As mobile devices become more prevalent in healthcare settings, their benefits are equally challenged by threats that go beyond what meets the eye. Nine out of every ten mobile applications have security holes that make them vulnerable to attack, and a greater percentage are usually inhabited with bacteria.
Recently, ReadyDock covered some of the top healthcare apps for tablet use in the clinical setting. Here, we’ll outline apps specifically tailored to enhance efficiency and information accessibility for healthcare workers.
The Frequency of Touch in Hospitals
High-touch surfaces. This is a phrase that gets thrown around quite a lot in the world of healthcare, but we are rarely told how many touches are considered “high-touch.” The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America offered this answer to the question in a report titled “A Quantitative Approach to Defining ‘High-Touch’ Surfaces in Hospitals.”
Tablet and other mobile devices are changing the ways in which healthcare providers access medical information and interface with patients. Apple’s iPad continues to be the tablet of choice for most physicians, followed by the Kindle Fire. For portability reasons, though, many clinicians still prefer toting a smaller smart phone than a larger tablet.
As tablet use in healthcare becomes more common place, the number of apps which boast usefulness to the medical professional also soars, and providers need to be sure that the apps they’re using in their practices provide relevant and accurate information, a rather daunting task considering the number of apps available.
Mobile Health Newspublished a list of their top 80 applications for healthcare
Mobile Health News’ complete list of 80 can be found here. professionals. The list covers apps relevant to physicians and nurses.
Here, 10 apps for medical professionals in the various care categories.
1. Medscape “The leading medical resource most used by physicians, medical students, nurses, and other healthcare professionals for clinical information.” Apple users give this app 4.5 stars. It’s free, and gives the user access to medical news, drug and disease information, medical calculators, and continuing medical education information.
2. Visual DX is a “support and reference tool for physicians includes 1300+ diagnoses and 28000+ medical images to aid diagnosis.” The app includes actual patient pictures depicting symptoms of different disease in order to help clinicians and students visually identify different illnesses.
3. Epocrates and Epocrates CME are both “trusted clinical resource[s]…[with] more than 2 million active members including physicians.” Through this app you can find consults and referrals in the provider directory, review drug-prescribing information, perform different clinically important calculations.
4. Muscle System Pro III was developed “in collaboration with Stanford University School of Medicine.” The app features 360 degree rotation of any body part, 10 layers of superficial and deep muscle visualizations, animations, and quizzes to allow students to test themselves on specific areas or muscles. Primarily a learning tool but can also be used as a reference app.
When developing a BYOD policy, most businesses put the majority of their focus on the major elements of the program (i.e. cost and security). This seems logical, considering that developing a clear road map that outlines a secure, cost-efficient plan is the heart of any major implementation. However, there is still one critical element that is often overlooked when creating these implementation plans: disinfection.
The effectiveness of a BYOD initiative lies in the ability to develop a secure, flawless, and uniform user experience. Users need to be able to access the appropriate information from wherever they are working. An inability to do so could lead to confusion, a loss of time, and an overall decrease in efficiency.
The use of technology in the healthcare setting continues to rise. A recent survey conducted by Epocrates found that 86% of clinicians are using their smartphones for professional activities, and 53% of those clinicians are also using tablets. That same survey estimates that 9 out of 10 medical professionals will be using both tablets and smartphones for professional purposes by the end of 2014 (Epocrates, 2013).
Most people enter the hospital hoping to feel better after they leave, but for 1.7 million Americans every year, this simply isn’t the case. Hospital Acquired Infections, also called HAIs or nosocomial infections, are infections that a hospital patient can develop as a result of their hospital stay (Martin & McFerran, 2008). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that roughly 99,000 deaths each year are related to HAIs (Klevens et al., 2007).