Cloud access: Enhancing clinical care mobility


Mobile devices are becoming more commonplace in healthcare as convenient and accessible tools for clinical communication, care coordination and patient engagement.

What's more, the number and type of mobile devices available continues to grow, as vendors and technology companies develop and produce new offerings.

Gareth Hall, director of worldwide health at Microsoft, said in a June 2 webinar hosted by Becker's Hospital Review that mobility is the new norm in healthcare. Approximately 66 percent of hospital employees use personal devices for work purposes, and 80 percent of employees frequently work away from their desks on mobile devices, he said.

As healthcare becomes more integrated, and by nature more complicated, the ability to be mobile becomes more important, Mr. Hall said.

Despite the interest in mobile devices, a chief complaint regarding them is the usability factor — ease of use doesn't necessarily translate into efficiency, and hospitals and health systems are also dealing with issues regarding security, privacy and integrating devices and applications into existing workflows.

"There are a huge number of healthcare devices being used out there, and there are consumer devices," said Mr. Hall. "There are great devices, they've got great battery life, they're lightweight [and] they're incredibly effective at delivering consumer applications, including health apps. And they are being increasingly brought into healthcare in a bring-your-own-device [program] or actually being purchased corporately by healthcare [organizations]."

The question, Mr. Hall said, is how to make such devices — consumer-facing ones to which clinicians are accustomed — and make them work in the clinical care setting. He challenged webinar attendees to "think about the way you use stuff you probably already bought and use it in a slightly different way."

During the webinar, Shari Oswald, Microsoft Experience Center facilitator/applications trainer with BrainStorm Inc., an end-user adoption specialist company, demonstrated how Microsoft Office 365 is one platform that provides clinicians with all they want from mobile devices on one platform. A key element of Office 365, according to Ms. Oswald, is that it is based in the cloud, which is critical for efficiency.

"As far as mobility goes, being able to access your content anywhere, any device, any time can be huge when you're trying to make every moment of everyday productive," Ms. Oswald said.

For a full demonstration on Microsoft Office 365, access the webinar here.

To download the webinar slides, please click here.

To view the webinar presentation, please click here.

Note: View archived webinars by clicking here.


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