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Tablet Computers: The Way Forward for Better Patient Experiences

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antedeluvian
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iPad in Hospitals
antedeluvian   2/13/2015 4:26:07 PM
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As part of my flirt with cancer I had to go to meet my radiation team at the hospital. The check-in process included being given a tablet computer which was in effect a questionnaire on your "wellness" i.e. how you were holding up psychologically.  It was multiple answers and linked via wireless though some central nework to your files. Probably wi-fi, I thought.

The screen dimensions looked like  an iPad, but it had a plastic frame around it that prevented access to any of the buttons and provided an exposed connector to allow for cradle recharging. It one ran just this one app with nothing apparent on how to exit and run anything else. The receptionists called it an iPad so I am 90% certain it was the Apple product. There were 3 or 4 docked at each receptionist and there were ~5 receptionists in this relatively large waiting room.

 

Don't answer with your spouse looking over your shoulder- they don' always think your answer is right!

Ariella
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Re: Actual medical uses
Ariella   1/8/2015 10:55:37 AM
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LOL @mhrackin a model for randomness, indeed.

mhrackin
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Re: Actual medical uses
mhrackin   1/8/2015 10:04:59 AM
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@max: "The whole medical billing process is a Byzantine nightmare..."

Inspiration! Study that process to give you more ideas for your Vetinari Clock sound effects!  You may be able to achieve TRUE randomness after all!

Ariella
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Re: Actual medical uses
Ariella   1/7/2015 6:23:34 PM
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Too true, @Max. It is an utter mystery to me how the healthcare providers arrive at their numbers and how the insurance companies arrive at theirs. For the first round of hospitalization, just the hospital billed $15K for 3 days (no surgery then, though we did come through the emergency room). The insurance knocked that down significantly, so that our share was about $400. Then there were a couple of separate bills calculated at the rate of just over $13 a minute  from the doctor who saw my son in the hospital. Those amounts were also slashed by more than half by our insurance.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Actual medical uses
Max The Magnificent   1/7/2015 6:16:02 PM
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@Ariella: ...not only that, but each one billed a different amount. Hard to account for that difference, as it was the same procedure each time...

The whole medical billing process is a Byzantine nightmare... if only tablet computers could help with that!!!

Ariella
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Re: Actual medical uses
Ariella   1/7/2015 6:11:29 PM
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LOL @Max. You really never know what will happen then. Even though family members are present in the hospital, they are kicked out of the room for the surgery itself. What's interesting about that, though, is that for the two surgeries in the same hospital, he had different anaesthesiologists and different reactions when he emerged from the general anaesthesia.  Not only that, but each one billed a different amount. Hard to account for that difference, as it was the same procedure each time, just different sides of the lung.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Actual medical uses
Max The Magnificent   1/7/2015 6:03:37 PM
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@Ariella: ...than my son is aware of, as he was knocked out for a couple of hours. I think this surgeon did this rather unofficially...

I should say so -- he can't just walk around knocking people out willy-nilly LOL

Ariella
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Re: Actual medical uses
Ariella   1/7/2015 5:44:57 PM
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@Max I agree that it is useful, though they would have to be careful about keeping tabs on which photo goes with which patient in the EHR. Some doctors do take photos for their own check on things, though. My son told me that the surgeon snapped a picture with his phone at some point. It's possible he took more photos than my son is aware of, as he was knocked out for a couple of hours. I think this surgeon did this rather unofficially for his own reference. I didn't get to see any notice warning patients that they may be photographed for educational uses, as I remember seeing at another hospital where he had surgery.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Actual medical uses
Max The Magnificent   1/7/2015 4:49:10 PM
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@perl_geek: One hospital in Ottawa that tried them found that the nurses were photographing the surgical patients' incisions before putting on new dressings. That way, the nurses could show the surgeons what progress the patient was making without having to remove the bandages when they came round later.

That's such a good idea!!!

Ariella
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Re: It depends on the hospital
Ariella   1/7/2015 1:16:09 PM
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@BrainiacVI Actually, the variations are not just between hospitals but between different wards in the same hospital. For example, the post-surgical ward my son was in had a very bad reputation among people familiar with it. I was advised by someone who was tending to her father to really push to have my son transferred. It took a few days, but I did succeed in doing so. And though he would not have pushed himself, it's clear that my son noticed the difference. When he went back to the hospital for follow-up X-rays, he visited the staff in the ward he had been transferred to and not the post-surgical unit.

To the credit of the nurse manager, though, she did come to speak to me about what I was unhappy about. I explained the real tipping point was when no one responded to my son's request for help in the morning when he had to get detached from things and assisted to the bathroom. He told me that someone answered the call but no one came because they were "too busy" with the routine set for that time. That happened on the weekend when the nuse manager was not in attendance.  

This type of experience, though, was not unique to that particular ward or even that hospital. My son had the same experience in another hospital that actually enjoys a fairly good reputation. So while there are variations, many fall into the same kind of lapses when the staff gets caught up in maintaining routine over all else.  

But an interesting thing that you mentioned here that I also noticed in the post-surgical unit, "The first hospital had different nurses every shift, every day. So they had no idea whether I was getting better or worse." I pointed that out to the nurse manager, as well. My son seemed to have a different nurse every day, and even if the first one he had was back after leave, he was assigned to someone else, often someone who was being shown the particular appartus he was connected to for the very first time.

 

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