After a long and busy shift at the hospital, a physician was finally heading home with plans to pick up a meal for his family along the way. He was on his way home when the nursing station called him requesting that he immediately provide medical direction, as a patient was having issues. Rather than having to drive all the way back to the hospital, wasting precious time his patient may or may not have had, the physician used his mobile device to review the files in his car and provided his recommendations directly by phone. As a result, the patient was able to receive proper care at the right time, and the physician – with a hot meal in hand – enjoyed dinner with his family.
This story from Hamilton Health Sciences is just one example of the way in which delivery of healthcare is changing. In a digitally connected world, there shouldn’t be barriers preventing authorized healthcare providers (HCPs) from gaining secure access to patient information. Mobility is just one way in which digital health is transforming the way Canadians receive care by enabling authorized HCPs secure access to patient data at any time, in any place with, potentially, any device.
While mobility can help deliver better care beyond the four walls of a hospital by improving access to data and patient information, it’s equally beneficial within. With big hospitals, however, come awkward workstations that HCPs are required to share, which can lead to long wait times. Apart from the annoyance of having to wait in a line to access critical patient data, there’s also the time wasted between having to move between bed and station. Mobility enables patient information to securely appear on a tablet device so a HCP can deliver true bedside care to their patients.
For those hospitals that can’t afford to retire workstations altogether, there are new and improved digital health technologies surfacing. At Citrix, we enable ‘Session Linger’, so that a user can access data even faster, no matter what workstation they’re using. For example, if a healthcare provider reviews a patient file at a workstation in the Radiology department but then moves to the Emergency Room, the work session securely times out but remains available on Citrix’s servers. This means healthcare providers can quickly resume their work session at a new workstation without having to waste time waiting for their data to load – a potential game changer especially in an emergency.
From November 14-20, Canada is celebrating Digital Health Week – a week dedicated to recognizing the positive impact digital health has on patients and their families. Bringing together clinicians, patients, governments, associations and the healthcare industry at large, this week is an opportunity to explore the different solutions that are available so together we can improve care delivery. While this post shows a few of the ways digital health is transforming patient care, you can join the conversation on Twitter by following the hashtag #thinkdigitalhealth to learn more.