How Can Thousands of Mobile Devices and Their Features Be Implemented in Hundreds of Wards?

Utilising mobile devices in hospitals is in line with behavior associated with the technology of today. Bringing mobile devices into the hospital environment for the first time is not an easy task, however. It requires in-depth examination of device policies, existing systems, technology implementation, as well as impacts on patients and personnel. This article describes how Medanets solutions are introduced in wards and how they are customised for various needs.

1.        Policies

The organization should formulate clear policies and procedures on how mobile technology can and should be used, as well as on how the devices and applications are managed. The formulated policies must also address the questions of which data is at stake, who uses it, for what reasons and where. Mobile policies are as good as their enforcement, which is why carrying them out in practice should also be monitored. Furthermore, to ensure commitment, it is important to involve the care staff in the decision-making process already at an early stage.

A mobile policy does not have to be made from scratch since support for the process is provided, for instance, by Medanets, which has several years of experience in mobile policies. The tried and true procedures of our existing customers are also worth gold to others grappling with the same issues.

To give an example, one of our customers established a steering group comprising professionals from various fields to coordinate, direct and evaluate the various digitalisation pilots, commissioning processes and the needs of professionals.

2.        Compatibility

In terms of smooth functioning, it is essential for the new systems being introduced to be compatible with existing systems. Integrations between systems enable seamless data transfers without manual intervention, among other things. Moreover, the work flow of the care staff becomes easier if they are able to use a single user ID to log in at each technology platform requiring a separate login, be it a working station, a mobile device or some other equipment.

Medanets solutions are always integrated with the customer’s existing systems, such as the Electronic Health Record and patient monitoring systems. Medanets application login is also always adapted to the customer’s infrastructure to utilise existing login methods.

3.        Customisability

Due to the varying needs and policies of hospitals and wards, the tools introduced in the organization should be separately modifiable. When the wards are able to personalise their solutions, nursing does not have to be modified to meet the system, but rather the system can be modified to support current nursing processes.

With the Medanets administration tool, entering and displaying data can be defined ward-specifically. For example, the location, the name and the visibility of each parameter in the application can be defined separately so that there is no interference from unnecessary parameters. The various features of the application can also be hidden if their purpose is not suitable for the ward in question.

4.        The Choice of the Mobile Device

Naturally, the needs of the organization and the availability of resources affect the choice of the mobile device. When choosing the device, one should consider what kinds of features the organization needs to access and the kinds of conditions the device should withstand. The user-friendliness of the device should also be taken into account. Options include smart phones, mobile devices designed for professional use, and tablets.

Medanets solutions work mainly on Android devices. This year, our solutions can also be used on iOS devices. This will give our customers the opportunity of choosing from several device options. Currently, our solutions are most commonly used on Samsung J5, XCover 4 and Ascom Myco.

The care staff has found the smart phone a pleasant tool since it is easy to carry along. Furthermore, a smart phone leaves the nurse with one hand free to proceed with the nursing. We would be happy to tell you more about our experiences with mobile devices suitable for various purposes.

5.        Management Solutions and Infrastructure

The centralised management solutions of mobile devices enable determining the necessary data security level of the devices for their secure use. This applies to the workspace of both trunked and individual devices. You should be able to install, update and configure mobile applications centrally and remotely. With risk management in mind, it is also advisable to ensure that the application can be updated quickly regardless of the location or the user of the mobile device. For example, the most common operating systems, Android and iOS, are updated at a rapid pace with updates often requiring changes to the applications running on top of them.

Furthermore, one should keep a list of the devices being used and take an inventory of them periodically so that any loss of a device can be detected and protective measures taken. Utilising personal devices requires Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) support from the management solution while the BYOD itself requires a systematic mobile policy in other respects as well.

With regard to infrastructure, the customer may, at the worst, have to renew the entire wireless network in order to support the latest means of connecting mobile devices to a network, which is secure and compatible with the device management solutions, or just to improve poor reception.

Medanets supports all mobile device management solutions (Master Data Management / Enterprise Mobility Management (MDM/EMM)) that include an application configuration feature. With regard to the Medanets solution, implementing a new device has been made as easy as possible so that the application can also be successfully installed by ward personnel if necessary. The distribution and configuration of smart iOS applications is so developed that a device delivered by the supplier can be opened in the ward and the personnel can begin using the Medanets application immediately.

Due to its offline functionality, the Medanets application will also work in dead spots, so the application does not need a continuous network connection. If a device is lost, access to the Medanets application can also be blocked for the device in question.

6.        Piloting

Before any comprehensive implementation, it is advisable to pilot the new mobile solution at selected wards. The functionality of the solution can thus be ascertained with an early response to any suggestions or feedback from the user group on how the solution could be used its members in the best way. When piloting is conducted well, implementation at other wards will succeed even better.

The Medanets solution includes a variety of different features that can be piloted separately before the official decision-making process. Moreover, we are constantly developing our operations according to the feedback we receive so that the solutions can be integrated with nursing processes as seamlessly as possible and that at their best the solutions will further develop those processes.

7.        Implementation

After a successful pilot, implementing the solution can begin at other wards. Implementing the new solution in the organization will not happen in an instant, but once the stages in accordance with the paragraphs 1–6 are performed in an exemplary manner, each implementation will become less complicated. In addition to the points mentioned above, implementing can be facilitated by emphasising active communication, training and member commitment, as well as management support for system use. In addition to internal communication within the organization, there should be open communication with the suppliers as well.

Medanets supports the customer at each stage of the project – with a fine, constructive partnership excellence can be achieved. The project culminates in training sessions that are carried out as non-stop training. Medanets trainers will then personally teach the wards how to use the solution. The issue of which of the various application features will be introduced at which wards is defined depending on the needs of the customer and the wards. After the training session, application use support will be available from key users and our Helpdesk.

8.        Monitoring

The end of user training in the wards does not mean that the implementation of mobile solutions is over. In order to ensure the success of the project, implementation should be monitored afterwards. Any problems can be addressed immediately with the help of user reports. For example, if the utilisation rate is low according to the report, the end users can be asked to provide a reason for this and efforts can be made to remove any obstacles.

With the help of the Medanets reporting tool, the customer can view observation values, medication administration entries, as well as the number of devices being used and the number of individual users. The data which identifies the users and patients is not saved. In addition to this, the system produces reports on the number of patients by risk category based on the Early Warning Scoring (EWS) and the risk assessment indicators.

Implementing new technology in wards successfully requires the project to be planned, carried out and managed with care. New tools also bring in new policies and procedures. The process does demand practice, but the benefits to the hospital, the healthcare professionals and the patients are proven to be real. – And hey, we are here at Medanets to help you in every situation especially when you face a challenging one!