Doctors across the country rely heavily on technology to streamline their daily tasks in hospitals and clinics, so what better piece of technology to use than an iPad? Anesthesiology News reports that after a trial run at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, doctors are sold on the idea.
One hundred iPads were given out as part of the pilot project which in conjunction with keeping the doctors hi-tech, helped curb the enormous amount of paperwork hospitals burn through. The doctors participating in the program were able to replace textbooks, patient records, and even face-to-face meetings.
Just think of the possibilities an iPad can offer in a hospital setting. Electronic patient records including x-ray images, textbooks allowing for on-the-spot research, remote monitoring of equipment and patients. This step is especially important in an increasingly web-based world, since now almost every piece of newly manufactured hospital equipment is WiFi enabled.
At University of Chicago Medical Center, a similar program was implemented. The residents and fellows who were able to take advantage of their iPads used them to trim up to an hour off of their normal routine, according to a survey of the participants. Keep in mind that to a doctor, an hour is an eternity.
One thing on everyone’s mind when it comes to medical records though, is security. This will be one factor in the speed at which we see iPads implemented in hospitals with the government wanting to step in to regulate, as we reported back in July.
Another factor will be incentives. Despite the obvious that iPads will save a hospital’s doctors time, there is still a strong “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” stigma surrounding technology in healthcare. Hospitals are struggling to develop secure infrastructures that comply with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountablity Act). Without the proper financial incentive to switch, time alone will not be a sufficient reason.
As reported in the Anesthesiology News article, it will take doctors finding new ways to use the iPad in their day to begin the push. Rest assured though, it’s only a matter of time before technology wins out.