California HealthCare Foundation Report Examines Role of Mobile Computing in Health Care
A new report conducted by the First Consulting Group for the California HealthCare Foundation outlines when and "to what extent" providers can use mobile computing -- an "increasingly useful" technology that may allow doctors to access "needed clinical data and applications anywhere and anytime" -- in standard health care practice. Mobile computing offers providers "easy access" to guidelines, clinical and drug information and "limited" formulary information. In addition, doctors can use the technology to perform patient benefit determinations, prescription writing, clinical documentation, laboratory test management and "urgent communications." The report, the first in a five-part series on technology in health care, serves as a guide to health care professionals and "provides a snapshot of the current marketplace and discussion of connectivity, performance, security, integration and cost issues" in mobile computing. "Internet technology is still fairly new and untested in health care," CHCF Chief Information Officer Sam Karp said, adding, "That makes experimentation, analysis and evaluation critically important." Over the next six weeks, CHCF will issue three additional reports conducted by the First Consulting Group on a number of technological advances, including:
- eEncounters: new forms of electronic communication between patients and their providers.
- ePrescriptions: use of an "automated data entry system" to write prescriptions.
- eDisease Management: new electronic tools that offer a more
"coordinated and proactive approach" to chronic disease management.
In addition, CHCF will release a report on the "Diffusion of Internet Technologies in Health Care" conducted by the Institute for the Future (CHCF release, 10/29). To view the CHCF report on mobile computing, titled "Wireless and Mobile Computing," go to http://admin.chcf.org/documents/ehealth/WirelessAndMobileComputing.pdf. Note: You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the report.
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