Mobile technologies are helping to empower clinicians, streamline processes, and improve the care delivery experience for providers and patients alike.
Information overload and communication challenges are major stress-inducers for home health nurses, as agencies are well aware. Fortunately, new mobile technologies are helping to empower clinicians, streamline processes, and improve the care delivery experience for providers and patients alike.
To name just one example, advances in mobile printing technology are making a dramatic difference in facilitating timely communication and fast, accurate medical data sharing between multiple members of patient care teams, as well as with patients and their families and caregivers.
Enhancing Care Coordination
Increasingly, team care is becoming integral to home health. With multiple providers making multiple visits to patients on a routine basis, it is more important than ever to coordinate care delivery. From nurses and physicians to respiratory therapists, physical therapists and nutritionists, care providers must all be on the same page to ensure optimal patient safety and treatment outcomes.
Mobile printers enable home health professionals to reliably and seamlessly print everything needed to provide high quality patient care in easy-to-read, full-page formats, right in the patient’s home. Being able to edit a medical care plan at point of care and use a mobile printer to generate a fresh copy for the entire care team represents a huge leap forward in care coordination.
“Having the ability to edit a care plan in real time and then print it for the rest of the care team is huge for care coordination. It can be a challenge to keep the correct, most up-to-date care plan in everyone’s hands,” says Jean Gonynor, administrator at Nightingale Homecare, a Medicare-certified agency which serves clients in the Phoenix area.
The mobile printers are also ideal for printing detailed medication lists and dosages to leave behind with patients. “Certainly, a computer-generated, printed medication list will be clearer to read than a handwritten one, which helps prevent medication errors,” Gonynor says.
Small Size, Big Advantages
Today’s thermal mobile printers are small and lightweight enough for clinicians to carry in a backpack or purse, have ample battery life to last an entire shift and easily integrate with core home health care software systems.
In addition to care plans and medication lists, the printers are handy for generating:
- Drug interaction data
- Patient safety and care or therapy instructions
- References for family and auxiliary caretakers
- Medical test results
- Transferred patient medical records
- Follow-up visit schedules
The ability to print documents on demand at the point of care effectively and efficiently helps providers share pertinent patient information. Providing detailed printed records of past actions and next steps can help avoid gaps or overlaps in care and promotes confidence in the quality and productivity of treatment being performed. It also creates a sense of accountability among caregivers and helps ensure compliance with medical guidelines.
In addition to improving provider and patient satisfaction by streamlining communication and coordination, mobile technology strengthens provider productivity. Nightingale Homecare has found that the ability to electronically generate and print medication lists onsite saves clinicians 20 minutes per visit by eliminating the redundant task of writing them out for patients – which adds up to having enough time to see an extra patient per day.
“The added advantage is that the less time nurses have to spend on administrative tasks, the more time they have to focus on what they’re there for: providing patient care,” Gonynor says.
Supporting a Patient-centric Focus
Thanks to their ability to support meaningful communication, efficient care coordination, better patient safety and an improved patient experience, mobile printers are fast becoming essential tools for every home health professional.
Compact and lightweight as they are, they deliver an outsized advantage when it comes to minimizing caregiver stress and maximizing quality patient care – every step of the home health care journey.