The Labor and Delivery department does not boast the most structured of schedules – each mom-to-be’s delivery timeline varies. Obstetricians may have to rush to the hospital for an advanced case, or wait and watch for conditions to change. In either situation, the clinician is frequently not on-site at the hospital, whether it’s because they’re handling office visits at their practices, or because it’s the middle of the night. Having mobile access to patient data to monitor progress provides doctors with the confidence necessary to make care decisions no matter the time or their location.
Availability is the greatest concern we have within OB at Rockdale, as we rely on our physicians to be ready and able to provide care as soon as necessary. Using mobility allows clinicians to be constantly available, which both eases patient concerns and helps the obstetrician remain in tune with the nursing staff, anesthesiologists and other bedside care team members.
At Rockdale, we monitor mobile utilization to make sure the tools provided are effective and beneficial. By seeing who demonstrates low usage, we’re able to determine what concerns or hesitations they may have and offer additional training, technical support, etc. as needed. Using this strategy, we’ve reached greater than 85 percent utilization rate by all providers in OB. What we’ve learned is that there are peak times when clinicians are watching their patients:
- Around 6:00 to 7:00 a.m., presumably when our physicians or staff are getting up
- Between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. during the typical day in the office, when they’re offsite from the hospital
- Again around 10:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.
While this pattern tracks what we thought it would, it also shows a commitment to monitoring patients remotely and demonstrates that mobile access provides clinicians with a feeling of comfort with the information available to them.
Beyond just offering clinician support, providing access to this strong communication of reliable information helps the broader care team. For example, anesthesiologists have access to this mobile tool and can monitor patients for the appropriate time to deliver the epidural. Meanwhile, delivering remote access to patient data for clinicians decreases the number of calls to the nursing staff to ask for updates. Without having to handle these calls, nursing productivity and satisfaction increase.
Ultimately, the ease and comfort that mobility provides in OB creates a supportive team environment that puts patients at ease and at the center of their own care.