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.
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?
> 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?
> 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?
Imagine the potential to offer an extended health check if the community health workers packed a Thor Bluetooth Connected Spirometer in their kit bag?
> 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)?
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)
Bluetooth Connected Blood Pressure Monitor (HatTip: Charles Lowe in Comments)