Breaking the mobile barrier
Charlie Mintz, Director of Business Development, CareServ Technologies, LLC
When the subject comes around to how long I've been in the healthcare IT industry, I shudder to think of how many healthcare facilities I've been through over the years. Then I realize how much I've seen change over the last few decades and the impact it's had on both patients and staff.
If I close my eyes I can still hear them that screeching sound of a dial-up modem, with a telephone handset sitting in its cradle, trying to connect to the World Wide Web. That's a sound that today belongs in some type of museum. And while that sound was a harbinger of things to come, adoption was very slow. Was it the desire to wait for the next leap in technology or the mindset of "We are making do with what we have?"
Who knows, but the former is no longer a viable excuse and neither is the latter.
Fast forward to today with fiber optic, high-speed connections to the internet, wireless technology and mobile devices in the hands of today's caregivers. Early adopters along with the hardware and software vendors that provide this technology are those reaping the benefits, both financial and in respect to staff retention. Yet I still see healthcare facilities, specifically in the long-term care community, trying to get by with 20th century technology.
Most of the 'lag' seems to come from software vendors not yet seeing the value of documenting with handheld devices. Fortunately, hardware visionaries such as CareServ Technologies have broken that mobile barrier to circumvent software's shortfall, so that no matter which electronic health record platform a long-term care facility uses, we can provide mobile technology to improve compliance, reimbursement levels and staff retention.
Instead of certified nursing assistants searching the halls for an open kiosk to try to remember everything they've done, why not document right then and there at the bedside or what we call the true point-of-care. This eliminates the another ‘lag' point, for most of the time caregivers get distracted before they even get to the kiosk.
Handheld devices are no longer a "nice to have" option. Today it is a "must have" if facilities want to improve compliance and have the documentation they need to back up the higher RUG levels for which they should be getting paid.
Today there's no reason not to step into the 21st century, especially since it's 17 years old.
Charlie Mintz is the Director of Business Development at CareServ Technologies LLC.