As an anesthesiologist, my goal is to make the hospital a better, more efficient place to work so that I may provide the best possible care to my patients from the moment they come under my supervision. As part of this, improving a patient’s health record – and our access to it – by using effective mobile technology is an important step to providing holistic care. With nearly half of a physician’s day devoted to administrative tasks, it feels as though the time we clinicians can spend with our patients is getting slimmer and slimmer. Consequently, we want the precious time we have with our patients to be valuable and ensure them that their concerns are being heard and addressed in an efficient manner.
The right technology can help us achieve this seemingly impossible feat of pausing our chaotic schedules and making the most of our valuable face-to-face interactions with patients. Every moment is critical in nurturing a strong patient-physician relationship, and effective tools can help to make a patient’s experience more personable and worthwhile.
An Uninterrupted Patient Interaction
By leveraging mobile tools that put a patient’s data at my fingertips, I don’t have to leave the patient’s side to hunt down information about their condition. Whether the patient complains of abdominal pain or dizziness, I can quickly review their record for the relevant data to provide immediate answers and next steps. This interaction is much more meaningful than having to tell the patient I’ll return momentarily and leave them waiting and wondering when I’ll come back.
The 24/7 Care Team
Even when we are not face-to-face with our patients, mobile technology’s remote monitoring capabilities ensure that patients are getting the care and expertise needed to deliver the best care. These resources allow me to keep an eye on my patients no matter where I am, ensuring I stay one step ahead and anticipate any future action. This not only helps me prioritize patients who may need immediate attention as I start my shift, but also allows me to remain well-versed on each patient’s condition as I am on the move. Additionally, by having technical features such as fingerprint ID on our devices, we can ensure security while having these patient insights readily available at the simple touch of a button.
Working Together to Integrate Mobile Technology
While mobile health technology helps us be more efficient and attentive as a single healthcare professional, the possibilities only grow when it is adopted across a health system to improve clinical workflows and securely connect the care team. Implementing mobile technology does not need to flip current processes on their heads, but rather it can work in conjunction with them to further enhance the capabilities of the care team.
Healthcare has never kept up with other industries, but the technology is out there to make small improvements that can help us gain moments back in our day. Tools that boot quickly, allow for single sign-on, and incorporate ways to read and write into various systems might seem obvious, but making these realities can improve a clinician’s effectiveness – and ability to deliver care. Mobile health technology helps us make the most of our time, be prepared for the unexpected, and perhaps most importantly, make each of our patients feel valued and safe.
Dr. Pamela Eva Fadul is an anesthesiologist affiliated with Palomar Health in California.