Ottawa Hospital, a hospital in Ottawa, Canada, is in the process of deploying one thousand iPads for doctors and nurses to replace paper charts. Dale Potter has been magically transforming the hospital’s approach to information technology, shifting access to key patient records to iPads for in-hospital work, and eventually to iPhones for access by doctors on-the-go.
IT World Canada reports that Mr. Potter wanted to update the way doctors and patients accessed and interacted with patient records. While all of those records had been computerized, staff was still printing out needed charts for doctors to take with them on their rounds. He recognized the iPad as a device that could change that.
Finding the existing medical software industry unable to develop an iPad app in time, he hired a team of developers to create a custom app that could access the database behind the software used by the hospital. Those developers worked with the company that had developed the server/desktop software to make a native iPad app, and began testing it with a small team of doctors and staff.
This approach not only made it possible to develop a proper iPad interface for the doctors and staff to use, it kept the patient information securely on the servers behind two levels of authentication, satisfying security requirements in the process.
“Certainly mobile health applications can do two things that are so necessary in the health system,” Richard Alvarez, president and chief executive of Canada Health Infoway, told the magazine. “They can expand access and they can reduce costs – and sometimes they can do both at once. […] We’re going to see more and more of patient information being available remotely to clinicians.”
The hospital anticipates deploying one thousand iPads by the end of the 2010, with even more planned in the future.