Roll out of 800 Samsung 3G Galaxy Tablets to all Community Healthcare workers delivers £500,000 efficiency savings to Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust

BJHC West Country Trust sees big payback from mobile adoption by rural Community Healthcare Workers

Last year following a massive training program and delivery of 800 3G Mobile Connected Samsung Galaxy 7in Tablets​ the Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust went​ ​live with their Community Patient Administration System​ ​(ComPAS)​ – ​an application ​​that​ intregrated with the trusts cloud based systems to enable​ community ​health ​workers​ ​to​ ​replace paper based processes to manage​ ​caseloads and collect data​ ​from anywhere and at anytime​.

​The project had initially been driven by a national​ ​mandate​ ​to collect the Community Information Data Set (CIDS)​ but the trust’s own programmers quickly supported the workers to leverage some of the other capabilities afforded by these pocketable tablets:

​> ​GPS​ feature enabled the devices to be remotely tracked for lone worker safety, enabled staff to efficiently find the homes of patients and request assistance (eg. direct an ambulance).

​> Apps added to the tablets have boosted productivity eg. medical reference textbooks have ensured up to date resources are available anytime/anywhere, an email client has enabled workers to keep in touch with their secure NHS email enabling them to stay in contact with colleagues and share camera captured images from the field, a secure app enabled staff to read/write to EHR’s, etc.

​> Built in phone and Bluetooth enabled the staff to wear wireless headsets and to conduct handsfree calls while tending to patients or to call into case conferences from anywhere.​

​> Password protection and remote device management enabled the trust to secure Patient data at all times and ensure devices were wiped of data in the event they were misplaced/stolen.

What next?

Here’s a few additions I can think of that could help these rural community Healthcare workers do even more:

> Videos and 3G Video Calls

Imagine the opportunity there is to bring clinical expertise into the homes of rural patients via the media player on these devices? Imagine the opportunity to use Video Calls to introduce the expertise of clinicians whenever and wherever they’re needed – like they’re doing in the wards at the Henry Ford Hospital?

Harley St TV Video Playing on Samsung GTab

> Mobile Connected Home Monitors

With a truly mobile workforce it’s easy to imagine how much more effective the trusts rural on-call service could be. Imagine the ability to respond to intruder, fall or smoke/CO alarm alerts from low cost mobile connected sensors that can be installed in Patients homes.


> Patient history documentation

Imagine the opportunity to use these community based tablets to accurately document Patient Medical Histories so that clinical decisions can be made before Patients are brought into the Hospital/Clinic or clinicians make house calls?

Tablets replacing Clipboards

> Connected Medical Sensors

I wonder how many AF Patients a community healthcare worker with an Alivecor ECG sensor could identify as they go about their work visiting the rural Devon homes of the elderly and patients who are being prescribed multiple medications?

Alivecor ECG

Imagine the potential to offer an extended health check if the community health workers packed a Thor Bluetooth Connected Spirometer in their kit bag?

SpiroTube Bluetooth Spirometer

> Mobile Connected Medical Devices

Imagine how Patient owned devices like Telcare’s Mobile Connected Blood Glucose Monitor could transform the care experience for Patients with diabetes by transforming the reactive healthcare system (where healthcare providers wait until patients who are sick present at their hospital’s emergency department door) into a responsive healthcare system (where the NHS Trust could use real time accurate clinical data to mobilise rural community healthcare workers so that they are visiting Patients before they get so sick that the only option is a hospital bed)?

Telcare Cloud Connected BG Meter

Can you think of anything Samsung Galaxy wielding Community Healthcare Workers could add to their arsenal?

************UPDATE 21 August 2013************

Bluetooth Connected SpO2 meter (HatTip: Charles Lowe in Comments)

Nonin Onyx II Bluetooth Pulse Oximeter

Bluetooth Connected Blood Pressure Monitor (HatTip: Charles Lowe in Comments)

Omron Bluetooth Blood Pressure Monitor

About David Doherty
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2 Responses to Roll out of 800 Samsung 3G Galaxy Tablets to all Community Healthcare workers delivers £500,000 efficiency savings to Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust

  1. Charles Lowe says:

    Well they could add SpO2 meters and sphygs, both Bluetoothed into the device, to avoid transcription errors and speed up visits. Perhaps also add PHQ9 or HADS for patients to do on the tablet themselves given the importance of depression as a cost driver for those with LTCs.

  2. Hi Charles,

    Thanks very much for your great suggestions.

    I’ve added your suggestions in an update to the above with:

    > Nonin’s Onyx II 9560 Pulse Oximeter

    > Omron’s 708-BT Blood Pressure Monitor

    Correct me if I’m wrong but I think with connected tablets we can finally move beyond the static form filling that we had with paper/clipboards so I think it’s better to consider depression scaling Q&A’s to be an integral part of the Interactive Instant Medical History Questionnaire tool that I’ve mentioned under “Patient history documentation” as these are key features of this patient history taking tool.

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