Mobile technology in hospitals – Who is using it and how?
Mobile technology is already in wide use in hospitals all over the world.
Patient records are now available digitally to Doctors, Nurses and allied health professionals. These records can be transmitted from one hospital system to another, and from one hospital to another.
Patients – are using mobile apps to track their own activity and health through fitness trackers, diet apps and even portable EKGs. In the future, we may see patients sharing data from these systems on admission to hospital.
Doctors – can make faster decisions through Clinical Decision tools. These tools help doctors work through standard diagnostic processes and may even recommend a course of treatment.
Scheduling of appointments can now be done online by medical staff, allowing them to request and view lab test results on the spot.
Machine learning is being developed to automatically review diagnostic scans. Meaning doctors will need to spend less time reviewing imaging.
So how can a digital solution benefit the catering department?
Nutrition plays a vital role in improving patient outcomes. Technology can assist caterers by providing first-class food service for their patients and improve the accuracy and maintenance of their patient food records and reports.
In the UK, a recent study found that malnutrition-related deaths are up 18% in the last year.
2009 Dept of Health Guidelines – Food and Nutritional Care in Hospitals found that:
Up to 11% of patients are malnourished on admission and almost one-third of previously well-nourished patients deteriorated during their hospital stay.
Undernourished patients are three times more likely to die and are likely to remain in the hospital twice as long as well-nourished patients.
The nutritional well-being of a patient is everyone’s responsibility and by changing to a digital solution, like our app SERVAL, issues like these can be
made a thing of the past.
Our recommendations on how to improve patient outcomes.
Meal provision should be flexible, and patients should have control over their own meal planning. Any technology solution must allow for special requests and recipe modifications.
Texture-modified menus should be available for patients with chewing or swallowing difficulties – multiple diet types should be supported; your system should prevent patients ordering from the wrong diet type.
Feedback from patients about the acceptability of the food provided should be sought – a tablet is ideal for collecting this information.
Patients must receive accurate descriptions of menu items. This can be included within an app so that catering assistants have up to date information to hand.
Picture menus must be provided to patients with low literacy or poor vision. A mobile tablet can display these images whenever a patient wants to see what is on offer.
Using a digital ordering solution like SERVAL means:
You can accept new orders and amendments as late as you want rather than trying to take orders by phone from each ward.
Digital is faster – less time is spent copying figures from one card to another, order totals never need to be counted by hand and manually copied which removes the chance of transcription errors. This reduction in errors means less wasted food and less need to overproduce food.
Traditional paper order cards are a hygiene and infection control risk – using appropriate tablet hardware, which can easily be kept clean means no contaminated order cards need to be archived removing this risk. Antimicrobial tablets are now available which will also remove these hygiene risks.
All your patient records are available months or years down the line in case they are needed for an investigation. Data can be retained for as long or as short a period as is required under your data policy, maintaining historical, searchable records for retrieval on demand.
Reports are available on demand or can be automated for the Chef, Ward Supervisor and Catering Assistant.
You conform with JCI patient identification requirements and can integrate to admission and patient record systems.
The catering manager can track waste and actual consumption, by the patient, for review by dietitians or clinicians.