Toronto Hospital Giving Tablets to Patients

Much of the hype for healthcare IT in hospitals is that doctors are acquiring tablets at an increasingly high rate.  The adoption of tablets is helping to improve healthcare, and making life easier on doctors with every new development.

University Health Network in Toronto, Canada is taking a new approach by handing tablets to their internal medicine patients.  This pilot study is designed to help improve the transition to at home care.

As reported by InsideHealthZone, the tablets will provide a number of interesting abilities.  The first being that patients will have more direct input on their medical record.  They will be able to contribute their own observations and concerns as well as asking questions.

The tablets will also provide the names and pictures of everyone in their healthcare team.  This will allow all members of the team to access pertinent information about the patient without the hazard of miscommunication.  According to the article,

U.S. studies that show 100,000 patients die every year in that country because of medical errors, 80 per cent of which are communication-related.

That is a huge number that could be lowered with better communication.

This gets to the heart of what the University Health Network is trying to achieve with this and other initiatives.  They are trying to modernize the healthcare they provide from the bottom to the top.

One of the amusing things they mentioned was the use of smartphones vs. pagers.

In the 1990s, the only people who used pagers were doctors and drug dealers. Now the drug dealers have moved on. That’s the reality. We still use pagers in hospitals.

It does not take much research to realize that healthcare is moving to an electronic platform in everything.  Those places that refuse to get on board will be left behind and may disappear completely.