The value of using mobile apps in the healthcare sector

As a consultant who is active in the dutch healthcare sector i visit many care location where very motivated people care for their patients. And because I have an interest in the use of mobile applications i observe how people work & envision how they could improve the effectiveness of their work by using more mobile apps. In this blog I write about what i see happening now, how I envision it should work and some examples of mobile applications that can help us forward.

What I see is the following

  • at least 30% of the time care employees sit behind their computers to fill in forms, write careplans, perform administrative tasks, update their calendars and register what they have done and will do in some electronic client/patient system;
  • many employees only use mobile phones for calling & emailing;
  • tablets are used minimally in the daily care tasks.

What I envision is the following

  • care employees don’t need to sit behind their computers anymore, but can spend (much) more time with their patient;
  • registration tasks are performed more easily with mobile application on their smartphones or tablet close to the client and maybe even with the client.

Some typical applications of this can be:

  • looking up information necessary to perform qualitative care such as:- procedures for care tasks,- information about diseases, treatments,- detail information on the patient they work with;
  • make notes in the dossier of the patient, enhanced with:- photo’s of care related situations (an open wound),- video’s of care related situations (a client explaining where s/he feels pain);
  • registering the required information for declaration & administrative purposes while you are at it, registering (gps) location / bed/client info & duration / type of task performed;
  • getting training instructions to perform a care task well;
  • showing training instructions to a client when s/he can perform some tasks him/herself.

To summarize I like to see better mobile applications developed that help the care employee to spend more time with the patient, and the patient to benefit from this in the end: better care, less administration.

If you have any suggestions how you think the health care sector can benefit from mobile apps, I’d love to hear them, so contact me, or respond to this article.

Fred Kwakkel

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