Mobile EHR as a Solution for EHR Downtime

After a couple major EHR vendors had some EHR downtime, there’s been a lot of interesting discussion about how to deal with EHR downtime. It’s also worth taking a look at my previous posts on: Cost of EHR Down Time, My EMR is DOWN!!!, Reasons Your EHR Will Go Down, SaaS EHR Down Time vs. In House EHR Down Time, and Working Offline When Your EHR Isn’t Available. Obviously, there’s a lot to think about when it comes to your EHR going down.

I recently got a demo of a new free mobile EHR app offering from Mitochon. When they asked me if I wanted to see the product, I wasn’t sure what I’d see. I’ve obviously seen hundreds of different mobile EHR apps and so I thought I knew what I’d likely see. Instead, I was quite surprised with the unique approach they’d taken with their mobile EHR app.

They warned me up front that this is the first iteration of their mobile EHR app, but I found what they had created to be a nice innovation on what I’d seen elsewhere. Instead of trying to cram the whole EHR into a mobile app, they decided to leverage the CCD documents they could already create into an EHR app that worked on the mobile, anytime, anywhere.

When you think about EHR downtime, the mobile is a perfect solution. The device can run applications without any internet connectivity. Plus, it can endure power outages better than any other computing device. I’m sure many of you are wondering how the EHR data makes it to the mobile if there’s no internet connectivity.

This is what I think makes the Mitochon mobile EHR app so unique. They securely cache your top patient info on your mobile phone so that if your mobile has no connectivity, then the data is still there and available to you. Sure, it’s not the full EHR data and you can’t do all the functionality of your full EHR, but in an emergency situation (ie. EMR downtime) it could be incredibly valuable to have the clinical summary information available to you in your mobile app. Not to mention if you’re at a hospital doing rounds and the big cement wall hospital makes it so you have no cell signal.

Now that the health data of your patients is stored on the device, security becomes a big question mark. Mitochon showed me this slide which does a good job showing the mobile security they’ve put in place with their mobile EHR app:

I think this is a pretty creative mobile EHR solution. Plus, I find it fascinating that they built a large portion of their app on the back of CCD. Makes me wonder what other cool things could be done with CCDs.

Here are some other screenshots of the Mitochon mobile EHR app (these are from the iPad):

Do you like this approach to dealing with access to your patient records even during EHR downtime? Is the CCD enough information for you to care for a patient?

Full Disclosure: Mitochon is an advertiser on this site.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference, EXPO.health, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.

4 Comments

  • There is a lot to think about here. To start with, do you use the mobile all the time or just in outages? If you are going to see x number of patients during the day, is all of their data preloaded by the EHR at start of day, and the EHR updated continuously (as long as the EHR is up) and in case of outages when service resumes? Can you use the mobile device during outages to do pretty much what you would do normally except for the lack of communication?

    Or do you have a subset of data for ALL of your patients all the time?

    I like the idea, but 1. it would be nice if they provided a lot more detail before one signs up, and 2. if it was also Android compatible.

  • R Troy,
    You could use this each day, but it only has the CCD information, not all of the EMR information. It is updated with the latest if there’s internet connectivity. They said they would add more functionality over time. This is the first iteration to satisfy a specific need.

    I can’t remember the Android answer. I know I asked and they had something on the roadmap, I just can’t remember how far along they are with it.

  • Concept is good. Might be nice to see this on laptops as well. The funny thing; it’s a switch from pure cloud to a variation on client server (though the server is still in the ‘cloud’.

    Seems like some variation might be helpful in hospitals in case their EHR’s go down; some way to at least have some data on most patients and keep capturing data until the system is back up.

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