.

According to the survey respondents, almost all hospitals expected mobile devices to be used at the bedside by nurses and physicians by 2022, as well as by other members of the care team, such as pharmacists, lab technicians, radiologists, and patient transport professionals. Close to eight out of 10 survey respondents felt positive about the use of mobile tools to improve their care.

The study identified the rising adoption of clinical mobile solutions across all disciplines by 2022, including in areas where mobility is already widely used (bedside nurses rising from 65% to 95%), as well as a major increase across other areas such as pharmacist and pharmacy technicians (from 42% to 96%), lab technicians (from 52% to 96%), and intensive care nurses (from 38% to 93%). The surveyed nursing managers and IT decision-makers expected clinical mobility to reduce errors in areas, including medication administration (61%) and specimen collection labeling (52%).

By 2022, 91% of nurses are expected to access electronic health records (EHRs), medical and drug databases (92%), and lab diagnostic results (88%) using a mobile device, thereby reducing time spent away from patients. Almost seven out of ten surveyed nurse managers credited clinical mobility with improving staff communication and collaboration as well as the quality of patient care, while 64% of surveyed IT decision-makers identified nurse-to-physician communications as a top area for improvement. Real-Time Location Systems (RTLS) will be used to locate everything from equipment, supplies and pharmaceuticals to patients and staff, allowing administrators to increase bed availability, staff workflow, and safety due to improved visibility.

98% of the surveyed IT decision-makers expected predictive analytics and early notification for life- threatening conditions, such as sepsis and hospital-acquired infection, to be sent to the mobile devices of clinicians by 2022. The majority of the surveyed patients (77%) expressed positivity about clinician usage of mobile technologies to improve the quality of their care.

“Clinical mobility is a highly transformative, powerful trend which is having a significant impact on improving the quality of patient care around the world. The sheer number of nurses and IT managers that replied to our survey to say how much mobility has improved their work speaks to a clear trend of better mobile solutions adoption in healthcare,” said Chris Sullivan- Global Healthcare Practice Lead, Zebra Technologies. “The fact that patients themselves are encouraged and enthusiastic about mobility shows it has a growing association with receiving the best standard of treatment.”

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