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How iPads Improve the Patient Experience

Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media, April 11, 2012

Since the first-generation iPad hit the market in 2010, physicians have embraced the gadget and its apps, many of which enhance or expedite clinical care. But until recently, the patient experience has not been directly influenced by Apple's hit device, other than by way of the patient being impressed with their physician’s technological prowess.

Lately, app developers and hospitals have been rethinking the iPad’s potential in the patient experience and have been using the tablet in creative ways.

iPads as Patient Guides
Mayo Clinic has begun using content- and app-loaded iPads to help guide patients through their hospital experience. Earlier this month the health system posted a video depicting iPad use on its YouTube page.

Each heart surgery patient is given an iPad to help them visualize and prepare for their plan of care.

"The iPad is a nice way to navigate through some of those resources and keep track on a daily basis that you’re doing the things you need to do to make sure you’re doing the things that you should be," heart patient Randy Sterner said in the video.

From what we can see in the video, the tailored app includes the patient’s daily schedule, information about the hospital stay, patient education information, and notes about planning for recovery.

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17 comments on "How iPads Improve the Patient Experience"


Jan Rumaks (4/30/2012 at 2:18 PM)
Very innovative uses. How do you manage inventory control (ie keep patients, visitors and/or staff from making off with the I-pad or Android tablets)?

Lu Borges (4/20/2012 at 12:04 AM)
We've been using touch devices (iPods, iPads) for several years now in our pediatric hospital (Child Life Department) with amazing results. Our primary use is for supporting peds patients during invasive medical procedures and in prepping them for surgeries. I've posted alot of info on our page www.mschildlife.org, but would be glad to share info with anyone.

Shawn Baker (4/19/2012 at 3:15 PM)
1) Regarding Jenkins comment I agree that only considering the Apple product may limit your ability to find the best solution for your organization. We are implementing the use of Android tablets in our 25 provider Orthopedic Clinic. Our 1st step was to test the Ipad and 3 versions of Android tablets. All the units except 1 had at least minor problems running our EMR application. The Ipad was the worst. Fortunately we found one that worked wonderfully. We also use a docking station with a keyboard, mouse and large monitor in every exam room. The MA or provider walks into the room, puts their tablet into the dock and 3 seconds later the image pops onto the monitor and the unit looks and feels like a PC. This is cheaper and more efficient than having a PC in every room. If it was a PC the caregiver would have to log in everytime they entered a room. Speed is critical to us so any time savings is huge. 2) Regarding HIPPA security. Our EMR is web based so as long as you use passwords, a stolen tablet or laptop should pose no risk of data exposure. There should be no patient data residing on the tablet. I'm always looking for improvement so please comment if you have any ideas. Thanks! Shawn Baker, EMR Project Manager (contractor), Eastern Oklahoma Orthopedic Center. 812-709-1028