Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Healthpad Panel at AMIA

Yesterday I was in Washington DC at the American Medical Informatics Association annual meeting in Washington to join a panel with Dr. Henry Feldman, Dr. Larry Nathanson, and Janet Meyers RN discussing the use of tablet computers in medicine - Session S36 "Tablets in Healthcare: No Just for Pills Anymore"

Dr. Feldman began the presentation with great showmanship, pulling his iPad from a bucket of water, illustrating how the FrogSkin protects even a submerged iPad.   He discussed his iPhone sterilization experiments.   As a busy hospitalist, he explained the value of the iPad in providing "everywhere" computing - access to healthcare records, provider order entry, and clinical documentation applications at the bedside.   He illustrated patient education materials that he uses to consent patients and explain care plans.  He noted that the iPad's touch screen keyboard is good enough and that he has never used his physical keyboard dock.

Dr. Nathanson described his early adoption of the iPad to manage workflow in the Emergency Department.   Over the past year we've worked on a streamlined web-based provider order entry application from the Emergency Department which brings one click ordering on the iPad to all our ED docs.   Clinical documentation is fully functional on the iPad.   Dr. Nathanson cleans his iPad with alcohol wipes and notes that he drops it at least once shift, with no discernible damage to date.

Janet Meyers RN presented an overview of Airstrip technologies, noting that they make perinatal telemetry available anywhere anytime to clinicians.

I presented an enterprise view of mobile technologies, highlighting they importance of infrastructure, mobile-enabled applications, an organizational culture which fosters adoption of new technology, and a willingness to invest in enhanced security protections to address the security risks of supporting consumer technologies on hospital network.

I'm a great champion of mobile devices and I truly believe the future of all clinician workflow is mobile, but that enthusiasm has to be tempered by the risks of commingling "Angry Birds" with clinical lookup on the same device.  I highlighted the need for applications such as Good Technologies which separate the memory space/storage of work related applications from consumer applications.   Only through the use of advanced intrusion detection/prevention, restrictive firewalls, web content filtering, web application firewalls, and security education can we keep mobile devices safe enough for use with clinical applications.

A great discussion with the important take home lesson - tablet/pad-based computing in healthcare is the future, but it must be implemented and managed prudently.

1 comment:

Terry Ketchersid said...

John I very much enjoyed the session. A couple of tidbits are worth repeating from my perspective; although most had acquired a keyboard with their iPads, these keyboards were never used and now are collecting dust on shelves...not a useful feature in the heat of battle, also your figures regarding infected hardware (48% of the computers connected to the internet are infected I believe was the number) was an eye opener-your counsel regarding the best counter measure bears repeating; user awareness is the key.

Thanks again for a fantastic session.