As I mentioned in the video, I can now use one Zebra TC51-HC handheld mobile computer leveraging CareAware Connect to pull up patient histories, such as orders and last vitals, or confirm current medications and allergies. I communicate with physicians, family members and other healthcare staff to discuss patient care and make on-the-spot decisions. I can capture high-quality pictures of wounds or other medical issues, administer medications, perform specimen collections, complete routine reporting regarding patient interactions, and receive critical alerts. All without leaving the patient’s side.
That increased facetime with patients is so beneficial to both the hospital and the patient. Nurses are able to react more quickly in critical situations – we don’t have to walk out of the room to receive new orders, page a doctor or answer a call. And patients enjoy more personal attention, which can be comforting.
Speaking of spending more time with patients…
I’d be remiss if I didn’t also mention the other hidden benefit of a “one device” healthcare communications strategy: the one-minute infection control protocol.
Time isn’t always on the side of patient care teams. Even in non-critical care environments, the volume of patients that many medical facilities see each year can be burdensome without well-refined business processes. (We handle about half a million patient visits annually at Truman Medical Centers.) That is why healthcare leaders are constantly seeking ways to increase speed and efficiency starting with patient intake, all the way through to discharge, billing and beyond.
The team at Truman realized through routine efficiency reviews that it would often take our nursing team up to 10 minutes to disinfect just one communications device from our “nurse toolbelt.” (The process for non-rugged devices is especially tedious as we must be careful not to damage the device in the process.) Multiply those 10 minutes by the different devices we use in the course of the day – and the dozens of times we typically clean each device in a day’s time – and you can see why it was so important to find a mobile device that could be thoroughly sanitized with a quick wipe or two.
The Zebra TC51-HC mobile computer – the only mobile computer we now use for care-team communications – can be disinfected in two minutes. The time we used to spend on “device care” is now allocated to patient care; it’s a win-win for everybody!
Editor’s Note: Follow the Your Edge Healthcare feed to learn more about the technology utilization models being employed by hospitals worldwide to improve clinical mobility, patient care, regulatory compliance and pharmaceutical administration. You can also read about other hospitals’ operational challenges and technology solutions in our Success Stories section on Zebra.com.
* In October 2015, Truman Medical Centers and Cerner announced a strategic relationship dedicated to transforming healthcare in Kansas City and across the world. The two companies formed a partnership called KC one Health Innovation Alliance, with a vision to strategically align with a focus on creating a healthy future for the communities that they collectively serve.
**Truman Medical Centers is an academic medical center, as well as Kansas City’s essential hospital. As the region’s safety net organization, Truman averaged more than $100 million in uncompensated care annually over the last 10 years.)