Montefiore's Mobility Journey

Montefiore Medical Center in New York has been working on health IT mobility since the 1990s, according to Mony Weschler, chief applications strategist and architect at the health system.

Back then, mobility had to do mostly with "getting workstations on wheels" — a far cry from the mobility of today. Twenty years ago, though, making large workstations easy to move was a challenge, as it required new equipment, changes in inventory tracking and personnel training.

Today mobility looks much different at Montefiore, and is certainly much more advanced.

"As devices matured, we actually saw a change in the culture of our technology," said Mr. Weschler. "[Clinicians] were coming to us, saying 'give us apps we can use.' They wanted access to these clinical systems" on mobile devices and outside the Montefiore's facilities.

Several years ago, Mr. Weschler at his team began to explore secure mobile applications to help the system's physicians and other clinicians access patient data remotely on mobile devices, including tablets and smartphones. They found, however, that many vendors didn't have mobile apps available. "Many of our vendors are still not there," he said.

Mr. Weschler did learn of one mobile technology provider that would allow providers access to a health system's electronic medical records, images (including access to PACS images and live waveforms), lab results and patient monitoring systems, all with a single-sign on app. Able to access data from multiple EMR vendor systems, the technology, AirStrip ONE, was deployed for Montefiore's cardiology service line in 2012.

With the new mobile app, physicians had access to patient records, images, lab results and live waveform from any mobile device, which has proved particularly helpful for internal consults and emergency situations. "For the ER to get a consult from the cardiology team [more easily and quickly] is valuable."

For the consults, a physician can access patient diagnostics or images from home and give initial guidance, allowing for speedier diagnosis and treatment.

"Bringing the ability to see this data in real time in campus and off campus was a game changer for us," said Mr. Weschler.

In the months ahead, Mr. Weschler's team plan to deploy mobile access for other service lines. It also has big plans for using mobility capabilities to improve care — and hopefully outcomes — for patients under cardiac arrest.

The hospital hopes to outfit emergency technicians with mobile EKG devices; cardiologists, working with the ER team, will access the EKG results in real-time using the mobile app and can determine a path of treatment before the patient even arrives to the ER.

"We want to move the care to the patient's door, rather than the hospitals' door," said Mr. Weschler.

 

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