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IDC Health Insights - Mobile Technology: Transforming Healthcare With Tablets

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Wp idc healthcare_analyst_connection_111104

  1. 1. A N A L Y S T C O N N E C T I O N Judy Hanover Research Director, Provider IT Strategies, IDC Health Insights Bob ODonnell Program Vice President, Clients and Displays, IDCMobile Technology: Transforming Healthcarewith TabletsOctober 2011Healthcare provider organizations have always had unique and demanding requirements for theircomputing devices because of the highly mobile and data-intensive nature of the work involved, thesensitivity of the information, and the physical environment in which the devices are used. As a result,many provider organizations have been early adopters of mobile computing devices such as tabletPCs. The adoption of electronic health records (EHR) and computerized physician order entry(CPOE) at the point of care has created renewed interest in tablet devices as virtually all healthcareorganizations look at their options and determine what sort of tablet solutions adequately meet theirunique needs.What many providers are discovering, however, is that increased choice in devices doesntnecessarily translate into better opportunity. In fact, it often just leads to more confusion. Also, manyorganizations are quickly realizing that you cant just pick the coolest new hardware because itcontinues to be applications that drive an organizations effective use of a given technology.The following questions were posed by Motion Computing and Intel to Judy Hanover, researchdirector of Provider IT Strategies at IDC Health Insights, and Bob ODonnell, program vice presidentof Clients and Displays at IDC, on behalf of Motion Computings customers.Q. Why are healthcare organizations looking to invest more in tablet PC–based mobile point-of-care technologies?A. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) created incentives for providers who demonstrate meaningful use of clinical information technologies including EHR and CPOE. This has resulted in a proliferation of clinical computing and data captured in electronic form at the point of care, as providers implement clinical applications to demonstrate meaningful use, a requirement to qualify for incentives under ARRA. However, providers are resistant to change, and the workflow changes required to move from paper chart–based processes to the new technology can impact the productivity and efficiency of providers. Tablet PC–based mobile technologies present an opportunity forIDC 1204
  2. 2. provider organizations to offer workflow solutions that make the new clinical applications more attractive to providers and help to drive adoption. Using these devices at the point of care allows providers to access patient records and lab results, place orders and document care delivery in real time, leverage decision support to reduce medical errors, and drive care collaboration by sharing information with other members of the care team.Q. What are some of the challenges healthcare organizations face when adopting mobile technology solutions?A. Provider organizations face a number of challenges when adopting point-of-care computing. Personal health information (PHI) is protected under HIPAA, and the consequences of data breaches, both financially and to an organizations reputation, increased with ARRA. The endpoint devices used at the point of care need to be secured to prevent breaches that may result from theft or compromise of the devices. Clinical applications such as EHR must be integrated with other systems, such as financial, billing, and departmental applications; the devices in use must support multiple applications in an integrated environment. Endpoint devices must support provider workflows. And tools such as single sign-on, continuous sessions as providers move between patients, and barcode scanning to facilitate medication administration can make providers more efficient and help them deliver better, safer care. In many clinical environments, infection control measures require devices to be capable of being disinfected and durable enough to withstand heavy use.Q. What are some things to take into consideration with deploying a tablet/mobility solution?A. Provider organizations selecting a tablet/mobility solution for use in a clinical setting must consider the current EHR and other applications in use, the environment in which the devices will be used, the security and manageability of the devices, the performance and network requirements, and the preferences of providers. Ongoing vendor support and the tracking and maintenance of the devices are also concerns. Most healthcare organizations run Windows-based applications, so its important for them to have tablet devices that run Windows or that can provide easy access to Windows-based applications. While some alternative platforms have received a great deal of press, it can be very challenging and/or expensive for IT departments to integrate multiple platforms into a solution. In addition, the workflow in the clinical environment may make using a pen or a stylus for data input, not just finger-based touch input, attractive. If an organization is running applications that need to support integration with medical devices, solutions that can be connected to larger external displays via a docking station or computer on wheels (COW) may be considered. Finally, organizations also need to consider potential training costs when deploying new devices and new solutions. If users are faced with an entirely new environment, longer and more expensive training sessions to make them feel comfortable and productive with the new tools are often required. If, on the other hand, the healthcare staff senses some kind of continuity or familiarity with existing tools and applications, the training process can be shorter and less expensive.Q. How is the move to cloud-based technologies impacting tablet deployments in healthcare?A. Providers are increasingly leveraging cloud-based solutions for clinical and administrative applications. The benefits of this approach include the freedom to access these applications and data from many different types of devices and, in some cases, many different locations. 2 ©2011 IDC
  3. 3. There are costs and complexities involved in making this transition, but many healthcare provider organizations have begun the process because they believe the long-term benefits will be important to them for a number of reasons. First, it can provide the flexibility for workers to conduct certain nonsensitive tasks outside the healthcare facility. Second, many younger workers have grown up expecting to have mobile, anytime/anywhere access to information, and providing that kind of flexibility in the work environment can help create a more satisfying work experience. Mobile devices, such as tablets, can be a critical enabler in these environments because they allow data viewing and data entry to occur anywhere within the facility, even while workers are standing next to a patient or moving from room to room. For sensitive medical record data, devices that integrate the ability to create secure connections (via either hardware- or software-based solutions) can also be a critical enabling factor. In many of these cloud-type environments, tablets can function as mobile thin clients, providing access to the applications and data stored securely in the organizations datacenter, but keeping the actual data off the device. That way, in the event the mobile device is lost, stolen, or damaged, no critical data will be lost or stolen. A B O U T T H E S E A N A L Y S T S Judy Hanover provides research, market analysis, and consulting on healthcare information technology, strategy, and best practices for both inpatient and ambulatory healthcare settings at IDC Health Insights. Her understanding of healthcare information technology is based on her experience working in the healthcare provider and payer vendor community, as well as her experience with healthcare IT end users. Bob ODonnell is vice president of IDCs Clients and Displays research. In this role, ODonnell is responsible for tracking hardware developments that impact PCs, notebooks, thin clients, and other computing devices, as well as the ODM production of notebooks. He also leads IDCs Displays research program, where he tracks both the sales and the technology trends affecting the worldwide market for computer televisions, monitors, projectors, and related technologies, as well as the market for large LCD panels and ODM production of monitors and TVs.A B O U T T H I S P U B L I C A T I O NThis publication was produced by IDC Health Insights Go-to-Market Services. The opinion, analysis, and researchresults presented herein are drawn from more detailed research and analysis independently conducted and published by IDCHealth Insights, unless specific vendor sponsorship is noted. IDC Health Insights Go-to-Market Servicesmakes IDC Health Insights content available in a wide range of formats for distribution by various companies. A licenseto distribute IDC Health Insights content does not imply endorsement of or opinion about the licensee.C O P Y R I G H T A N D R E S T R I C T I O N SAny IDC Health Insights information or reference to IDC Health Insights that is to be used in advertising, press releases, orpromotional materials requires prior written approval from IDC Health Insights. For permission requests, contact the GMSinformation line at 508-988-7610 or gms@idc.com.Translation and/or localization of this document requires an additional license from IDC Health Insights.For more information on IDC, visit www.idc.com. For more information on GMS, visit www.idc.com/gms.Global Headquarters: 5 Speen Street Framingham, MA 01701 USA P.508.872.8200 F.508.935.4015 www.idc-hi.com©2011 IDC 3