Transforming Patient Care with Mobile Technology

27 August 2013 | Flavio Calonge , Health and Social Services Industry Director for Microsoft Latin America and the Caribbean

For medical professionals, the move to digitize medical records is a big step forward. But by itself, it’s hardly enough. Doctors need to have easy access to Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) wherever they are, from any device—and they need this information to be secure.

By accessing EMR information from their PC, tablet, phone, or browser, caregivers can save time and work more efficiently. They can also communicate and collaborate more easily with colleagues and patients. All of this adds up to better patient care.

Informed Doctors, Satisfied Patients

Accessing EMR applications on their Windows mobile devices, medical professionals can easily view their patients’ history and information while on the go, helping them to make faster and better-informed decisions. They can also see their schedules all in one place, saving them time searching for information. This improves efficiency, allowing them to see more patients while working the same or fewer hours. And because the Windows platform provides powerful security and encryption features, caregivers don’t have to worry about their patients’ medical records falling into the wrong hands.

With EMR applications together with Microsoft Lync on their mobile devices, medical professionals can also communicate and collaborate with their colleagues via video conference, instant messaging (IM), or audio. This makes it easier to share real-time updates on a patient’s condition, make referrals to other specialists, or obtain a second opinion. Using the “presence” feature within Lync, caregivers can see whether their colleagues are available or in a meeting. They can also communicate while on the go with patients, responding more quickly to patient questions and better serving patients in remote areas.

Patients, too, can view their EMR information from mobile devices, enabling them to take a more active role in their own healthcare. Using their Windows mobile devices, for example, they can quickly obtain lab results, access educational content related to their condition, and even set reminders for when to take their medication. Ultimately, this can improve both their health and their satisfaction.

Changing the Way Healthcare is Delivered

Already, medical professionals from around the world are putting mobile technology to use.  At Palmetto Health in Columbia, South Carolina, for example, physician Nick Patel, MD, wanted an alternative to the computers on wheels found in most hospital exam rooms. After researching mobile devices, he and other colleagues at Palmetto Health decided to do all of their work on the Microsoft Surface Pro Tablet.

The increase in productivity has been noticeable. “We’re getting better documentation of quality data and it’s not taking all the time away from actually caring for the patient,” says Tripp Jennings, a vice president at Palmetto Health. “The impact that has on an organization is truly powerful.”

Located in the greater Seattle area, Pediatric Associates also decided to employ mobile technology to improve its healthcare delivery. The company’s pediatricians use an EMR app for Windows 8 on Intel-based tablets, smartphones and other devices to access patients’ full medical charts when conducting hospital rounds and responding to on-call questions.  

“It removes the guesswork and takes the burden off the family to remember all the details of the latest prescriptions or tests,” says Dr. Josephine Young, MD, MPH, a pediatrician and chief operating officer at Pediatric Associates. “The doctor can efficiently and accurately access the requisite medical information and fully address the patient’s concerns regardless of the point of care.”

Mobile access to EMR information is poised to alter healthcare delivery. As an increasing number of medical professionals incorporate mobile devices into their daily routines, both the quality of healthcare and patient satisfaction will surely grow.

Flavio Calonge
Health and Social Services Industry Director for Microsoft Latin America and the Caribbean

Microsoft in Health Blog

About the Author

Flavio Calonge | Health and Social Services Industry Director for Microsoft Latin America and the Caribbean

Flavio Calonge is the Health and Social Services Industry Director for Microsoft Latin America and the Caribbean under the Public Sector segment and he is the strategist behind Latin America and the Caribbean Government vertical. Read more