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July 2017, Vol. 5, No. 4

Mobile in healthcare a strong prescription for improved patient care

Walk the corridors of any modern hospital, from intensive care to patient units to emergency rooms, and you'll see the familiar banks of workstations where doctors and nurses busily access patient records and type in critical updates. For years, those stationary desktops have been the lifeblood of patient care. And while laptops have given caregivers some degree of mobility, "nobody wants to carry around a 4.5-pound laptop all day," one hospital CIO says. Doctors and nurses looking for mobile in healthcare to engage patients inside and outside the hospital may find a cure in small tablets, and they don't require a prescription.

Our cover story examines the infiltration of digital tablets and smartphones in healthcare as seen through the eyes of hospital CIOs. Some CIOs view mobile in healthcare as vastly "underdeveloped," "disjointed" and "clunky," with a "long way to go," not to mention the integration and security nightmares mobile devices can create for IT professionals. But CIOs also see the day when mobile devices will be a seamless and invisible part of healthcare and vastly improve patient care and engagement. That's already happening in some healthcare facilities where the distinction between tablets, laptops and even workstations is disappearing, as described in another feature. In addition to becoming fixtures in hospitals and outpatient clinics, tablets are finding a home in remote patient monitoring and achieving a level of sophistication that allows doctors and radiologists to view complex medical images anytime, anywhere.

This issue also covers several options for maintaining the security of mobile in healthcare, including identity protection, mobile app management, and advanced auditing and tracking techniques.

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