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Mobile technology in Healthcare: a beacon of success

As mobile and beacon technology advances and becomes more affordable, healthcare providers should be implementing these technologies to offer a better service.

Evidence shows that companies with successful mobile solutions generally see massive improvements to their internal operations, as well as helping to improve external engagement with customers or channel partners. With the capabilities of mobile within enterprise advancing at an unprecedented rate, integrating mobile into business strategies will help to accommodate advancements within enterprise.

More specifically, in our current digital age we should be seeing a rise in the use of mobile in healthcare. As the number of healthcare apps for connected devices grows, healthcare providers like the NHS and GP surgeries should be using these technologies to provide a better service. In addition, with the health app market projected to reach £15bn by 2017, there are substantial monetary gains to be made by private healthcare providers who implement mobile solutions.

GPs and other healthcare professionals have consistently shown openness in using mobile technologies to provide a better service. But hospitals must now embrace mobility in enterprise in order to drive results and maximise patient satisfaction. One hospital on the forefront of mobile technology systems in healthcare has begun an implementation of Bluetooth beacons to benefit staff, patients and visitors.

The Nicklaus Children’s Hospital (formerly Miami Children’s Hospital) has recently deployed Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons to assets and personnel within the hospital’s emergency department. The vision for the beacon implementation is to maximise productivity and decrease inventory costs. Using beacons, staff can conduct inventory counts to ensure fully stocked crash carts, saving the facility both time and money. The beacons are also used to locate specific patients and staff and includes environment of care (EOC) surveys for managing room inspections. The accompanying software, PINPOINT, offers a push notification system for staff, patients and visitors. The Nicklaus Children’s hospital also has a view to include a hand sanitisation monitoring system to ensure the highest hygiene standards.

Since its implementation, this technology has helped the medical facility drastically reduce the amount of time employees spend inspecting crash carts, with up to several hours being saved in these housekeeping tasks every day.

But it wasn’t without trials and tribulations that The Nicklaus Children’s Hospital would arrive at a product with the potential for countless beneficiaries. It was through trial and error that the hospital found the desired technology to perfect the desired tasks. In healthcare it is a common occurrence for a single task to have a single solution. The hospital was searching for a flexible solution that wouldn’t be limited to a single application. It was in 2014 that the hospital began working on the creation of  a Bluetooth beacon led, low-cost system that could accommodate inventory checks, patient room checks and more.

Initially the hospital was focused on just two functions: EOC surveys and crash cart management, but there is now a long-term plan to provide a full workflow-management system that will offer intelligence based on the location and linking of assets, staff members and patients.

The success of the beacon technology implementation by The Nicklaus Children’s Hospital should urge and inspire the introduction of technology in healthcare on a global scale. By implementing sophisticated mobile and Bluetooth systems in our healthcare facilities, we could save our healthcare professionals time on mundane tasks, and provide a more efficient healthcare service to patients and visitors. The absence of these technologies has become an unnecessary hindrance, and the healthcare sector needs an overhaul in the technology the implement and provide.

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