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In-Room Computer Tablets Help Hospital Patients Learn, Communicate


 

New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital is among a growing number of healthcare systems nationwide providing patients with tablet computing devices.

Loaded with an HIPAA-compliant “patient itinerary” application designed by the hospital’s information technology (IT) department, the tablets give patients access to customized educational materials about their hospital stay. The program has been shown to ease communication between patients and caregivers, help patients to feel more engaged with their care, reduce patient stress, and improve staff workflow, according to a report in MHealthNews.

Mount Sinai’s inpatient care model redesign team—comprising both clinical and IT managers—deployed 100 tablets in the project’s pilot phase.

Meanwhile, a study from the United Kingdom reports that most patients don’t bring their own tablets to a hospital stay because “they are still unlikely to be able to connect to wifi when they get there,” according to a report in TheInformationDaily.com. Most of the country’s 2,300 hospitals fail to offer wireless access, and the access they do offer—bedside terminals with hotel-like charges for telephone, TV, video, and internet—mostly goes unused.

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