iPads set to speed up treatment
A technology upgrade for the MidCentral Health district nursing service is paving the way to a paper-free system.
District nurses are being equipped with iPads to access all the medical information they need while visiting patients in their homes.
It is expected the electronic tablets will replace clinical documents and paper-based systems currently used by the service.
District Nursing charge nurse Julie Vickery said the biggest change for the nurses was the speed with which they could treat patients.
"What they would have had to do was wait until they came back, and then get to a computer, or phone in to get the information they needed," she said.
"It speeds up treatment because there is no time delay and it's very transparent.
"The biggest plus is that the clinical information is at their fingertips."
Nurses will be able to access medical information, including hospital discharge summaries and blood results, navigation functions, email and their calendar.
MidCentral District Health Board has bought 500 iPads at a cost of about $420,000 which will be progressively rolled out to staff, and eventually replace paper-based systems.
Clinical services, particularly those which are highly mobile, are the first priority. The district nursing service will have 14 iPads in use by the end of August and it is expected all nurses will eventually have one.
District nurse Deb Salama has already been able to treat her patients faster using the tool.
"We went to a woman who had received no discharge summary so we were able to access that and let her know when all her follow-ups were due," she said. "And we were able to check up on lab results [for a man] to see if he was on the right antibiotics and it put his mind at ease.
"Normally we would have had to come back to base, go into the computers and not see the patients until the next visit."
The iPads will be used by the district nurses with their paper-based system during the rollout, but it is expected the technology will replace hard-copy clinical notes.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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