IT is making a huge impact on the healthcare industry, with the benefits of mobile printing playing a key role. In an environment where real-time, on-demand access to patient information is a matter of life and death, it’s critical to have the latest technologies on hand.
An HP report found that mobile printing can offer benefits to care providers across a variety of healthcare applications. Jim McNeil, a network engineer at Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center in the United States, says mobile printing gives physicians more freedom in their clinics and frees up logjams in emergency departments. The benefits of their mobile print implementation, McNeil says, include convenience and extend beyond easy implementation. The following are four benefits healthcare IT executives should consider applying to a variety of medical settings.
IT enables efficiency in settings where seconds matter and can make a significant difference in the care of a patient. Claxton-Hepburn’s IT team discovered that enabling emergency medical services (EMS) crews to “guest print” patient information was critical. They set up two printers that could tap into their current Wi-Fi network, enabling tablets used by EMS crews to print directly to the emergency departments. This real-time printing from mobile devices allows ER staff quicker access to need-to-know information. Physicians can also see more patients, reduce average time-per-appointment, and improve other metrics.
Doctors aren’t always tech enthusiasts. According to The University of Queensland, physician resistance to new technologies is grounded in distrust. Studies show that productivity can drop dramatically after new systems are installed, and physicians loathe learning a new system and having to turn their backs on patients to input data into a wall-mounted computer.
With the flexibility to take a laptop or tablet from room to room, mobile printing maximises physician interaction with patients and allows care providers to work from a company-owned device they’re familiar with. It can also significantly reduce capital expenditure and equipment costs for each room.
We’ve all heard the horror stories about the medical mistakes happening in Australian hospitals—patients undergoing the wrong procedures, doctors administering incorrect medications or doses, and grossly inaccurate patient records of chemotherapy treatments. The Australian healthcare industry needs better methods of avoiding patient accidents and malpractice—there’s just no other way around it.
Expert IT teams play an important role in the evolution of healthcare best practices and overall business performance. A full suite of IT is critical to innovate new technology to prevent unnecessary deaths, reduce potential areas for human error, avoid crippling malpractice lawsuits, and improve practitioner background checks. When coupled with electronic health records (EHR), clinical decision support systems (CDS), and other measures, mobile printing can enable better accuracy in a variety of settings due to real-time information access.
4. Organisation-wide information sharing
Mobile printing is a simple way to improve communication throughout a healthcare facility and provide easy access to a patient’s vitals, which is especially important when treating patients in emergency or intensive care. Mobile devices connected to the network can be used by practitioners to quickly and easily send documents on demand to where they’re needed. This enables physicians to send the correct information ahead of a patient’s visit to a particular department and can ensure transparency in a variety of other hospital settings.
To improve patient care, healthcare technology should be user-friendly and support an organisation’s goals of quality, appropriate information access, compliance, and more. The benefits of mobile printing can have an impact in many settings—from the ER to physicians’ offices—by enabling staff to get the right info at the right time.