Mobile devices were once considered a security risk in clinical settings. Today, they’re a mainstay in providing better care and improving patient satisfaction. With smartphones, tablets, and mobile apps becoming a critical component of healthcare, mobile technology empowers clinicians to provide better, faster care, as well as improve patient experience.
The Need for Clinical Mobility
Put simply, clinical mobility is the use of mobile devices by physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals at the point-of-care. Clinical mobility helps improve patient care, create workflow efficiencies, and better utilize limited resources. By 2022, up to 98% of physicians and nurses will use mobile devices as an integral part of their jobs. Adopting clinical mobility eliminates manual, error-prone procedures and replaces them with digital solutions that increase the accuracy of patient identification, streamlines processes, and improves the quality of patient care.
Clinical mobility is transforming care at healthcare facilities around the world. A recent study by Zebra Healthcare found that 72% of clinicians improved quality of patient care as a direct result of clinical mobility. The profound impact it has on nurses, doctors, IT executives, and patients makes this solution not a matter of if healthcare systems will adopt it, but when.
Staff Miscommunication Costs Money and Patient Lives
Nurses communicate with multiple members of the healthcare team, often while in different locations when communication is needed. Ensuring safe patient care requires fast, accurate communication among staff who are mobile and managing heavy workloads.
Staff miscommunications cost healthcare organizations billions in malpractice. Analysis of 7,000 facilities in the U.S. healthcare system showed that they could have avoided $1.7 billion in malpractice costs if they invested in a clinical communication solution to prevent message failures. Miscommunication also causes increased length of stay for patients in hospitals. A study of 14,000 healthcare cases found that communication inefficiencies that increase the length of stay for patients cost U.S. hospitals $12 billion annually.
Healthcare miscommunications can also lead to patient’s status worsening or even death. Miscommunications have contributed to nearly 7,150 cases where a patient’s status worsened. Even more, inadequate communication has cost the lives of 2,000 patients. And, from those 2,000 patients, 37% of severe injury cases led to patient deaths due to communication inadequacies.
With profitability and patient outcomes on the line, healthcare organizations should start looking to improve staff communication through the usage of mobile devices. Clinical mobility improves staff communication, makes real-time access to medical records possible, and enables nurses to spend more time at the patient’s bedside.
Mobile Technology Improves Patient Experience
Many healthcare organizations are already capitalizing on the benefits of mobile devices in delivering care. A study found that 55% of hospitals leveraging mobile technology reduced the cost of patient care. Of those surveyed, 72% of hospitals highlighted that mobile technology usage improved quality of patient care and 61% of nurses reported reduced medication administration errors. This all directly contributes to an improved patient experience and increased quality of care.
Empowering clinicians to use mobile devices has many positive benefits. The use of mobile technology contributed to a 61% decrease in medication administration errors and a 52% decrease in specimen labeling errors. It also decreased patient care issues related to communication breakdowns by 46% and decreased preventable medical errors by 46%. The surge of mobile device usage in delivering care will only continue to improve patient experience and care quality.
Mobile technology empowers clinicians to improve patient experience. And, it enables clinicians to keep a better pulse on patient vital signs while doing other tasks and increases the accuracy of medicine administration. Providing clinicians with the ability to instantly connect with colleagues, access patient data, and administer care from anywhere in the hospital will continue to increase patient safety, care, and satisfaction.