Back in April, it was reported the Ottawa Hospital had taken the revolutionary plunge to adopt 1800 iPads as its primary access to electronic medical records (EMR). Seven months later, that total has reached 3000 total iPads to implement its native, secure, and intuitive EMR client developed by Select Start Studios, details the Tab Times. The Ottawa Hospital is the largest acute care hospital in Canada.
The man behind this iPad vision was the hospital’s CIO, Dale Potter. He saw the inefficiency of having doctors print stacks of patient charts prior to visiting its 1300 beds. Prior solutions such as computer on wheels and tablet PCs failed due to bulk and horrible battery life.
It wasn’t until the launch of the iPad in the Spring of 2010 did Potter realize it as the ultimate solution. So on his way back from Las Vegas after speaking at a conference, he purchased four iPads and handed them to his medical staff to seek their assessment of the new devices-they were utterly impressed.
Potter saw the vision of the iPad as an influential medical tool, and instantly ordered 1000 more, even as critics dismissed the tablet as a ‘toy’ and wasteful spending. Potter disagreed, and even went as far as putting his own job on the line:
“I told our CEO he should fire me if this doesn’t work.”
That never happened, and he was off creating their in-house software development team that consisted of 70 employees and external contract workers. This team has been challenged to create monthly apps based on the needs and feedback provided by clinicians and physicians:
For instance, using a new pain management app, a nurse hands the iPad to a patient and asks them to look at a human body atlas and touch on the screen where they are experiencing the highest level of pain. Then they choose from a color grid the intensity, with crimson red being the highest. That information is fed into a database immediately and if the clinical parameters are high, the most responsible physician or anesthesiologist is notified immediately.
The Ottawa Hospital is also using Dragon Mobile Medical Recorder by Nuance, the same company behind Siri technology found in the iPhone 4S. As for shortfalls of the iPad, Potter notes the lack of strong administrative privileges on the iPad, known primarily as a consumer device.
A Vast 802.11n WiFi Network Supports All Those iOS Devices
The hospital has also deployed a 802.11n wireless network based on the Aruba Mobile Virtual Enterprise (MOVE) architecture to support all of their iOS devices, across the 12 million square foot campus. Physicians get iPads, nurses get iPhones, and porters, security personnel, and housekeeping staff get iPod touch units. This is one cool hospital.
Once again, the iPad has changed an entire medical field and affected the lives of almost 12,000 employees at the Ottawa Hospital. They have plans to purchase a few thousand more in the new year, building on its efficiency to save and better the lives of patients, alongside the environment too.
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