How technology investment impacts patient care
Hospital environments have seen a huge shift over the last few years away from traditional paper and pen, towards tablets and smart devices. According to a report compiled by Zebra*, this shift is having an overwhelmingly positive impact on quality of care, costs, patient confidence, inter-staff communication, medical outcomes and more.
How exactly is clinical mobility achieving such a positive impact? In this blog we dive into the statistics to reveal the transformations taking place right now and what the future holds.
The use of technology in place of manual, error-prone procedures is resulting in huge reductions in medical errors. Indeed, 88% of respondents to the Zebra study said clinical mobility directly impacted improvements in quality of care. The study revealed that medication administration mistakes are reduced by 61%, specimen collection labelling errors reduced by 49%, and other preventable medical inaccuracies are down 36% with clinical mobility.
Crucially, there was a 43% reduction in patient care issues related to communication breakdowns with the use of technology. Considering that, according to The Joint Commission**, 70% of medical mistakes are due to communication breakdowns, this represents an important and radical improvement in the reduction of errors in hospital settings.
Communication in a hospital setting is critical to the smooth running of operations. 71% of respondents said that communication through hospital system networks to doctors needed improvement, and 57% of IT executives identified nurse to doctor communications as the area needing the most improvement.
The study found a lack of real-time access to patient information to be the biggest barrier to optimising healthcare across the globe. Up-to-date information enables nurses to optimise workflows, prioritise alarms and spend more time at the bedside.
Impressively, the study found that 78% of nurse managers credit clinical mobility with a direct improvement in communications, between staff in different disciplines and between staff and patients - increasing workflow accuracy, levels of patient care, and improving access to real-time information, and therefore improving decision making at point-of-care.
Elevating patient care
The increased use of mobile devices at the bedside is set to instil greater patient confidence, with 77% of patients who responded to the Zebra survey saying they felt positive about clinicians using mobile devices in their care.
Furthermore, the increased use of technology by society as a whole is driving the digitisation of hospital services. As a result, patients are taking greater advantage of telehealth to limit the number of hospital visits they make; something that is particularly vital at the moment to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Patients: the emerging healthcare heroes
The use of digital health services such as video consultations, health apps and remote patient monitoring are all reducing hospital visits and increasing the amount of time hospital staff have to provide a better level of care.
57% of patients surveyed use wearable devices to track health metrics. These apps can be used to monitor and manage all kinds of health-related concerns; such as smoking cessation, asthma, diabetes and weight loss. 37% of patients using such technology brought this data to the hospital with them in preparation for a stay, and 95% of them were willing to share this data with hospital clinicians, resulting in time savings and even better care.
All improvements in workflow and accuracy, streamlining and time saving, result in a reduction in the cost of patient care. This is crucial for limiting the strain on an already fragile system.
The Zebra report found that 55% of hospitals cited clinical mobility with a reduction in costs. Technology supports improvement in many areas, from minimising errors, optimising workflows, reducing readmissions, speeding up communications, freeing up beds, and improving levels of care. This goes to prove that technology is increasingly connecting and transforming healthcare, delivering cost savings and improving services.
The future of clinical mobility
Investment in clinical mobility is set to rise in the years to come, and there is no denying how useful the data will be in improving treatment and diagnosis. With greater compatibility and integration, data can be used by clinicians to better analyse situations, more accurately predict outcomes and take more decisive action.
While clinical mobility is still very much in its infancy, it is clear that more and more hospitals across the globe are adopting it and transforming the healthcare landscape. Now is the time to invest in technology in the healthcare industry to begin reaping the benefits.
*The Future of Healthcare: 2022 United Kingdom Hospital Vision Study
**The Joint Commission, http://www.nursingcenter.com/cearticle?an=01271211-201401000-00005