Mobile technology will be commonly used at bedside by 2020

30th January 2018
Anna Flockett

Zebra Technologies has announced the results of its Future of Healthcare: 2022 Hospital Vision Study, revealing the impact of mobile technology use in acute care hospitals. The research, which incorporates feedback from nursing managers, IT decision-makers, and patients, offers a different perspective from the front-line of patient care.

It also highlights the transformational power clinical mobility is expected to have on global health services within the next five years.

Zebra’s 2022 Hospital Vision Study identified the rising adoption of clinical mobility – the use of mobile devices such as handheld mobile computers, tablets, cordless barcode scanners and mobile printers – in hospitals around the world. It showed 72% of surveyed decision-makers say that mobile devices are improving the quality of patient care, giving clinicians actionable intelligence at the bedside with the effect of increasing time with patients and reducing errors. 

The powerful benefits of clinical mobility are fuelling an increase in adoption of mobile technologies at every level of care. According to survey respondents, nearly all hospitals estimate that mobile devices will be used at the bedside by nurses (97%) and physicians (98%) by 2022, but also increasingly by other members of the care team such as pharmacists, lab technicians, radiologists, and patient transport professionals. The study also highlighted how patients perceive the rise of clinical mobility with nearly eight-in-ten survey respondents feeling positive about mobile tools being used to improve their care.

They key findings included: 

  • Clinical mobility is rapidly becoming the global standard for patient care: Zebra’s 2022 Hospital Vision Study identified the rising adoption of clinical mobile solutions across all disciplines by 2022. Interestingly, this growth includes areas where mobility is already widely used (bedside nurses rising from 65 to 95%), as well as a major increase across other areas such as pharmacist and pharmacy technicians (from 42 to 96%), lab technicians (from 52 to 96%), and intensive care nurses (from 38 to 93%).
  • Study highlights reduction in preventable errors as key benefit: Surveyed nursing managers and IT decision-makers expect clinical mobility to reduce errors in areas including medication administration (61%) and specimen collection labelling (52%).
  • Mobile technologies allow clinical staff to spend more time at a patient’s bedside: By 2022, 91% of nurses are expected to access electronic health records (EHRs), medical and drug databases (92%), and lab diagnostic results (88%) using a mobile device, reducing time that must be spent away from patients.
  • Communications are expected to improve due to rising clinical mobility adoption: Nearly Seven-in-tenof surveyed nurse managers credit clinical mobility with improving staff communication and collaboration as well as the quality of patient care, while 64% of surveyed IT decision-makers identify nurse-to-physician communications as a top area for improvement.
  • Clinical mobility will be augmented with real-time location information to streamline workflows: Real-Time Location Systems (RTLS) will be used to locate everything from equipment, supplies and pharmaceuticals to patients and staff. This visibility will allow administrators to increase bed availability, staff workflow, and safety.
  • Improved data streams integrated through handheld mobile technology are expected to improve detection and notification of life-threatening conditions: By 2022,98% of surveyed IT decision-makers expect predictive analytics and early notification for life- threatening conditions, such as sepsis and hospital-acquired infection, will be sent to clinicians’ mobile devices.
  • Patients are aware of the benefits of clinical mobility and becoming more active participants in the delivery of their healthcare: The majority of surveyed patients (77%) expressed positivity about clinician usage of mobile technologies to improve the quality of their care.

Chris Sullivan- Global Healthcare Practice Lead, Zebra Technologies said:“Clinical mobility is a highly transformative, powerful trend which is having a significant impact on improving the quality of patient care around the world. The sheer number of nurses and IT managers that replied to our survey to say how much mobility has improved their work speaks to a clear trend of better mobile solutions adoption in healthcare. The fact that patients themselves are encouraged and enthusiastic about mobility shows it has a growing association with receiving the best standard of treatment.  At Zebra, we believe clinical mobility is essential for the healthcare industry becoming more efficient and effective while enabling healthcare professionals the best means to help people.” 

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