Should Hospitals Buy iPads or Let Doctors Use Their Personal Device?
Does your hospital allow iPads or tablet devices? How about smartphones? Nope don’t feel too bad, a lot of hospitals (including mine) still haven’t thought of personal devices as necessary medical devices. The personal information device (iPad, tablets, smartphones) represent a watershed event where doctors are able to access medical information on the go. They aren’t tied down to a computer or laptop. It will be interesting to see how small and large hospitals deal with this watershed event. It has been interesting to see what hospitals (well known and not so well known) have made the progressive leap and what hospitals (well known and not so well known) have not.
There are two schools of thought (three if you count a no adoption policy). One is the hospital buys one specific device and supports it. The other school of thought is to allow physicians to user their personal devices.
FierceMobileHealthcare looked at two institutions that implemented mobile device policies, one hospital bought the device and the other allowed doctors to use their own device(s). Both institutions are trying to provide doctors with a way to use mobile technology at the bedside, but each have their own reasons for the path they chose.
Hospital buys the device:
Dale Potter, CIO of 1,300-bed Ottawa Hospital in Ontario, Canada implemented an iPad roll out which was described by FierceMobileHealthcare as “arguably the largest roll out of hospital-owned tablets in the northern hemisphere.”
Dale’s hospital bought 2,000 iPads, has 1800 iPad 2’s on order, and may buy even more in the year. Dale believes hospital ownership was important and the way to go for moving his hospital forward to be “recognized as a top 10 health center in North America.”
Because the devices are hospital owned, it allows them to have control over the apps and other software on the devices. They completely relying on the App store or outside vendors either, the hospital hired 120 developers to create apps for the institution, including a mobile electronic health record and a dozen in-house apps. Because the devices are hospital owned and they not only can control the apps and software but they have created a remote wipe, log-ins, and other security protocols. Even though the iPad is $600, Dale says that the costs of buying each doctor an iPad is cheaper than buying the a PC or laptop and “significantly less than other medical instruments that physicians carry with them each day.”